Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sunday Surprise: Hatchimal Colleggtibles by Spin Master!

July has been a bit hectic so far.  My youngest son is off in another state doing a summer program, and so last week and next week will be mostly consumed by transporting him to and fro and visiting family along the way.  I always bring a few dolls along on these trips, in the hopes that there will be an outdoor photo opportunity, but the frequent (and exciting!) summery thunderstorm downpours have kept the dolls under cover.

I decided to tackle a smaller review in between all of this traveling and raining, but couldn't decide between the super-popular Hatchimal Colleggtible miniatures and the new L.O.L. Li'l Sisters surprise balls.  So, I've been working on both posts at the same time.  The Hatchimal review ended up being a little faster to photograph, so I'll share that today as this week's official Sunday Surprise.  However, the L.O.L. sisters will probably make an appearance well before next Sunday.

A hatching Hatchimal Colleggtible figure ($9.88 for 5).
Spin Master's Hatchimal brand is probably familiar to anyone who was shopping for a child during this past holiday season.  The full-sized Hatchimal toys are fuzzy battery-powered animals that hatch out of large eggs and then proceed to grow through several stages of development--cooing and interacting with their owners along the way.  Hatchimals were the undisputed "it" toys of 2016, and have been extremely difficult to find at normal retail prices.

I managed to find a Hatchimal of my own shorty after Christmas.  I think I paid $80 for it on eBay, which was totally crazy.  I plead holiday-induced insanity.  The MSRP is about $50, which is also pretty high, but comparable to the price of Furbys, Furreal Friends, and other electronic pets.

I dutifully cuddled and patted my egg until the little critter started to peck its way out of the shell:

A hatching Hatchimal Draggle.
The hatching process took too long for my attention span, though, and so I found myself pulling away big sections of shell to hurry things along:


The hatching sequence is controlled by a mechanism in the bottom of the shell.  This causes the Hatchimal to rotate around and lurch forward to "peck" a series of holes all around the shell:

Mechanism at the bottom of the Hatchimal egg.
The Hatchimals communicate largely through the changing color of their eyes.  I forget what each color means, but here's my little guy when his eyes were bright blue (which I think means he's afraid):

It's a scary world out there!
And here he is again--fully hatched--with green eyes:


You can react to these eye color changes by responding to the implied emotion.  For example, if the eye color conveys fear, you pat the Hatchimal on the head to make it feel better.

After my Hatchimal hatched (which was pretty cool to watch) and after my whole family enjoyed the adorable presence of the little "Draggle" creature for a while...


...I lost patience and donated the hatchling to the Goodwill.  I hope he found a good home.

I've been watching the shelves for Hatchimals ever since last December, and was surprised to see that they didn't come in stock right after the holidays...or even for several months after that.  In fact, the first time I saw a Hatchimal in an actual store was just last week.  It's still a very popular toy.

At some point during this drought of Hatchimals, Spin Master released the Colleggtibles.  This was a good move on the part of the company, because it gave kids a cheaper and more accessible way to share in the fun of the brand's egg-hatching gimmick.

Unlike their larger cousins, the small Colleggtibles are easy to find in stores and cost under $10.  I picked mine up at Toys R Us:

review

The set I chose has five Colleggtible figures, four of them concealed in little purple eggs, one of them visible.

The back of the box shows some of the different Colleggtibles that might be inside of the eggs:


The text on the box makes it look like the little eggs will hatch if you hold them in your warm hand--not unlike the hatching procedure for the larger Hatchimals:


There's also a color-changing heart on each egg:


The egg-like casing that conceals these Colleggtibles is clearly their most unique selling point.

Once the figures are out of their eggs, there's nothing revolutionary or new in this concept.  It's just another collection of small vinyl animal figures.

In fact, while the large Hatchimals are all fantasy hybrids of two animal species (for example Owlicorns are a mix of owl and unicorn, Burtles are a mix of turtle and butterfly) the Colleggtibles aren't creative hybrids--they're just strangely-colored animals, each with a pair of tiny wings.

Here's a closer look at the different Colleggtibles shown on the box:



From just looking at these pictures, I think my favorites are the adorable winged hedgehogs--especially the green one:


It turns out that the figures listed on the box are only a subset of the 70+ Colleggtibles that are available.  Inside the box, there's a more extensive collector's sheet that shows all of the figures and how common or rare each one is:


The categories that are on this sheet but not on the box are: Garden, Ocean, Desert, River, Polar Paradise, and Forest.


There are many repeated molds in this collection.  For example, the little bunny in the Garden group comes in pink and orange...and appears in the Lilac Lake group as well.


