The coveted toys, which retail for $59.99, are interactive pets that hatch and can be raised "from baby to toddler to full-grown Hatchimal," learning to "walk, talk, play games and more," maker Spin Master Corp. said in a press release. As the critters sell out in stores across the country, parents everywhere are scrambling to find them.
"It never occurred to me that I'd have trouble getting rid of them," said Gruen, who ran into listing limits and other barriers while trying to sell the items on eBay and other auction sites.
Gruen ended up listing the items, now available for $189-$219, on Shopify. Buyers also get a free copy of one of Gruen's books.
“I have a fortune invested, only one venue to offload them, and in only three weeks they will magically transform into useless pumpkins that will take up space in my office forever, and have caused my financial ruin," she said, according to the Voice.
But Gruen has gotten some good news in the days since: In a follow-up story published Wednesday, the Voice reported that eBay gave her permission to sell "as many Hatchimals as I want." Another shopping site, Bonanza, followed suit.
"As of this morning, I've sold 40 percent of the critters and given away four to needy kids," Gruen wrote on Facebook early Wednesday.
The bad news: She also has received negative feedback and even death threats, the Voice reported.
"I'm going to put my alarm on for a few nights, but I think it's all online bluster," Gruen told the Voice. "They're blowing off the wrongfully convicted man with the argument that their children 'need' these toys."