Saturday, March 24, 2007
Webkinz: Why the Craze?
I'm not ever really sure what creates a craze for a new product, but I am sure that there is a craze right now for the Webkinz by Ganz!
I've been a retailer for over 10 years now, which means I hit the tail end of the Beanie Baby craze. This isn't as crazy as that (yet) but my store just started carrying Webkinz, and already our phone is ringing off the hook for them!
So, the question is...why? Well, Webkinz is the first plush toy with their own online world to hit it big. There are others (Neopets) and there will be more hitting the market (Ty Girlz, Shining Stars) but Webkinz is the must have interactive plush toy for kids of all ages (and some adults who never grew up!).
After a bit of a slow start for the web site (Webkinz have acutally been available for nearly 2 years!) the interactive Webkinz site is now tons of fun. Kids can dress their Webkinz pet, decorate its house, play games, earn Kinz Cash, chat (safely) with their friends, and do all sorts of other very addictive, fun things. The ONLY way to get to play on the Webkinz site is to have a Webkinz plush with its secret online code. When you buy a Webkinz, you get to play, free, on the site with your pet for a full year.
SO....kids love the site, and to have a particular animal they want to play with online, they have to find the corresponding plush. You would think this would be easy, but it's not! Due to Webkinz catching on slowly, retailers and the manufacturer, Ganz, were hit by surprise when Wenkinz finally caught on this year. SO, the manufacturer is short on product to deliver, and many retailers are either sold out or cannot get product.
Add the fact that many of the early retired pets and current hard to get ones sell for outrageous prices on eBay, and you have, well, a craze!
Let's just say I'm glad to be a Webkinz dealer!