There's a special group of six figures in Cloud Cove that are all marked as limited editions.  I don't think these molds are re-used anywhere else.

My five figures came secured inside a molded plastic shell that was inside the outer blister pack: 


The visible figure is a little blue-eyed pig:


He's part of the Farm group and is common:


The yellow version of this pig (also in the Farm group) is rare.

All four of the unhatched eggs are purple, but each comes with differently-colored speckles (and one of the purple hearts is starting to change color in the heat!):

review

Let's look at the little pig first.  He doesn't come with a name, so I'll call him Franklin:

Franklin the flying pig.
Franklin has bright blue eyes with huge pupils.  He also seems to have a patch of yellow feathers on his chest, which (now that I look back) seems to be another common feature of all the Colleggtibles:

review

Franklin's wings are painted silver and covered in glitter (which explains the glitter that's all over my computer screen right now...):


There are a few patches of sparse glitter, but otherwise I'd say that the paint and glitter application on this tiny guy are great:


The seam at Franklin's neck makes it look like his head can move, but it can't:


In fact, this figure does not have any moving parts, but at least he's molded into a dynamic pose, with one hoof raised in a friendly greeting:


Franklin has a small hole on the top of his head, which is probably a remnant of the molding process:


To give you an idea of how small Franklin is, he's about the right size to be a pet for a regular L.O.L. Surprise doll:

L.O.L. Surprise doll with Hatchimal Colleggtible figure.
Alongside a My Mini MixieQ character, he's more like Okja the super-pig:

My Mini MixieQ figure with Hatchimal Colleggtible.
He's roughly the same size as a baby Unicorno (not a regular Unicorno, but the ones that come on keychains) and larger than a mini Littlest Pet Shop animal:

Baby Unicorno, Hatchimal Colleggtible, Littlest Pet Shop mini.
He's a handfull for 12-inch fashion dolls like Mattel's Black Label Wonder Woman:

Wonder Woman holding a Hatchimal Colleggtible.
The Colleggtible eggs are smaller than real-life hen eggs, and fit nicely into the palm of one hand.  They are very hard and solid--with no obvious perforations:


The eggs have holes at the top:


And holes at the bottom:


Closer examination reveals a wave-shaped seam all around the lower part of the egg:


I knew I had to hold these eggs in order to hatch them, so I cupped the first egg in my hot hand for a while...


...which was more than enough to trigger the color-change feature of the heart.

The egg didn't automatically hatch in my hand, though.  I'm not sure what I expected would happen. Perhaps I thought the egg would suddenly dissolve and crumble into pieces?  The seam would magically separate?  I held on for a long, time, too.  I looked more closely at the box and searched around for instructions--nothing.  I even read online for a while, but nobody else seems confused by this.

So, I stopped cradling the egg gently in my hand and tried crushing it with my most aggressive grip.  This worked:

Hulk hatch egg!!
I still think I did this wrong, though.  I mean, look at how the egg broke--it didn't separate along the wavy seam, it just crumbled.

The egg shell looks like it's made out of plastic, but it breaks apart very easily once there are a few cracks in the surface.

I pulled away some of the shell and got a glimpse of the figure inside.  It's blue!


Who could it be??

I pulled away the whole side of the shell.  I think I got a zebra!


I did!  It's a little blue zebra who looks really happy.  He comes inside a clear plastic hoop of unknown purpose:


This little guy, who I will name Hector, is from the Giggle Grove collection.  All of these cuties make me smile:


I don't think they photographed Hector from his best angle here, though:


Hector is in the common category, but his mold is not used in any of the other groups, so I think that makes him special.

Here's the empty egg--it has a solid-looking base inside that crumbly plastic:


Hector is blue with black and grey painted details.  He has a feathered grey belly:


He's lying on his back with his little legs flailing, caught in a fit of giggles:


Hector has silver wings with a little bit of glitter on them--nowhere near as much glitter as is on Franklin's wings, though:


Hector has a few more paint imperfections than Franklin, but the accuracy is still pretty good.



I was pleasantly surprise by hilarious Hector.  He's much cuter than his catalog picture, that's for sure.

Here are Franklin and Hector together:

Frankie must've told an excellent joke.
I eagerly moved on to the next egg--one with light blue speckles.  

I tried to crush this egg without warming it in my hand first, but found this difficult.  I think maybe the heat from my hands softened Hector's shell and made it easier to break.  So, I held the egg in my hands for a little while, and then had no trouble crushing it:

Bam!
I see more blue!


Getting two blue figures in a row made me wonder about the likelihood of getting duplicates within the same package.  Spin Master must have a good way to prevent this with codes or something, though.  Perhaps the colored speckles have meaning?

