Suit Over Unhatched Hatchimals Dropped

FRESNO, Calif. (CN) – A mom who claimed the popular Hatchimals toys don’t always hatch – instead producing unhappiness ranging from “disappointing to tragic” – has voluntarily dismissed her federal class action.

Lead plaintiff Jodie Hejduk on Monday moved to dismiss the entire case with prejudice, barring her from bringing a future action on the same claims.

“Defendants Spin Master Corp. and Spin Master Inc. have not answered plaintiff’s complaint or filed a motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, this matter may be dismissed with prejudice without an order of the court,” the dismissal states.

Hejduk’s ttorney Benjamin Meiselas with Geragos & Geragos did not immediately return calls or emails seeking comment. Ryan Evans with Winston & Strawn, who represented Spin Master, also did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Hatchimals are small stuffed animals that hatch out of the brightly colored, spotted eggs they are sold in. Most look like little birds with button noses and big, round eyes. Since the egg does not reveal which animal is inside, hatching is the toy’s primary draw and the most exciting part for kids, according to Hejduk’s Jan. 19 lawsuit.

Released in time for the holidays last year, Hatchimals were the must-have gift and frequently sold for $50 to $60. Parents who were not lucky enough to snag one in stores often paid up to seven times the retail price on eBay and other internet sites.

“This was an aggressive and brilliant marketing campaign built on a house of cards and lies for a product that was not ready for the market,” Hejduk’s attorney Meiselas told Courthouse News at the time of the filing. “Spin Master knew it was spinning consumers; they knew the product didn’t hatch.”

He noted the irony of the company’s name, and said stories told by families who bought the toy “border on extreme disappointment to tragic, depending on different families’ situations and their ability to purchase these expensive items.”

He added, “They were playing on the most visceral emotions of a family: a child’s happiness. It exceeds a mere letdown and caused real damages.”

Toys R Us has Hatchimals for sale at $59.99 on its website as of Monday. Wal-Mart advertised its exclusive Hatchimal on its website at $48.88, though it was out of stock, and others at $79.98.

Spin Master made millions in profits off the popular toy, but many consumers from around the world reported that the toys did not actually hatch as advertised, according to the lawsuit.

Hejduk said she bought a Hatchimal for her daughter’s birthday, but her child was sorely “dismayed” when the toy never hatched though they followed all the instructions.

Other parents wrote scathing reviews on Toys R Us and Amazon.com’s websites.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Spin Master said it had doubled the size of its customer-service team to respond to the issue and has also posted troubleshooting and how-to tips on its website to help customers hatch the toys. The company said the Hejduk’s lawyer praised the response, noting since Spin Master has handled the backlog of complaints, issued refunds or replaced the defective toys, there is no further need for the lawsuit.

“We view the plaintiff’s voluntarily withdrawal of the class action suit as a validation of our Hatchimals product and an endorsement of the efforts undertaken by Spin Master to address all of the consumer questions,” Spin Master COO and global president Ben Gadbois said in a statement.

 

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