An 'F-word' problem: Hatchimal owners say the toy is swearing
The hottest toy of the Christmas season might also be the naughtiest one.
A mother and father in B.C. claim their child's new Hatchimal toy is spouting swear words, amid an otherwise unintelligible stream of gibberish.
"I'm pretty sure it says 'f--- me,'" Nick Galego told CTV Vancouver Island, a few days after his son received a coveted Hatchimal under the Christmas tree.
Galego shared a video of the allegedly foul-beaked toy with CTV Vancouver Island. The first noise the creature makes sounds like a heavy sigh, although it's unclear whether or not it says a word. The second noise sounds like "me."
Sarah Galego says she also heard a swear word from her six-year-old son's beloved new toy.
"If he was a little bit older we might be more offended about it," she said. However, she says the boy loves his toy and does not hear the problematic phrase, so the family won't be returning it.
Hatchimals are small, vaguely bird-like toys that come encased in synthetic eggs. The creatures slowly break out of their eggs when they are held, making noise and emitting light throughout the process. Once removed from their eggs, Hatchimals progress through life stages in which they walk, dance and talk.
Hatchimals primarily speak a gibberish language, but they can also be taught to repeat real words through a record function.
Spin Master, the Canadian-based company that produces the toy, says that they are not loaded up with swear words in their vocabulary.
"Hatchimals speak their own language made up of random sounds," Anne Yourt told CTV Vancouver on behalf of Spin Master, in response to a video of the Galego family's toy. "We can assure you that the Hatchimal is not saying anything inappropriate. The one in the video appears to be sleeping."
Several videos have been posted online in which the toys appear to have learned curse words from their owners. However, some of the "swearing" sounds like it may have been edited into the video from the TV show "South Park."
Other videos claim that the creatures are cursing on their own.
The swearing reports come amid a wave of complaints that some of the toys have stopped working altogether.
Spin Master posted a message on its Facebook page on Christmas Day, addressing the issues with its product. "We are sorry to hear that some of you are having challenges with your Hatchimals," the company said. Spin Master included text and video instructions with the post, to help parents make sure they have activated their toys properly.
Hatchimals were the hottest toys of the holiday season this year, with most shipments of the creatures selling out in minutes at various retailers throughout North America and the U.K. Online secondary retail sites were selling the toys for up to six times their suggested retail price of approximately $60.
Spin Master said earlier this month that it was producing the toys as fast as possible in order to meet demand.
With files from CTV Vancouver Island