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February 20, 2007

WEBKINZ

You may not know about Webkinz, but you should, because fairly soon Webkinz will, at the current rate of expansion, take over the planet.

Webkinz is a Toy Concept consisting of two elements:

Element One: A cute little stuffed animal that you buy in a store if you can find one, which you can't, because they're always sold out everywhere, but you better get one because otherwise your child will believe he or she is the only non-Webkinz-owning child in the world and you will feel like parental scum.

Element Two: This Internet site, where your child goes to register using the secret code that came with the stuffed animal that you cannot get anywhere because they are sold out. Once your child registers, he or she will see a little on-screen stuffed animal just like the one he or she has at home. Your child must then feed and care for the online version, or it will get tired and hungry and cranky and develop online intestinal parasites. Your child can also play games to earn "Webkinz dollars" to buy things for the online pet, and exchange messages and gifts with other online friends whose parents got them Webkinz. The result is that your child will want to spend roughly 1,000 hours per day on the Webkinz site.

I know this because my daughter has a Webkinz pet, a bear named Cookie. My wife bought it. She got in on this thing early -- weeks ago -- and  now we feel like people who bought Microsoft stock for 3 cents a share, because she paid only $12 at a local store and now you pretty much can't find a Webkinz pet except on eBay. Just this morning, when we dropped our daughter off at school, I was talking to one of her classmates' moms, who told me she had been everywhere, trying to find a Webkinz pet for her daughter, but no luck. She had a desperate look, like an addict who needs crack, except of course here in South Florida crack is widely available, and also probably less addictive than Webkinz.

Anyway, I bring this up because according to this report, a school has decided to ban Webkinz. It's only a matter of time before Congress steps in and holds hearings. I am for this, because the whole thing scares me a little bit. I want to know who's behind it.

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"here in South Florida crack is wifely available"

*snork*

wifely available???

Mrs. Blog??

here in South Florida crack is wifely available
Does Michelle know about this??

Will the Webkinz talk to the Furby? And how does Tickle-Me-Elmo fit into the party?

^5 Tammy!!!

I'm soooooooo glad my girls are older and I won't have to worry about this...been there done that.

People, people, it was a typo.

My daughter also has a Furby. I hate that thing.

Wooo hooo!back to back simuls! Chris (psychic one) and with the Blog!

I barely made it out of the Furby frenzy...thank GOD!

Dave, as a scientist, I convinced my (8 at the time) daughter that we should see what happened to the Furby if we put it on the ceiling fan, and then turned the fan on 'high'. Turns out that the Furby takes flight (which is really cool to an 8-y-o) and smashes into a wall (wich is really cool to a parent). I wish I had video...

Mine had those little "pet" babies or animals that you had to feed and take care of also...which almost always died cuz they (my girls) wouldn't feed or take care of them (the pets). I don't think I'm having any grandchildren.

I have no children... but my dog collects annoying toys that squeak. Almost as bad, but there is no "must have" toy for the season, and when she (the dog) or it (the annoying toy in question) start to get on my last nerve, one of the two can be locked up without me being called a bad mommy.

(I once set a furby on fire)

Dave talked to me! *faints*

*awakens to get rid of dog toy that sounds suspiciously like a flatulent duck*

From the site:
Many people have been writing in, asking about a rumor that is going around. The rumor is about something in Webkinz World hurting Webkinz pets. The most important thing to know is that this rumor is not true at all. Nothing in Webkinz World would ever hurt your Webkinz pets.

The rumor:
a webkinz rumor about mrs. birdie and dr.quack killing the webkinz i really dont know what to beleieve alot of people say its true alot say its not i have 2 webkinz and i really dont want anything to happen to tehm if there really is a killer please help me!

please help me!

I've never heard of this Webkinz. Since I don't have any children, do I still have to buy one?

typo? Yea ... right.

MRS. BLOG!

*is glad his F2 is in Ireland and doesn't know about these things. though Disney princesses have taken over the world*

you know i've been melancholy lately about my situation in life, the fact that i'm getting old - i've been keenly aware of how grown-up my kids are and have been stewing about the upcoming empty nest years - (dreading it really) i mean the golden years are over - the years before the kids developed b.o. and rolled thier eyes and made that "tch" sound at you. the years when you could make them squeal with delight by merely offering them an ice cream, or by rolling on the floor with them. i had forgotten that along with all that good stuff comes the electronic toys - (spawn of satan) that talk and sing songs and are so darn cute you just wanna stuff them into the disposal - thanks, dave. feeling a little better now.

Now we know where blurk is. ;)

Pretty Freudian typo if you ask me.

yay for mrs. blog!

That site has the most unique end-user license agreement I've eve read:

"As used in this User Agreement, "you" and "your" refers to the user of this Site. And if you are under the age of majority, "you" and "your" refers to your parents or legal guardian. "We" and "us" refers to Gantz."

