Author Sara Gruen and the Hatchimal Backlash
If you haven’t heard what a Hatchimal is yet, it’s the hottest toy of this year’s holiday season, an egg that hatches a stuffed toy. According to this video report from Today, these toys started out at about $60, but the supply outstripped demand, particularly after some people began to buy a lot of them when they were on sale just to resell them. The cost of one now is pretty steep, they’re going for around $200 on Amazon, although it looks like you can get 2 in some deals for that price.
Sara Gruen, author of the best-selling novel “Water for Elephants,” is one of the people who saw an opportunity to make some money from the popularity of the toy, albeit for a noble purpose. She is trying to get a man she believes has been wrongfully convicted out of prison and thought it would help defray some of the expenses involved. Inquisitr reports that Gruen bought 156 Hatchimals for $23,595, which is roughly $151 for each one, an already inflated price. She then ran into some limits when she tried to resell them on Amazon and eBay. Afraid that she would be unable to unload all the Hatchimals, Gruen posted her plight on Facebook, drawing the ire of some parents who were having a harder time trying to find one to buy than she was trying to find a way to sell them.
Gruen was able to set up an online store and sell the rest of her Hatchimal stash, but not before being razzed for “screwing over parents” by buying these toys at an inflated price and then selling them at an even more inflated price. The question really is why didn’t she set up a campaign on one of the crowdfunding sites for her cause, or use her fame to set up a concert or celebrity event, or charge admission for walking on hot coals? Anything but angry parents in search of a Hatchimal!
The makers of Hatchimals say on their website that they do not support the resellers and they are doing everything they can to deal with the unexpected demand, including pre-sale and/or rain check programs for redemption in January.