A previous version of this article incorrectly attributed a quote and YouTube video to Sarah Galego. The story has been updated to show that it was not, in fact, Galego who was quoted about Hatchimals. Global News regrets and apologizes for the error.
They were one of 2016’s most coveted toys, Hatchimals. But some parents may be listening more closely to the sounds emanating from their child’s Hatchimal after several YouTube videos surfaced that appear to show the toy blurting out – what some people are saying sounds like – swear words.
There are also reports of what some Hatchimal owners say are more x-rated noises.
“I don’t expect everyone to hear it as clearly as I do,” a YouTube user named MyJourney2Onederland said in a video uploaded Wednesday. “But when you’re here in person its obvious. Not to mention when its hatching it says that phrase at least 100 times.”
“I’m pretty sure it says ‘f— me,'” Nick Galego told CTV Vancouver. The family later uploaded a YouTube video capturing the alleged swearing. While the first word is not entirely clear, the Hatchimal clearly says “me” immediately following what sounds like a big sigh.
Each Hatchimal comes inside an egg-shaped capsule that is supposed to be rubbed and patted for anywhere between 10 and 40 minutes before the toy gradually begins to hatch. The toy inside responds to tapping gestures by tapping back with its beak while making a variety of noises.
Once the Hatchimal hatches, kids can feed the creature and teach it how to walk and talk. As the weeks go on, the Hatchimal will grow from a child to an adult, at which point it’s able to have more sophisticated interactions.
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In a statement to Global News, Spin Master – the Canadian company that produces the popular toy – said Hatchimals speaks their own language and denied claims that the toy curses.
“Hatchimals communicate by speaking their own unique language, which is made of up of random sounds, and by making other noises, including shivering when they’re cold and snoring while they sleep,” said spokesperson Anne Yourt.
“We can assure consumers that Hatchimals do not curse, nor do they use foul language.”
However, it’s important to point out that one way Hatchimals learn is by users talking and interacting with them. There is a function that allows the Hatchimal to repeat the last thing you’ve said, however, you have to physically hold the button on the toy’s belly down in order for it to remember.
According to Spin Master, the Hatchimal will remember the last thing you’ve recorded and repeat it randomly while playing.
Several Hatchimal owners, including the YouTube user, also allege that the sounds the toy makes while hatching are “sexual” and “inappropriate.”
“My grandson got this Hatchimal for Christmas! We set it aside but then heard it make these obscene noises! We all looked at each other in astonishment!! What is your take on it,” reads the caption of this YouTube video.
The controversy comes amid customer service woes for Spin Master, which has been grappling with customer reports of defective Hatchimals.
Since Christmas morning, reports of defective Hatchimals have flooded social media, with dozens of comments popping up on Spin Master’s Facebook page.
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In a statement to Global News, Spin Master said they have added extra resources to help customers in the wake of a spike in calls.
“We are committed to doing everything possible to resolve any consumer issues. We sincerely apologize and thank everyone who is experiencing an issue for their patience.”