Zhu Zhu Pets
As part of my extensive research program I checked out Amazon's "Bestsellers" list in the toys and games category. At the moment, no fewer than six out of the top ten slots are occupied by Zhu Zhu pets, either the "pets" themselves or the accessories which go with them.
Zhu Zhu pets are a gang of five motorized hamsters which interact with the children and also with each other. They can be used in two main modes - "loving" where the kids pet them and they make cute little noises, or "exploring" when they run around, either on the floor or in their "hamster habitats".
Each of the five hamsters - Mr. Squiggles, Num Nums, Chunk, Pipsqueak and Patches - has its own "personality". Basically they make different noises when they are stroked and prodded - but there is a little blurb that goes with each hamster in its box.
The hamster habitats consist of a bunch of tubes and tracks, quite similar to what real hamsters would use actually, and different toys. Apart from actually playing with the hamsters, children seem to love disassembling the play sets, redesigning them and putting them back together in a different configuration. There are a number of different accessories available, so the different combinations on offer are really quite high. Some of the accessories include:
Add on garage (with car)
Hamster house starter set
Hamster wheel (of course)
Hamster blanket and bed - various colors
Hamster surfboard and sleep dome
Hamster skateboard and u-turn
Hamster carrier and blankets (various colors)
Hamster ramp and slide
It's probably worth noting that Patches, the fifth hamster, cannot be bought individually. She is included as part of the hamster house starter set.
Anyway, as you can see, there are plenty of accessories available for the kids to play with and put together in a variety of different arrangements. The combination of the small, cute and furry little interactive hamsters and the re-jiggable hamster environments and toys seems to be making these very appealing to children in the four to ten year old age bracket.
They are currently selling like hot cakes and I think that Zhu Zhu pets will be a big hit during the festive gift giving bonanza. If you're an Amazon affiliate then start planning your ad campaign now. On the other hand, if you're looking to buy one for one of your kids, then make sure to get your order in well before Christmas or you might be disappointed.
Zhu Zhu Pets - Winkie
Amazon Price: $10.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 6, 2016)