Anyway, this was not a duplicate...


It's an amazingly adorable blue hippo!


Look at him and his little tail!


He has a huge body and tiny little silver wings.  He also has a shy, sheepish smile on his face. 

And--he's hiding some pink feathers under that big belly!


Unfortunately this area is not painted very well.

He has a single hole on his back:


And a number under his raised tail:


Here's a better look at that little grin:


This hippo, who I'll name Bartholomew, is from the River group.  He's common, but has an ultra-rare pink sibling:


It would be fun if Bartie got a pink sister some day!


Here's my growing Colleggtible collection:

Franklin, Hector and Bartholomew.
At first glance, this next egg seems to have the same color speckles as Bartholomew's egg, but these are a slightly darker blue--more teal, I think:


I'm getting very good at crushing eggs, aren't I?  It's fun.

I had quite a surprise when I started peeling shell away from this egg, though.  Look at this:


This figure is fuzzy:


It's also a flying horse!  Hurrah!  A fuzzy little sea-green pegasus:


I tend to think of all animal figures as male (perhaps because the majority of my own pets are male?) but maybe this one could be female.  She has a nice lilac-pink mane and tail:


Even though she's a flying horse, that sea-green coat and coral-like mane make me think of the ocean.  

I'll name her Ione after one of the Greek sea nymphs.


Ione's eyes have their reflective dots in uncoordinated positions, but it's difficult to see both eyes at once, so this isn't a big deal:


She also has several areas of thin or worn-away flocking on her hooves:


The hole in her head is nicely concealed by the fuzzy, textured mane, though:


It seems special to get a flocked figure, and Ione certainly feels nice and soft in my hand, but the painted details (especially the eyes) are not as crisp and clear on her as they are on the smooth vinyl Colleggtibles:


Ione is in the special Cloud Cove group, so she's a limited edition:


What's funny is that the flying horse in the catalog is definitely not flocked:


I guess maybe all of the limited edition figures are flocked, but perhaps Spin Master didn't decide on this until after the collector's sheet was printed?  Whatever the reason, Ione's coat was definitely a surprise.

Here's the whole group so far:

Bartholomew, Ione, Hector and Franklin.
There's only one egg left now.  Sniff.  It's amazing how little time it took to crack open all of these fun eggs!


Not only does this egg have purple speckles on the outside, but I think there's a purple figure on the inside...


...yep, it's purple!


And there's a huge blue eye peeking endearingly out at me:


It's a winged whale!


Although to me, his wings look a lot like ears--or even extra fins:


I think I'll name this guy Wellington.

Wellington has a little tail with curled fins:


And he has a white belly that's clearly made from a separate piece of vinyl:


This is the only animal in my group who does not have a feathery chest.


Maybe the tufts on the top of Wellington's head are meant to be feathers?  Still, when I look through the catalog, he's the only animal who appears to be missing the patch of belly feathers.

I really love the level of personality that Spin Master has managed to pack into the tiny smiles on these figures:


It took me a while to figure out which group Wellington is from.  At first, I thought he was the whale from Polar Paradise:

That's the same mold...
These dolphins from the (small) Ocean group fooled me for a moment, too...


But I finally found Wellie in the Lilac Lake group:


He's in the rare category, which seems fitting for an ocean mammal found in a purple lake.


Call me a biology nerd, but Spin Master could have gone with Lilac Lagoon here and kept the the poor whale in a more appropriate habitat.

So...that's the end of the fun!  Here's a group shot with all my new friends:

Wellington, Bartholomew, Ione, Franklin and Hector.
Before I end the review, a little tangent: I wonder if anyone can explain to me why "Hatchimal" was auto-corrected to "hatcnhimal" every single time I typed it?  I mean, I understand the auto correct on Colleggtible, but this makes no sense.  Is that even a word?  I looked up the definition of "hatcnhimal" and Google just asked me if I meant "Hatchimal."  Yes!  Yes I did mean Hatchimal!  Please tell that to Blogger's auto-correct.  Sigh.


Bottom line?  I have to say, these Colleggtibles are more entertaining than I thought they would be.  I still cringe a little at the deluge of heavily-packaged small toys that are taking over stores these days, but have to admit that this is one of the more enticing options.  The egg feature is unique and well-designed, and it forces a delay in gratification that draws out the excitement of the toy.  I can picture little kids carrying these eggs around the house in loving hands, reveling in the anticipation of the moment when their baby animal will hatch. 

Unlike the regular Hatchimals, the Colleggtibles are not creative combinations of animal species, they are just regular animals.  However, they are distinct from other animal figures in that each of them has a pair of silver wings and a patch (or tuft) of feathers somewhere on their bodies.  I think the wings look fantastic on some of the animals (like Franklin and Bartholomew) and a little silly on others (ahem, Wellington).

