California Mom Suing Hatchimals Creator After Popular Toy Didn't Hatch
Jodie Hejduk said she purchased a Hatchimal as a birthday gift for her daughter.
— -- After complaints that a sought-after children's toy "Hathchimals" didn't do the main thing it advertises -- hatch from its egg -- a federal class action lawsuit has been filed in California.
The battery-powered toy is designed to slowly peck its way through the surrounding shell after the egg is rubbed, tapped and warmed, according to the lawsuit. But Jodie Hejduk of Bakersfield filed the complaint, on behalf of a class of other affected people, against Hatchimals' parent company Spin Master after she says the toy she purchased did not hatch.
Hejduk says in the lawsuit that she purchased the Hatchimal for approximately $50 on January 14 as a birthday gift for her daughter. She claims she and her daughter followed directions included in the package and the Hatchimal failed to hatch.
Hejduk is suing for damages relating to Spin Master's "deceptive business practices in selling Hatchimals," according to the lawsuit. Her attorney Mark Geragos, alleges that the company misrepresented the toy.
"The product is defective and it's unfortunate for all those people because there was kind of a craze about it," Geragos told ABC News. "They ought to rename it the 'bait and switch.'"
Geragos said Hedjuk was denied a refund or a product repair. The lawsuit also cites several negative reviews on Amazon.com from other consumers saying the toy was defective.
"My guess is there will be more lawsuits filed any day," Geragos said.
Spin Master released Hatchimals, which retailed for $50 to $60, on October 7, 2016. But the popular toy often sold out, creating a market for resellers.
"By November 2016, the products were difficult to find and sold out in many locations, which led to a black market for Hatchimals," the lawsuit alleges.
Soon, Hatchimals were selling on e-commerce sites for hundreds of dollars, but many parents and children were allegedly let down after the item failed to live up to its name.
"Spin Master knew that the 'hatching' was one of the primary draws of the toy," the lawsuit said. "Since children do not know what is inside of the egg," the lawsuit alleges that according to a Spin Master senior vice president,"they get excited about what they may get."
The lawsuit goes onto to say, "This excitement was replaced with extreme disappointment for the many children when their Hatchimals did not hatch."
The lawsuit also alleges that Spin Master has failed to take "proper action to address its malfunctioning product."
After receiving complaints that the toy didn't hatch, the company posted onto Facebook that they are "100% committed to bringing the magic of Hatchimals" to all of its customers.
In a statement to ABC News in December, the company said that while "the vast majority of children have had a magical experience with Hatchimals," it also acknowledged it had received calls from consumers who had "encountered challenges" and that, "To ensure all queries receive a timely response, we have increased the number of Consumer Care representatives, extended our hours, and increased the capacity for callers in the queue to help prevent calls dropped due to the holiday volume."
"We have also created troubleshooting tips on Hatchimals.com and a video with 'The Top 5 Things to Know About Hatchimals'," the December statement continued. "We are committed to doing everything possible to resolve any consumer issues. We sincerely apologize and thank everyone who is experiencing an issue for their patience."
Today, Christopher Harrs, executive vice president and general counsel for Spin Master provided a new statement to ABC News:
"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. Spin Master took extraordinary and proactive steps to respond to consumer questions regarding Hatchimals. 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."
Geragos maintains that the toy did not function as advertised for many people.
"Spin Master is aptly self named," Geragos said in response to the company's statement to ABC News. "Our lawsuit is based on actual facts not alternative facts spun by Spin Master."
Hejduk is seeking "compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages in amounts to be determined by the Court and/or jury," Geragos confirmed. She is also asking for Spin Master to recall defective Hatchimals.
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