The most popular toy for kids this season is undoubtedly, the Hatchimals. If you have not heard of it yet, it is the must-have toy your kids are going to ask for, pretty soon. The toy has, however, been selling like hot cakes and is nowhere to be found on store shelves or even online. Even on sites like ebay, the toy is available at three to four times its retail price.

The toy has been created by the company Spin Master and the popularity of the toy matches the craze for past blockbuster toys like the Zhu Zhu Pets, Tamagotchi, and the Cabbage Patch Doll. Just like some of those, this one is also hard to find during the holiday season. So what are Hatchimals after all?

Hatchimals are nothing but stuffed animals that ‘hatch’ out of their shells. They are also interactive and are available in five different ‘species’ of animals. The five species are the Pengualas, Draggles, Burtles, which is exclusive to Walmart, Owlicorns, which is exclusive to Toys R Us and Bearakeet, which is exclusive to Target. Each of the species has different, specific features and unique colors.

A brand new Hatchimal is enclosed inside an egg, which is colored and speckled. The egg needs to be rubbed for about thirty minutes before the furry creature inside will begin to peck and push through its shell. This is the unique feature as such a toy has not been on the market before.

While the hatching part is the biggest attraction of the toy, the kids also get to help nurture the animal that walks out. The little creature can be taught to talk, walk, play tag and even dance.

While the actual retail price of the toy is between 50 to 60 dollars, it is really difficult to find it in stock at this price during the holiday season. It is also out of stock at online retailer’s websites with some promising to deliver up to 2 months later even at an inflated price. The toy is out of stock even in the UK.

While the company says that they have increased their production and their demand has been unprecedented and exceeded all estimates. Although the company has advised consumers not to purchase from unauthorized sellers, the reality is that the toy is selling at four or five times its prices at auctions on ebay by people looking to cash in on the opportunity and those who have been able to get their hands on the elusive toy. Listings can be seen on ebay offering sets of 7 to 14 Hatchimals for astronomical sums from 7000 to 20,000 dollars! Parents who do not wish to disappoint their kids seem to be willingly or unwillingly shelling out these inflated prices.

While the toy’s popularity remains undiminished, the reviews on Amazon has quite a few complaints with parents saying that it is far too expensive for just the couple of hours of entertainment that it provides. Apparently after, the initial excitement of getting the toy to hatch, kids are no longer interested in playing with it anymore. This seems to be the only major drawback and will probably not stop your kid from asking for one.