I'm delighted to have gotten an example of a flocked limited edition figure, but have to say that the precision and clarity in the details on my Ione are not as impressive as they are on the plain vinyl animals.  Of all the Colleggtibles I opened today, Bartholomew the happy hippo is my easy favorite.  I think the charm of his grin and the absurdity of his tiny wings exemplify the appeal of Spin Master's newest sensation:

11 comments:

  1. Great review! I think the hard, spiked egg bottom is supposed to be a display stand? That's what My Froggy Stuff's review said anyways.

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  2. the packaging says to dispose of the egg but we kept them because they make for cute displays. I noticed most, not all, but most of the eggs have a code on them that matches the code printed on the animal, which must be how they know there's no duplicates. One the code didn't match but the rest all did. Curious.
    I also found the egg wouldn't hatch unless you warmed it up, it must be some sort of thermo plastic and none of mine broke along that seam either, the seam must just be manufacturing.

    Wierd that some have holes and others don't. I thought maybe they were supposed to be threaded onto a necklace or string or something? but not all of them have the hole so uh...

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  3. Maybe the flocked figurines aren't flocked in the catalogue because of the lack of crispness of the details cause by the flock? With the pictures being small as it is, I can imagine how hard to see the eyes could be if they were painted on a fuzzy surface.

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  4. Hi Emily! If you have a few hours to kill, Chad Alan on Youtube did a few live openings of these little guys, he has almost all of them. Each group has its own colour of freckles and all the limited edition ones are fuzzy. The Polar ones are translucent, I think they have white speckles on the shell. All the other groups are regular opaque plastic.

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  5. What you discovered with the big Hatchimal is what many, many, maaaaany others did: The novelty wears off extremely fast. I have several friends who managed to get them for Christmas (all at inflated prices), and all of them reported afterward that the entertainment value wasn't worth the shelf price since their kids were done with them soon after they hatched. The entire allure of them is not knowing which one you'll get, only, unlike the littles, you aren't going to have several to play with together. My daughter desperately wanted one, and admitted it's because her friends all wanted them too. It's a case of peer pressure creating demand for a toy that I actually predicted would bore kids as soon as the novelty part (the hatching) was done.

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  6. Also I join you in cringing at the packaging involved with all the blind bags. I do appreciate the ones that minimize it. The Two-zies do a great job of that. I think the LOL dolls get the biggest bang for the buck and waste though, with several surprises rolled into one. I mentioned before that, thanks to your reviews, I became a fan. Whenever I see them, I grab couple, one for me, one for my daughter. Right now, two are waiting in my sewing room to be opened. :D

    You're so bad for my bank account. :)

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  7. Fun review, as always!:) By the way, Emily, check out the new Equestria Girls dolls! They are really an improvement. They've got real legs and improved articulation. My friend has the Friendship Games Rainbow Dash and she's much better than the one you got. Thank you for your fun reviews!

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  8. Wow I would have eaten the hatchanimals up as a child! They remind me of a toy I had as a child called, WuvLuvs (mainly because there are eggs and surprises). The gist of WuvLuvs was that you got a big mom (kind of look like furbies but I always thought they were much cuter) and she had a pouch with an egg inside! You could get twins, but the only one I ever had was just a single. The mom was an electronic and could eat a plastic flower that came with her, and she would make chewing noises. The mom and the baby had antennae and if I'm remembering right, they lit up if the mom and baby touched noses or something.

    I don't know how much the WuvLuvs cost or anything, but as a child I only wanted the one I had. They also sold some babies separately, without an egg or a surprise, and I got one of those. I was perfectly happy with the three of them and toted than around. Even my mom thought they were sweet.

    Sorry Emily, that was a bit of a tangent and only barely related to the beginning of the article but I got nostalgic. Great review, can't want to see more of the L.O.L.s!

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  9. Hi, Emily!

    This was a funny review, they are cute.

    I see the Twozies series 1 are super cheap now (6 babies + 6 pets for 3$):
    https://www.amazon.com/Twozies-57003-Two-Gether-Pack/dp/B01CI31MWG?SubscriptionId=0ENGV10E9K9QDNSJ5C82&tag=hewearto-20

    Have a great day!

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  10. Sooooo cute! I saw the little ones in my Target the other day, but didn't bother with them. Thank you for the review, I may pick up a few for future gift ideas. The results are adorable (and non-intrusive like the original large ones).
    ~Xyra

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  11. Thanks for the review Emily. These are super cute.

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