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March 30, 2007

Webkinz by Ganz

Friend and colleague Alvaro Arias brought Webkinz to our attention a couple of weeks ago. I immediately went to a local toy boutique to try and find one to no avail. Alvaro's two children are absolutely smitten by the combined visceral + virtual experience offered by their Webkinz. Each adorable plush animal doll comes with a unique code allowing the owner membership into the Webkinz virtual community. Benefits of membership include online interaction with your doll's avatar, which can be guided through games and adventures, and a kind of junior social networking space. A quick search for commentaries revealed that the Webkinz are beginning to suffer from their overwhelming success, Webkinz have been banned from a school in Connecticut, and the Webkinz website is offering reassurances to kids that nothing or no one will be allowed to harm their pet, leading one to believe that either a virus or a malicious user was rumored to be present. That said, the FAQ affirms that Ganz is trying to make the safest envrionment possible. Purchase of a plushy, with prices currently ranging from US 13.00 to US 100.00, includes a one year membership to the online community. CNN and Money magazine will publish an article stating that the Webkinz online site is twice as sticky as YouTube. I need to get in touch with my inner six-year-old and explore the experience. If I can only find the right pet. I'd love to have a Webkinz platypus!

From the FAQ:
How did you come up with the Webkinz world?
GANZ Inc. has loved stuffed animals for a very long time. So we thought, wouldn't it be great to have a place where your stuffed animal came to life so that you could care for it like a real pet? To make the pet more real, we decided it could be happy or sad, healthy or sick, hungry or full. Taking care of your pet matters!
Of course we wanted it to be as fun as possible so we added games and trivia and lots of fun items that we thought Webkinz owners would enjoy working for to purchase for their pet!
Webkinz World will continue to grow and expand so that fans like you can enjoy your pet to the fullest.

When did Webkinz world begin?
Webkinz World began on April 28, 2005. It is getting bigger and better every single day! We've got a huge team of technical wizards, creative writers, awesome artists, and terrific support people who work hard to make Webkinz World wonderful! We hope you're enjoying your time in Webkinz World...you never know what might happen next!

Webkinz commentaries:

Posted by SWEAT at March 30, 2007 09:40 AM