How old must one be to still be considered under the age of majority?

I can't believe that Houston could be ahead of Miami in a trend, but these were all the rage before Christmas here.

Actually, I'm very glad my 7 year old daughter doesn't read this blog, but she's forgotten about the ones that she got for Christmas.

Hey, I had no choice. Money's been a little tight since Dave stopped writing that funny column and Sophie's Webkinz dollars don't go very far in the real world...figured the crack would be a good little side business, and as a sportswriter who regularly comes in contact with pro athletes, I have a built-in clientele!

Those just look intolerable. Jesus.

My kids have been into this for over a year (Who knew they were trendsetters?).

They are full-blown addicts. My son is horrified that they are now introducing "limited edition" animals.

It's a GREAT threat... My wife and I can get them to do just about anything with the threat of taking away Webkinz access for a few days.

*snork*

Lucky her.

these look like girly toys. whew!

*waves @ MrsTheBlog*

so basically this is neopets with accessories? While neopets was free and only online, so there were no playground issues. It was only a matter of time, I guess.

I don't have children and have never heard of it either. I am sure though when I have kids the electronic toys at that time will be so annoying that the Webkinz will seem tame.

*snork* @ Michelle (the crack dealer)!

Tales like this make me afraid to ever have children.

Never heard of them, but then, we don't have TV and we force our kids to play with sticks to use their "imagination" and worship a stick named "Tom" and ritually juggle bunnies.

This "online" tie in with children's product is genius, and, needless to say, evil.

My son recently spent a full day playing some incredibly lame online games at a commercial site, I think for cereal or assault weapons or some other children's thingy, when he has a frikken x-box.

So, as a good parent, I stabbed him.

Dave, come up to Jacksonville, FL. There's a bunch of places here that sell Webkinz. And yes, they do take over your kids' lives. The upside to them is I no longer have to fight w/my 10 year old daughter to get her up in the morning b/c she pops right up w/the alarm so she can get on the computer and feed her pet...

Oh, one more interesting thing, Dave: That site gives you 12 months of "free play". Yet it specifically says that if you buy two pets, you *still* only get 12 months of free play. If you decide to renew at the end of this time, you have to pay them an annual fee. They didn't say how much this would be, but I bet it is in the 6 figures.....

Waitamminnit! Is Mrs. Blog insinuating that pro athletes might indulge in illicit substances? I am shocked, shocked, to find out that this is going on in this establishment!
"Your winnings, Capt Renault."
"Thank you"

This will be a good chance to teach your kids about online predators and identity theft, so some good will come out of it, I suppose.

At last, a practical use for computer viruses!

My kids do Neopets, which is tiresome enough. I dread the day that they find out about this phenomenon.

pssst, Michelle ...... is the, um, warehouse open today?

Plus, we are afflicted with the dreaded one-computer/two kid syndrome.

kibby's going out now to "invent" online virus's that need to be "fed" from online computers in order to stay online alive and then "sell" them, or "give them away", with requests for $$s coming later in order for the "lucky owner" to retrieve his/her life .... oh, that's already been done.

Doesn't sound much different, does it?

Meanie - Neopets? Never heard of it. But their new "Lost in Space Fungus" game is awfully addictive...or so I've heard. (If only I could beat level 10...)

And I don't have kids.

People are always wondering why I do not want children ever. Now I can point to this as a reason.

Also when I was a kid we begged our parents for a real toy.

*wonders if Michelle stocks the extra-strength gumballs in her warehouse* (just made a medical appointment: by the time I get to the office, I may well have passed away of old age)

*grumblegrumble* when I was a young'un, my brothers and I played with matchbox cars, my little ponies (complete with do-it-yourself punk haircuts), and spit. Oh, and we mustn't forget mud (as in "wet dirt", not as in "stuffin").

TOTALLY OFF TOPIC-

I heard they're putting Anna Nicole's body up for auction on Ebay™. Anyone have info on this???

BOT - TOPICS were:

WebKinz & Mrs. Blog's side biz.

My kids have real pets that need real feeding and other assorted real care. Fish, hermit crabs and dogs. They also have real toys, like a yard and paper and boxes and string.

I bet if you put a Webkinz on the ceiling fan, it would fly pretty well, also. For a few seconds, anyway.

Ato24 - my parents gave us one of those (broken) they bought at a yard sale. I never did recover from the trauma...

The best toy I ever got was my first library card. I was so peeved they only let me check out 10 my first time! My oldest sister took pity on me and added the rest of my stack to her card...
The only downside: in that particular library, Dave's books were on the top shelf, so I didn't discover them until I was a couple-something feet taller.

