Zhu Zhu Pets: Top Toy For Your Christmas Stocking

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2009-12-1514

I’ve been looking around for deals this Christmas and while I’ve window shopped quite a bit, I’ve also done some digging around the internet to see what kind of deals are out there. The internet actually yields a lot of sales throughout the year, but some of its biggest sales come right during the holidays, as you’d expect.

Zhu Zhu Pets: Top Toy For The 2009 Christmas Season

I’m sure you’ve heard of this year’s holiday hit toy, which is this thing called the Zhu Zhu pet. It’s turning out to be the must-have toy this year, much like Tickle Me Elmo or the Cabbage Patch Kids were, in years past. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of these electronic hamsters; I’ve often wondered what it took for something to take off and become a full blown fad.

So what’s so special about the Zhu Zhu pet?

They originally were selling for $9.99 each, but lately I’ve been seeing them for up to $40 on eBay and $26.55 on Amazon. They’re a type of electronic friend for our kids — and maybe even for you and me if you’re the type who likes toys. Powered by batteries, the Zhu Zhu pet scoots around a track that’s a little like a Habitrail, drives a miniature hamster sports car, and spins in a wheel just like a real hamster.

zhu zhu pet

But here’s one of their selling points: they have a bit of artificial intelligence to them. As the commercial jingle goes, they’re real without the mess. Their artificial intelligence helps them understand which room of their little hamster habitat they’re in, and they make appropriate sounds. For example, when they’re in the bathroom, they make sounds as if they’re flushing the toilet or brushing their teeth. While in the bedroom, they make alarm-clock sounds and sleeping sounds.

You know what they remind me of? Remember those “virtual pets” that were around some years ago? Way back when, I was swept into a similar type of toy craze. Out of curiosity, I got myself one of those “Tomagotchi” pets. They were interesting for all of a few days, then the novelty wore off. I gather if you like collecting interesting toys or want to be a part of the latest toy fad, then the Zhu Zhu pet will fill the bill in the same way.

Zhu Zhu Pets and Health Questions

So who manufactures these electronic pets? It’s Cepia, a toy startup based in St. Louis. The Zhu Zhu pet is actually based on CEO Russell Hornby’s own pet hamster.

You may also have heard that there have been some concerns about these toys. GoodGuide.com, which analyzes the health impact of consumer products, says that the Zhu Zhu pets have unhealthy levels of anitomy, a toxic metal that can lead to cancer, among other conditions, if ingested in high levels. And whose kid doesn’t put toys in his or her mouth? But the company says that the Zhu Zhu pets have passed tough tests and are perfectly safe for kids to play with. Let the buyer beware.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

If the Zhu Zhu Pet doesn’t light your fire, rest assured you’ll find plenty of other Christmas deals out there trying to get your attention. If you’re still cramming for last minute gift ideas, you can check out these deal sites that could help you save money this Christmas.

Discount gift cards can also save you a Christmas fortune, and allow you to stuff your stocking just a little bit more. Try Restaurant.com for gifts to give to your foodie friends — you can even send an email gift certificate, avoiding any shipping and handling charges. Meanwhile, over at CityDeals.com, you’ll find discount gift cards for Christmas deals from 10 to 50 percent off a multitude of gifts including movie tickets, trips to health and beauty spas, and consumer goods at chains such as Best Buy or Barnes and Noble.

For more savings, you can also visit Ebates.com as a terrific way to save money during the holidays. Check out our Ebates review to learn more about this online retail site.

Copyright © 2009 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Goran Web Design December 15, 2009 at 5:33 am

They kind of remind of of those Furbies that were doing the rounds ten years or so ago. They didn’t have cars or hamster wheels though, which means this time round toy manufacturers are cashing in on all the other little accessories and bits and bobs too.

Roger December 15, 2009 at 9:11 am

Hunh! I’ve been considering buying a Zhu Zhu Pet for my fiancee for Christmas (her nickname is Hamster, at least when I’m trying to tease her), but they’ve been sold out just about everywhere around here. It really does seem to the top toy for this Christmas season, for whatever reason…

Joel December 15, 2009 at 9:53 am

I’m not sure about the Zhu Zhu, but those Restaurant.com coupons are a godsend. You have to be smart when you use them (i.e., don’t think, “Hey, I’m saving money, I can buy two entrees!”). But they can save you a lot of money, and sometimes they have specials where a $25 coupon costs $3. A great way to save and still go out.

John DeFlumeri Jr December 15, 2009 at 11:29 am

Thanks for the product reviews and the good gift ideas, especially restaurant.com

John DeFlumeri Jr

Silicon Valley Blogger December 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

The thing about Restaurant.com is that you’d have to check if the restaurants you frequent are on their list. Also, you are required to fork out a bit of money to avail of the coupon. It functions more like a buy one, take one type of deal. If you are interested in Restaurant.com, do check out my coverage on restaurant discounts. I cover their offers in that article.

Manshu December 15, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Fake hamster is in a bubble 🙂 LOL

Debt Kid December 16, 2009 at 1:15 am

My little brother and I once got up at like 3am to wait in line to buy….

Furby’s. Yep, remember those? Every year the media seems to latch onto the one hot toy (remember Elmo?). It’s kind of crazy.

But, I dunno…these guys are kinda cute.

John December 17, 2009 at 11:18 pm

wow, never seen most of those! nice

Jed Deejee December 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm

how cute those toys are…I saw some others but this one is really something…

ZhuzhupetsFan January 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

New Zhu Zhu Pets were released, thus driving the price of existing toys and accessories down.

Web Design February 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Hm, these look interesting… Saw them at Amazon, and they do look awfully cute!

WPBonds March 12, 2010 at 5:09 am

As cool as those things are, I don’t think I would get them just because of the question of toxins that was brought up and never really resolved, in my mind at least.

Bird Toys August 22, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Looks like there will be a knock of of these for this Christmas. I’ve already seen them advertised but can’t recall the name, something like Fur Real Friends I think.

BestToysReport November 21, 2010 at 1:45 am

New Zhu Zhu Pets were released, it’s call zhu zhu pets salon…. and very great hamster toys…

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