A few years ago, there was a Beanie Baby craze that swept the nation. People would display massive collections of these little bears that could be valued at the price of a small car. Collectors scoured websites in hopes of finding that elusive beanie baby to add to a collection. Kids would receive beanie babies as presents only to watch them be placed high on a shelf never to be touched. Some thought the beanie baby crazy would never end.
Along came the Tamagotchis or virtual pets. These things became the latest kids crazy. Parents across the county could be seen with their child’s tamagotchis sitting on the corner of a desk or copy machine at work. Schools quickly banned these virtual pets from coming onto school grounds. Therefore, kids recruited the parents in helping to keep these tiny virtual pets alive.
Fast forward to today and the latest kid craze the webkinz. This is a stuffed animal creature that is a cross between the beanie baby and the tamagotchis. The average cost for a webkinz is $10 to $15. However, with the rising popularity a rise in price is sure to follow. The attractive feature of a webkinz is the code provided at purchase that allows for an identical online pet to be created.
Upon activation of the online code,the user is provided with $2,000 virtual dollars in which to spend on the pet. This includes purchasing pet beds, toys, food and cleaning supplies. Additional money can be earned through obtaining a virtual job, playing online games or taking surveys. The webkinz site insists this is not online gambling as no cash money ever changes hands. As with real pets, these virtual pets get hungry and get sick at times. If left to go hungry or be sick for too long, the pet simply passes away.
There have been arguments over whether or not the webkinz are an educational toy or just the latest kid fad. When parents take an active role in the online pet care with a child, the educational benefits are endless. Here a child will learn about all that goes into caring for a pet in the real world.