(I have no right to make fun of addictive online activities when I spend so much time on a certain blog, can't remember which one just now, wait a minute, it'll come to me...)

LOL @ Mrs. Blog!

Hi, Michelle ... so ... how's business?

My daughter has 3 of 'em (she's had them for at least two years). She and her friends "meet up" on the website and play. They actually have some pretty good games for 8 year olds. There are plenty of them for sale around here. Of course, her 13 year old brother, who thinks he's a big gamer, wants to puke whenever she plays it and swears it messes the computer up with Webkins cooties.

I am wondering...if one interacts with a cartoon version of the toy on a web site, what is the purpose of the real toy?

I was known to have begged for...
this and this not to mention < a href="http://www.rolentapress.com/rolenta/collection/nintendo/snes.jpg">this but oddly enough I never begged for this.

$chadeboy.

I smelled a Barry Manilow link...

whewwwww!!!

Nice try, Addicted ;-P

Webkinz hit our happy home right before Christmas. I hate the little b@stards - for weeks all I heard was: "Can I go online and feed my webkinz?" I have made it very clear to my girls that after the 12 free months are done with, they are paying any fees out of their allowances. The games are so moronic that my husband went out and bought my 9 yr. old daughter Zoo Tycoon just to get her off of the site. That was a huge hit - especially since the first exhibit we built had low fences and both the lions escaped and ran all over the zoo. No carnage though, just lots of zookeepers running after them.

Dave, et al - beware of Penguinworld - very stupid website where your kid gets just enough of a taste of what they can do to want to become a member ($$$). Fortunately it is so boring for nonmembers that it died a quick death.

Our answer is board games - lots of them. We are addicted to a great one right now called Ticket to Ride. Great for both adults and kids - highly recommend it, as well as the European version.

Correcto Meanie! You can't get on the website to play with the cyber toy if you don't buy the real toy.

One day Siouxie one day lol

Now to Mrs. Blog huge Snork 8^)

transformers? megazords? nintendo? what, are you guys like thirteen?

Who's responsible? If there's a Webkinz squirrel, is there really any question?

When I was growing up, our annoying, noisemaking toys never lived long. Between fireworks and siblings, we did some serious damage. I can't believe even SC has outlawed M-80s and the smaller bottle rockets.

i've got two furbys. they are creepy, but given to me by someone i dearly loved who is no longer with us. so i keep them nearby, but without batteries. :)

Awww, Mud! What a thing to say. I am wayyyy more obnoxious than your average 13 year old. *Hmmph!*

Till the day I die mudstuffin

VERY smart, judi. I've wanted to strangle those little furry creatures myself when other kids had 'em yappin'.

mud, was that a trick question? Mentally, we're no way NEAR 13.

Matt as I understand it M-80s and cherry bombs are a federal ban. Spoil sports.

Trying hard not to make a battery joke at Judi's expense.

I stopped needing toys the day I found my dad's porno mags in his closet. Just played by (with) myself after that.

Special stink-eye 'o shame goes out to any battery-operated toy that turns on to tell you that it's battery is low....in the middle of the night....in a creepy voice....from your kid's closet....
Yes, I'm talking about YOU, Mr. Sing 'n Snore Elmo! No one will hear you in the landfill!

whew! I feel better now.

*evil snork* @ possessed Elmo toy... I should be feeling bad for the traumatized child, but for some reason the laughter gets in the way.

marfie, we got Zoo Tycoon for my (then) five-year-old. She played with it quietly for a couple of hours, and then I started hearing monkeys screaming from her computer. I asked her what on earth was going on, and she said, "Oh, I'm feeding them to the lions. They don't like that. *giggle*" (ISIANMTU)

I cannot imagine where she gets it.

What is it with computers and video games? Back in the glory days of the early 80s, we had good, wholesome, skill building activities. Like shooting BB guns at each other running around in the woods, or making a PVC bottle rocket launcher, and trying to scorch the opposing teams jackets'.

Chemistry sets? Why is it so hard to get a good chemistry set now? There was nothing like making some weird goo that stunk to high heaven.

Annie, maybe this will make you feel better?

y'all misunderstand me. i am completely juvenile myself in many respects, but those toys you mentioned were toys my kids played with just a couple of years ago! (voice of grampa simpson taking over) when i was a kid, the only time my toys would make any sound was when i would bash two rocks together! or wind up toys - used wind 'em up and they'd fall apart - that made a sound i guess.

Do any of the blog's Yankees remember throwing snowballs at trucks while walking home from school?

Trucks? Heck, we threw snowballs at anything that moved - trucks, each other, squirrels, ...

Ahhhhh... entertainment

(hope this makes Dave feel a bit better)

(and no - I did not perpetrate this one. I plead the fifth on any other instances...)

