It's Friday, and Retail Therapy is back to bring you weekly updates on the craziest, funniest, and most ridiculous retail news of 2017. Last year included a Cheetos' luxury fashion line and Supreme's $30 bricks, and we're sure the new year will bring even more oddities.
Let's start with this week: In the aftermath of the holiday season, some retailers are feeling very merry, while others... well, maybe not so much. Fast-selling products like Hatchimals and Amazon's Echo Dot both found controversy for making some unseemly remarks.
This, and more, in this week's Retail Therapy.
Hot holiday toy hatches profanity problem
Hatchimals — the creepy toy pets that recall the '90s Furby craze — were arguably this season’s hottest must-have kid’s toy. Parents ripped their hair out (metaphorically, we hope) looking for the sold-out product in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Some even shelled out $200 on eBay and Craigslist for the toy, which typically retails between $50-60. (One over-optimistic seller even tried to auction the coveted item for $100,000.)
Yet the “lucky” customers who managed to get their hands on the furry creatures may not have been so satisfied after their children opened the toy. Many angry consumers took to Twitter to rant about “dud” plastic eggs that didn’t hatch.
Perhaps even worse, other customers complained that the toy spewed profanities. Some captured videos of the toy saying what they interpret to be “F--- me” and posted them to YouTube to complain. Perhaps it was saying “hug me”?
Hatchanimals don’t actually speak English, according to a spokesperson for the toy’s parent company Spin Master told CNN Money. “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,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement, assuring consumers that “Hatchimals do not curse, nor do they use foul language." Well, I guess that’s up to the parents to decide.
Alexa fulfills 6 year old’s 4 pound cookie order
A 6-year-old Dallas girl used her mother’s new Christmas present, an Echo Dot, to “accidentally” order four pounds of cookies and a $170 doll house. The little girl claims she didn’t place the order, according to Geekwire, but we all know how the blame game goes.
The family has reportedly been devouring the delicious cookies but is looking for a charity to which to donate the dollhouse. As Amazon continues to deploy the “smart” assistant in hotels and cars, it seems the technology may need a quick parental restriction update.
And not to be outdone by cussing Hatchimals, Amazon's Dot recently spewed some NSFW language of its own after misunderstanding a toddler speaking to the device. Alexa asked the boy if he wanted to hear a station related to “porn detection.” The parents, of course, screamed “No!” Here's the video:
Trump-masked men duke it out at Lowe’s
Ah, New Year’s Eve, a day that you can always count on to bring drunken shenanigans. This year, a particularly odd spectacle took place inside a Lowe’s store in Richmond, VA in the middle of the afternoon. Two men wearing Donald Trump mask and boxing gloves began fighting while yelling “Donald Trump! Donald Trump!,” according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
Witness Michael Willis, who called the police and personally reprimanded the “pranksters,” described the scene to the newspaper: "And then one of them fell and knocked some stuff down in the aisles, and the other one jumped on him, started hitting him in the face. I mean, these people, they were hitting. If they was acting, they was doing a good job on it."
No arrests were made but people are still scratching their heads at the bizarre episode.
Gap accepts return 17 years later
Talk about having the best return policy ever. A U.S. Gap store associate took a photo of a returned collared shirt and plaid vest and posted it to Reddit with the message: “Who on earth accepted this as a return?!?!?! This item is from the summer of 2000! That was almost 17 years ago!”
The official return policy at Gap is 45 days.