UPDATE - 4/19/2017 - According to a press release published on Yahoo Finance, Spin Master Ltd. has announced the proposed class action lawsuit it was facing over alleged hatching problems in its Hatchimals toys has been voluntarily withdrawn by the plaintiff.
Spin Master claimed in the press release that the now-withdrawn lawsuit, filed in January 2017, stemmed from “consumer frustration” that brewed after the company was flooded with an “unanticipated” number of customer complaints about its purportedly defective product.
In the press release, the plaintiff’s attorney noted Spin Master’s handling of the situation was a deciding factor behind the withdrawal.
“Spin Master’s proactive response was very successful and, to date, they have either responded to all of the outstanding questions or provided replacements, or refunds to customers. We applaud Spin Master for the highly effective manner in which they dealt with their customers. Given these factors, we have decided to voluntarily withdraw out class action,” the plaintiff’s attorney said in a statement.
[Originally published 1/19/2017]
A California woman has filed a proposed class action against Spin Master Corp. and Spin Master Inc. claiming parents and their children were deceived when the companies’ popular “Hatchimals” toys failed to fulfill their big purpose—to hatch from the colorful eggs in which they’re sold.
What Does the Lawsuit Say?
The 25-page lawsuit claims that, in the race to come up with and manufacture the hottest products before the holiday season, the defendants victimized consumers and their children with nothing more than a bait-and-switch marketing scheme.
“Whether done intentionally or ironically, as the corporate name suggests, this product was all ‘spin’ without appropriate, responsible, or adequate technological development or functionality,” the lawsuit alleges. “Spin Master sold millions of families and their eager children a complete and total fraud.”
According to the lawsuit, Spin Master replaced children’s excitement of the unknown—no child knows what’s in a Hatchimals egg before it hatches—with “extreme disappointment” when the toys simply failed to perform as advertised. Instead of hatching with recipients’ “loving touch,” the toys allegedly did not perform as promised.
The plaintiff claims she bought a Hatchimal as a birthday present for her daughter in January 2017. After following all the instructions on the toy’s packaging, the plaintiff claims the Hatchimal never hatched and, therefore, deprived her daughter of the sole attraction and function of the toy.
What Are Hatchimals, Exactly?
Hatchimals—“one of the most coveted toys in recent memory,” the lawsuit says—are interactive stuffed animals that are supposed to “hatch” from the colorful spotted eggs in which they’re sold. The lawsuit purports Hatchimals, which were released in October 2016 and were in limited supply by the next month, as the “it” toy of the 2016 holiday season. The toys are meant for children ages five and up and come in five different “species”: Pengualas, Draggles, Burtles, Owlicorns and Bearakeet. The toys “hatch,” the lawsuit says, after kids rub, tap and warm the egg, at which point the critter inside will slowly peck its way through the surrounding shell. According to the defendants’ website, the entire hatching process should take 20 to 25 minutes.
Has Spin Master Done Anything to Address the Problem?
The lawsuit says Spin Master’s “meager remedial” efforts thus far to address the situation have been ineffective, even as consumer complaints continue to mount on social media and numerous retailers’ websites.
“Leaving aside that the few token remedial measure that Spin Master announced are ineffective, they are also insufficient and incomplete,” the lawsuit says. “Indeed, Spin Master, has not offered to recall the product or provide reimbursements to consumers who purchased the defective product.”
Who Could Be Covered by the Lawsuit?
The proposed class seeks to cover anyone in the United States who bought a Hatchimal between October 7, 2016, and the present. The suit also seeks to cover a proposed California-residents-only subclass.