Storobia Archive

Webkinz

Webkinz is a hit cuddly toy / virtual pet product created by the Ganz company of Canada. Since their release in 2005 their popularity has grown with over one million people having bought and registered the toys.

What Are Webkinz?

Webkinz are a clever combination of traditional soft toy with an online virtual world. Ganz describes them as "lovable plush pets that each come with a unique Secret Code that lets you enter Webkinz World and play with a virtual version of your pet".

The smaller versions of the toys are known as Lil Kinz.

Joining Webkinz World begins with buying a real version of the toy toy. These are cute, plush toys that are available in a variety of designs such as "Love Puppy", "Cheeky Dog" and "Sherbert Bunny". First generation Webkinz pets didn't have the "W" on their paws that identifies newer varieties.

The available range of models on sale changes over time with certain 'Kinz being "retired" every so often and new ones taking their place. When this happens the retired animal become more popular with collectors and it can be expensive to buy a retired toy.

Each toy comes with a unique activation code on a tag label. This code allows you to register your Webkinz and enter the online game. If you plan to buy your Webkinz second hand or from an auction site, remember to ask whether or not the tag code has already been used.

Webkinz World

Owners register their unused tag code on the Ganz Webkinz website where they "adopt" a virtual version of their toy. This is a "virtual pet" with which they can play online.

The owner can, of course, name their pet. It has different levels of hunger, health and happiness that can be affected by play. Webkinz World also allows user to do a variety of other cool things such as buying new toys and clothes for their pet at the online shop and creating custom rooms.

All transactions in the virtual world are carried out using Kinzcash. This can be earned by performing cetain tasks and winning competitions.

Whilst the idea of an online world for toys is great I can't help feeling sorry for the poor real world toy left alone and forgotten at the back of a cupboard...



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