Remember the Hatchimal

It’s the most magical time of the year—the lights, the food, the holiday parties, and the quirky family traditions. According to Experian, nearly 40% of the population feels cheerful during the holidays.

On the other hand, there’s stress that comes with shopping for all of these holiday experiences—fighting the crowds, finding that perfect gift (at the best price), and trying to hang on to your wallet. Parents know this all too well. According to the T. Rowe Price 2016 Parents, Kids, and Money survey,64% of parents say they end up spending more on Christmas than they should have, and53% of parents try to get everything on their child’s list—no matter the price.

Enter the Hatchimal: It’s this year’s hottest toy, already sold out a month before Christmas and now listed on sites like eBay for up to $2,500. The Hatchimal shortage has some parents in crisis mode, going so far as to prepare kids for Christmas morning disappointment with letters from Santa.

The last holiday toy craze to hit like this was the ZhuZhu Hamster of 2009, but a lot has changed in the way people shop since then. In today’s omni channel shopping environment, in which the consumer has more power than ever over retailers and brands, shoppers are unaccustomed to not getting what they want anywhere, anytime. Perhaps next year retailers could conjure up memories of Hatchimal scarcity in the minds of parents everywhere to drive even earlier holiday toy sales.