Hatchimals flying off the shelves in lead up to Christmas, worldwide shortage causes stock issues video

Hatchimals are interactive  creatures inside eggs. You help them hatch, then take care of them.
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Hatchimals are interactive creatures inside eggs. You help them hatch, then take care of them.

Parents racing to get the hottest toy of the Christmas season may be out of luck as retailers battle a worldwide shortage.

Only a handful of Hatchimals are left in the country, after increased demand for the furry interactive creatures sent them flying off the shelves. 

However, with just 27 days until the big day, most retailers have sold out. This has left parents struggling to get their hands on one of this year's Christmas must-haves.

Hatchimals are interactive creatures that come inside eggs. The plan is you help them hatch, then take care of them as they grow up.

One of the only places left to try getting Hatchimals is Trade Me - but you'll have to pay about twice the price.

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​Trade Me spokesman Logan Mudge​ said he knew Hatchimals were popular - but not this popular.

"We hadn't foreseen a nationwide shortage of them a month away from Christmas."

Demand for Hatchimals had sky rocketed over the past week. During the past seven days, there had been 58 per cent more sales than in the three weeks prior, Mudge said.

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"Searches have jumped 245 per cent since this time last week [and] we expect to see these numbers jump if retailers around New Zealand don't get hold of any more in the lead up to Christmas."

On Monday afternoon, there were 41 Hatchimal listings on the auction site - one with a "buy now" price of $300.

The highest selling Hatchimal so far was $295, he said.

The toys retailed for $88.

"The market is really going to determine what these sell for. It's going to depend how keen parents are on getting the 'it' present for their kids and how much they're willing to pay. We'll see how strong the pester power of Kiwi kids is! 

However, Trade Me listing are on a much smaller scale than some on eBay in the United States, with one person selling a Hatchimals toy for more than US$27,000 (NZ$38,330).

Toyworld Group general manager Franco Godinich​ said it had almost sold out around the country.

"There are a few stores with a few pockets of them, but they are worth their weight in gold now.

"It didn't take long for the craze to hit."

It was unlikely Toyworld would get anymore before Christmas, he said.

Godinich had heard of one person who was selling a collection of 14 for $20,000.

"They are being sold for ridiculous amounts."

The Warehouse lead toys manager Lonnica Van Engelen said the clear favourite this year was Hatchimals.

"Demand has been phenomenal, we've sold out across the country," she said.

More would be arriving in the New Year, but no more stock would be in before Christmas.

The toys were being sold for $88, so "they went very quickly", Van Engelen said.

Farmers' website said all Hatchimals were out of stock. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

 - Stuff

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