Huge initial appeal, that remained high throughout the month or so that it was play tested. We only had one Hatchimal sample, so rather than our usual home-based play testing, the toy was play tested for a 3-4 week period in a playgroup environment where we could witness the reactions of (the same) 10-30 children on a daily basis during the two hour play sessions. Based on these observations, we figure Hatchimals is probably a Platinum toy, but without the usual home-based feedback to be certain of appeal outside a group environment, we've awarded it a Gold Choice rating. Given the massive appeal of the toy this season, there will certainly be kids asking for it simply because their friends are all talking aobut it. And for some of them, the actual play appeal may be a disappointment. But for kids who love the nurturaing aspect of interactive robotic plush toys, this is ceratinly a winner. The most exciting part by far is the (one-time) hatching. But that's just the beginning, since the hatching is really just a bonus - the hatched critter is basically then at a point where most other interatvive plush toys start, except that your child is no doubt already in love, as the hatching process seems to build an attachment even before the Hatchimal is in your child's arms. A super well-designed toy. Only downside is the hefty price tag - not to mention the unfortunate availability shortage this season.