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Hatchimals Are 2016’s Must-Have, Can’t-Find Holiday Toy Sensation

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It’s still early in the holiday shopping season — even if it hasn’t officially begun — but this year’s hottest toy may be one you’ll never get your hands on.

The big toy in question? They’re called Hatchimals. The toys came out early last month and have already been huge sellers.

What exactly are they? They’re eggs that hatch to become a toy. According to CNBC:

Kids must nurture the speckled egg in order to begin the hatching process. The toy will tap and peck at the plastic egg until it cracks open and a furry animatronic creature emerges. Then kids can interact with the Hatchimal and teach it to walk and talk.

They come in five different species — Pengualas, Draggles, Owlicorns, Burtles and Bearakeets — which retail for about $50. But this is where things get tricky. Several big-name stores have rights to certain varieties. In other words, Wal-Mart is the only store that sells Burtles, while you have to go to Target to find Bearakeets and Toys R Us is the lone place you can find Owlicorns.

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As is often the case with a toy that develops into a full-blown obsession, the price tag has grown. Several stores have already sold out of them, in-store and online, and prices have soared into the hundreds of dollars on destinations like eBay.

Don’t be surprised to hear more about the Hatchimals. One toy analyst says, “For the last four years, there has been nothing comparable to the instant sales success within weeks of launch as Hatchimals. The closest comparable new launch of a property would be Disney Frozen in 2013, which had a movie tie-in. Hatchimals is off to an even stronger start than Disney Frozen. This could be the Tickle Me Elmo of 2016.”

Happy Hatchimal hunting, everyone.

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