My three year old daughter, OG, likes all things small and cute. She enjoyed playing with mini Hatchimals with her cousin. Of course, when she saw them in the toy aisle she wanted them immediately. Three feet down the aisle, she wanted similar toys.
If you’re new to Hatchimals, so am I. I knew about the $50 Hatchimals, a big thing Christmases ago. The original ones are interactive animal toys that come packaged in a large egg. When your kid starts the process, the animal breaks out of the egg, The animal learns to talk (I think) as well as play games.
More recently the Hatchimal people have expanded their markets to normal sized eggs with tiny critters inside. My daughter was interested in these mini-versions, called CollEGGtables. (It hurts me just to write that) No electronics. You break the egg yourself and get a small plastic animal. For 10 to 12 bucks, you get 5 plastic animals. That comes to $2 to $2.50 per tiny little animal. (One of them doesn’t even have a shell) At any rate, the shell is destroyed in the process anyway.
Those marketing people are brilliant. The fun part, I’m told, is the mystery of finding what’s inside. The egg is thrown away afterwards. I felt like I could create a better experience for a much lower price.
My wife discovered cute rubber animal erasers in the local “5 Below.” 25 animals for five bucks. They also had a box of 25 food erasers. (My mind calculated 20 cents each) If the fun was opening an egg and finding out what critter you got, I felt like I could create an even better experience.
The animals are quite cute and made of squishy eraser rubber. A box of plastic Easter eggs were available in the basement, just waiting for me. I prepared 25 eggs with an animal eraser and a little rubber “snack.”
I wanted to add some value, so I made my own trading cards to go with them. I googled “kids trading cards” until I found one that looked happy and fun. I photoshopped new words and images to match deleted the images and words and replaced them with my own.
OG is learning her letter sounds, so I named each animal to match their species, like “Katy Kangaroo,” and “Ming the Monkey.” I put the letter in the upper left hand corner and I colored animal clipart to somewhat match the critters in the eggs. I called my home-brewed toys “Yolkies,” and put a little brand logo at the bottom. The result is something like this:
“Yolkies” were a big hit for Christmas. I brought an egg carton to our family Christmas celebration and gave one to each of my younger nieces and nephews. I shared them as prizes at the next Sunday School. My girl didn’t need 25 of them for Christmas. I gave out the trading card after they opened the egg, so as not to ruin the surprise. Besides, I didn’t remember which animal was in which egg.
One of my family members said I should sell these guys on Etsy, but I’m not sure what copyright laws might be violated, and we’re going back to Ukraine in two weeks.
Cost for Yolkies Project:
$10 50 for rubber eraser toys.
$3 to print trading cards at local print shop
$0 Recycled Easter eggs
$13 Total Investment
Admittedly I paid a dollar more for my 25 eggs than if I would have bought real Hatchimals at Meijer. But it was 50 toys instead of 4. The added benefit of Yolkies is that OG has a container to keep her toys in, when we go for a drive.