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The holiday's hottest toy quickly turned into one of its biggest disappointments for many families. Now, that disappointment has led to legal action.
Jodie Hejduk of Bakersfield, California, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Spin Master, alleging the Hatchimal toy she purchased for her daughter never hatched.
Hatchimals are stuffed animals that start out inside a spotted plastic egg, and are supposed to hatch when the owner rubs the shell. That process should take 25 to 40 minutes, according to Spin Master's website.
But that wasn't the case for "millions of families throughout this country," Hejduk said in her lawsuit.
"Millions of children and families across the globe were sourly disappointed with coal in their stockings, in the form of a bait-and-switch marketing scheme perpetrated by Spin Master, the manufacturers of this Christmas season's 'it' gift, Hatchimals," the lawsuit says.
"Spin Master knew that the 'hatching' was one of the primary draws of the toy," the suit continued. "One of the company's senior vice presidents recognized that getting the toy to hatch 'resonates well with kids' and that since children do not know what is inside of the egg 'they get excited about what they may get.' This excitement was replaced with extreme disappointment for the many children when their Hatchimals did not hatch."
A Hatchimal cost about $50, depending on the retailer. However, the part-Furby, part-Tamagotchi toys were popular on the resale market, where they sold for upward of $250. Many parents lined up outside Toys R Us and Wal-Mart stores to purchase the highly sought-after toy.
However, once children opened their Christmas presents, the buzz surrounding the toys quickly turned from, "Where do I find one?" to "This thing doesn't hatch."
"I paid triple the price so I could get my 5 yr. old daughter what she wanted but when it was time to play with it the Hatchimal would not respond inside the egg. We watched every YouTube video we could for help, but to no avail ... we had to open it ourselves," one customer wrote on Amazon.com, according to the lawsuit.
In a statement provided to CNBC, Christopher Harrs, Spin Master's executive vice president and general counsel, said that "Spin Master stands behind its products and cares about its consumers."
"Given the popularity of Hatchimals and the overwhelmingly positive consumer response, a large number of Hatchimals were purchased as gifts and opened on Christmas day. As a result, the Company experienced a higher than anticipated number of consumer calls over the holiday period," Harrs said.
"Spin Master took extraordinary and proactive steps to respond to consumer questions regarding Hatchimals," he continued. "The company provided troubleshooting support and where required immediately made available replacement products for those few consumers whose toys did not work as they anticipated. The allegations from the class action lawyer are simply inaccurate and not based on actual facts."
Hejduk's lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Update: This story has been updated to include comment from Spin Master