Mark my words - some enterprising kid is going to start a business feeding / caring for / racking up webkinz dollars for other kids' webkinz animals.

It's probably already happened. I think I'll get my son started on some sort of "protection" ring to prevent unfortunate things happening to your webkinz while you sleep.

i once got suspended from school for throwing snowballs at the school bus. rough crowd i ran in.

CH, I'm trying to figure out how to feed the webkinz to the lions.

And not to pee on anyone's parade, because you know I hate that, but how long before some perv hacks the webkinz page and kids are asking their parents why moopsy is doing THAT to the goat?

Back in the good old days, we were shielded from such filth until the bearded kid in 5th grade told us about it...

oooh, that bearded kid in 5th grade,...I remember her

Nurse Tammy - my son slept right thru Creepy-Sleepy Elmo. It woke ME up. The thing was mumbling "I feel great!" in a low, slow voice.

And C'bol - that was NOT a beard - my mom said I just had an active thyroid.

I think I saw the bearded kid on Tropicana the other day, Gadfly... and the years have not been kind to her.

Well, at least I'd rather have my daughter play with Webkins than Bratz dolls! Can't stand them!

How lovely - first the bot hates me, now the bloglits are picking on my facial hair.
Some day I'll rule the world, and you'll rue this day! Oooh, shiny!

I personally prefer a nice brick-red rue. It works well in gumbo.

Annie, according to Dave, you are Queen of the Universe, right??

*not making fun of your hairy armpits mustache thyroid condition*

So, Mrs. Blog, are you saying that Dave, who knows so much about money that he wrote a book (did you know about this?) about it, who is a more prolific writer than, say, Truman Capote (who never had a weekly TV sitcom about him), and who, arguably, has the most intelligent wife possible (with the obvious exception of my own, 'cause she may be reading this), doesn't rake in the Big Bucks? 'Cause I heard that writing books and stuff, plus the commission from all the ads on the blog, pays pretty well. I may have been misinformed.

*waves @ Hammie*

nice bumping into you...keep the gumbo though.

siouxie - weird. i posted that furby comment right after my other one. hours ago.

wowsa, judi. even YOU're getting hijacked by the bot!

*gasp of outrage*
To arms, bloglits! The bot has most foully assaulted the stealth blogette!

*starts collecting acetylene torches to weld bot to railroad tracks*

judi, I meant to ask you...how was the ren fest?? I may go one of these weekends. never been to that one...just the one in viscaya.

*grabs machete & cuban pots and pans*

LISTA!!

Estoy lista y soy lista!

Yes, Siouxie, thanks to you, I have it in writing from the Daveness that I am, indeed, Queen of the Universe. Yea, swarthy, verily, butt still Queen.

artchick, I agree with you 110% - those things are VILE. What sick, twisted (and I mean that in the worst possible way) half-wit came up with that idea, anyway?

"Oh, I know, let's produce a line of scantily clad, heavily face-painted, bad-attitude dolls and market them to little girls!"

I agree. Bratz dolls are just one of the many reasons it is beyond my capabilities to visit what my brother has dubbed "The Pink Aisle" in any toy store. *shudder*

clean, i'm sure it was a man.

I never had a problem with Bratz™. GI Joe (with Kung Fu Grip™) abducted my daughter's Bratz dolls and did exactly what you might expect GI Joe to do. My daughter instantly realized what all boys have on their minds all the time, and we have not experienced any "social problems" caused by imitating the dolls.

LTG, but isn't this just a beanie baby with a cheap computer chip shoved up its butt?

artchick, et al - hate Bratz dolls! I got into a "discussion" with my then 7 yr. old daughter whilst at Target over a Bratz Halloween costume. After trying several convoluted explanations as to why I wouldn't let her dress in a costume that included a shiny black lace-up bodice and mini-skirt, I finally blurted out that I wouldn't allow her to dress like a slut. Try explaining what a "slut" is when you are standing in the middle of the costume aisle at Target with a very confused and indignant little girl. My explanation was lame at best, but I did prevail. And after all that, I'm at the school Halloween parade and there is the PTA President's adorable little kindergartener in the same wretched costume. I managed to stop my daughter just in time from asking the girl why HER mother let her dress like a slut.

*snork* @ marfie

I love seven-year-olds. Mine has now graduated to feeding the guests in her Zoo Tycoon game to the T. rex. Those screams are worse than the lion food monkeys.

The web site creeps me out. Have you ever been in one of those stores in any China Town,in any city that has one? You know the ones where everything is bootleg. The whole Webkinz site looks like those creepy bootleg Bratz and Barbies..yeww.

Wow, CH - her park approval ratings must be waaay down. Mine just added Bigfoot to hers, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it goes on a rampage. (hee, hee, hee, hee...)

The 'bot is on a rampage, BTW.

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