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Hatchimals hottest in Christmas toy hunt

AAP logoAAP 26/11/2016 Stuart Condie

If you're aiming to get your hands on this year's must-have toy in time for Christmas, you may have left it too late.

A year after Star Wars and Frozen dominated the want lists landed with Santa, the sleeper hit this Yuletide is the Hatchimal.

The toy - the theoretical offspring of a union between a Furby and a Tamagotchi that hatches from an egg - is out of stock at retailers across the country, with fresh supplies selling out as soon as they hit the shelves.

"Every single year, there's one gift comes from nowhere - and this year it's the Hatchimal," eBay Trend Watcher Megan English said.

"They're coming onto eBay in small batches and selling out in two to three hours."

Hatchimals that had been available for about $100 at the likes of Kmart and Toys 'R' Us are selling on auction sites for twice that as parents get desperate despite the big day still being four weeks away.

The Hatchimal is essentially a plush bird that responds to stimulus from its 'owner', who cares for it as it hatches, learns and ages.

"It's like a Furby inside a Kinder Surprise," Ms English said.

"Kids are really attracted to it."

The biggest seller, though, is something a bit more predictable, with eBay expecting Australia-based shoppers to purchase a Pokemon-related item every 16 seconds.

"They're plush toys, wearables and also new Pokemon games," Ms English said.

"I don't know if that's for kids or parents who were into it first time around and this seems like a good excuse to get back into it."

Star Wars is next, with a sale every 33 seconds as Lego and the Rogue One movie - due out in Australia on December 15 - help continue the buzz from last year's The Force Awakens.

The theme of nostalgia runs through much of this year's list of the most popular toys, with Star Wars, scooters, board games and even - thanks solely to the continued popularity of all things Harry Potter - a book all in demand.

"It's been a really hard year, there have been decisions around the world that have caused some angst and maybe for people this feels like a return to simpler times - like 'oh, i was into Lego when I was a kid, or Pokemon or Nintendo'," Ms English said.

"There's this huge sense of nostalgia sitting below the gifts that are trending, unlike last year when I was looking at the list and thinking it was so far removed from anything I played with."

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