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Target customers angry after waiting hours in line for Hatchimals toy only to come up empty-handed

Posted: 2:57 PM, Dec 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-11 16:05:53-05
Unlucky Hatchimals shoppers come up empty-handed
Unlucky Hatchimals shoppers come up empty-handed

Some customers waited nearly nine hours early Sunday morning hoping to land one of the coveted Hatchimals toys that Target released, only to leave the stores empty-handed. 

Shoppers were frustrated that Target had a limit of two Hatchimals per customer rather than one per customer. Others were upset that the store gave coupons to people well before when stores opened. 

Hatchimals remain hard to find, as scalpers are reselling the toys at three times the retail value on eBay. 

For Rachel Hazan of Riverhead, NY, finding a Hatchimals toy in store has not been easy. She arrived at her local store at 11:30 p.m. Saturday to be the seventh person in line for the toy. She thought she was in luck as Target said each store would receive dozens of the product. As it turns out, the Target she went to only had 12. 

Because Target had a limit of two per customer, all 12 Hatchimals were spoken for when the store opened at 8 a.m.

"I need to have Target hear my words and see how disappointing this experience has been because of them and this Hatchimal craze," Hazan said in an email. "This is one unhappy mom who will have one unhappy 8-year-old at Christmas."

Target spokesperson Lee Henderson defended Target's policy of allowing customers to buy two Hatchimals. 

"Stores were provided guidance to limit Hatchimals to two per guest," he said. "This language was included in our materials on A Bullseye View, as well as our weekly ad/circular. The decision to limit the number of Hatchimals a guest could purchase was determined based on demand and available inventory."

For Hazan, it was her second time standing in line for Hatchimals. She also visited Toys "R" Us last week when it released a number of Hatchimals. In that instance, she was the second person in line not to get a toy. 

"Last week, I waited outside of a Toys R Us starting at 5 a.m. for a Hatchimal and at least Toys "R" Us had the decency to only allow one Hatchimal per household, which is the right thing to do in this instance," Hazan said.  

Amy Sikorski‎ spent three hours at the Target in Baltimore, Michigan Sunday morning in the midst of a snow. Being the 15th person in line, she was told after three hours that the store only had four Hatchimals in stock. 

"I have been trying to get just one for months now even driving two states over to be told that there was a glitch in the system and none were available," Sikorski said on Facebook. "Thanks for being the reason a little girl stops believing in the joy of Christmas."

Despite demand putting a strain on supply, some customers left happy. Like Hazan, Charon Porter stood in a Toys "R" Us line last Sunday. Unlike Hazan, Charon arrived at 6:45 a.m. and was the last person in line to get a ticket to purchase a Hatchimals toy. 

Henderson said that Target will restock Hatchimals during the holidays, and encouraged consumers to contact their local stores. Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart also have said they will restock the toy periodically during the holidays. 

The makers of Hatchimals said in a statement that it is expecting to increase supplies of the toy in January.

"This is a special season and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed, nor do we support inflated prices from non-authorized resellers," Hatchimals said in a statement. "While additional product will hit retail shelves in December, we anticipate this inventory will also sell out quickly. We have increased production and a whole new batch of Hatchimals will be ready to hatch in early 2017."

Because retailers have extremely limited quantities of the toys, eBay sellers are scooping up the toy and reselling  at 2 to 3 times the retail value. While Target sold Hatchimals for $59.99 on Sunday, auctions on eBay are going for more than $160.