Snowcup and Dashington Zhu Zhu Pets Exclusive

 

Cepia the makers of Zhu Zhu Pets have done it again with what they are calling their “Royalty Collection” of Zhu Zhu Pets. Girls are going to go crazy over this new line which includes a Zhu Zhu Pet Princess Snowcup and her adorable Zhu Zhu Pet Prince Dashington.

In addition to the Royal Zhu Zhu Pets you need a place for them to call home and of course that would be the Zhu Zhu Pets Castle which has lots of fun features that will keep the kids busy for hours. But how do the Royal Zhu Zhu Pets get to their Castle?….or course, in a Zhu Zhu Pets Carriage….what else !!! How cute is that carriage which you can have your Zhu Zhu Prince drive around for the Zhu Zhu Princess.

Of course Prince Dashington can also take Princess Snowcup to the Zhu Zhu Pets Ballroom so they can dance the night away under the stars – How romantic !!!

zhu zhu pets princess outfitsAnd this Royalty Collection would not be complete without a change of outfits.  They created 8 Royal Looks for this collection which include:

  • Princess Ballroom Gown
  • Prince Outfit
  • Guard
  • Footman
  • Dragon
  • Blue Princess
  • Tea Room Princess
  • Princess Maiden

I don’t know about you, but I think this new line of Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters are beyond adorable and I can see these on all the kids Christmas Lists this year for sure.

Toys ‘R’ Us Trims Losses by Making a Hamster Hot

New York Times, By STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM

Long before stockings were hung and Christmas trees twinkled in windows, the chief of Toys “R” Us threw his company’s weight behind an odd bet.

It was early summer, and Gerald L. Storch had a fake hamster on his desk. His buyers, the executives who study and order merchandise, were predicting it would be a holiday hit. Mr. Storch laughed as the rodent scurried around and plopped off a table, then he turned serious: “How big can we make it?”

So big, it turned out, that mothers are now lying in wait in Toys “R” Us parking lots all over the nation, desperately hoping to score fake hamsters for Christmas.

Mr. Storch’s big order for Zhu Zhu Pets was the latest achievement for a man who, in the midst of a recession, has begun to pull off a retailing turnaround. Only five years ago, Toys “R” Us was in grave trouble. Sales had shrunk and the chain had fallen under the shadow of Wal-Mart, the behemoth discounter. Retailing professionals said the beleaguered toy industry was losing ground to flashy electronic gadgets.

When Toys “R” Us was sold, in 2005, for $6.6 billion to two private equity firms and a real estate developer, analysts thought it was only a matter of time before the chain would be carved up and sold.

They were wrong. The toy company’s new owners hired the bespectacled Mr. Storch, a longtime Target executive, to help Toys “R” Us get its sparkle back.

In the last year, Mr. Storch has taken bold steps. He snapped up nearly every well-known specialty toy chain and Web site, including F. A. O Schwarz and KB Toys. As mall retailers went out of business, Mr. Storch opened more than 80 temporary holiday toy shops in their vacant storefronts. He is opening supercenters, with Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores together under one roof. And he kicked off the holiday shopping season earlier than ever, opening his stores at just after midnight on the Friday after Thanksgiving, instead of hours later.

Recently, Mr. Storch stood at the flagship Toys “R” Us store in Manhattan and gazed at a replica of the Empire State Building made of Legos. “While it would be easy to get into a very defensive hunker-down mode during these economic times,” he said, “history has shown that the future rewards companies which are aggressive during economic downturns.”

Toys “R” Us has not gone unscathed in this economy; the chain said in its most recent reporting period that sales declined from last year. Even so, Mr. Storch has managed to make it the last big specialty toy retailer left in the nation, and one whose prospects are looking up.

Where consumers used to shop at KB Toys in malls throughout the country, they are now shopping at Toys “R” Us holiday boutiques. When tourists buy wide-eyed dolls at F. A. O. Schwarz, their dollars go into the coffers of Toys “R” Us. Even a search for the word “toys” on the Internet inevitably leads to a Web site owned by Toys “R” Us: Toys.com, eToys.com, BabyUniverse.com, FAO.com or ePregnancy.com.

Wal-Mart overtook Toys “R” Us as the largest toy seller in the country more than a decade ago. Mr. Storch’s fundamental strategy is not to try to compete by matching Wal-Mart’s prices, a battle he would surely lose. Instead he is trying to outfox Wal-Mart by focusing on service and especially on selection, perceiving the next hot toy trend and locking in big orders before his competitors even see it coming.

“Now our competitors are left competing purely by making price claims,” Mr. Storch said, adding that he would not reinforce “a rush to the cheap.” He pointed out that his competitors could not cut prices on toys they did not have.

Mr. Storch, 53, joined Toys “R” Us after 12 years at Target, where he rose to vice chairman and was widely considered to be one of two contenders for the top job. But in 2005 he abruptly left the company, never giving a reason. Retailing professionals said they think it became clear inside Target that Mr. Storch, known as more of an operations man than someone with a flair for merchandising, was not going to ascend to chief executive.

Four months after leaving Target, Mr. Storch was named chairman and chief executive of Toys “R” Us, where from his early days he held the chain accountable for its poor results and invoked the mantra, “We are not victims.”

Industry veterans praised Mr. Storch for his intelligence (he has a bachelor of arts, a master’s and a law degree from Harvard), and for bringing Toys “R” Us back from the brink. At the same time, Mr. Storch has been described as being obstinate and of not having a particularly warm personality. Industry professionals said he had gone through several senior executives.

At Target, Mr. Storch worked in areas as varied as supply chain operations and financial services, and led the development of the company’s grocery strategy and its Target.com business. “I remember when I was giving a presentation,” said Mr. Storch, “one of the board members saying, ‘Well, we can’t do a Web site at Target because, you know, you have to be specialized in something the way eToys is.’ ”

Today, Toys “R” Us owns eToys. All of the recent acquisitions are meant to differentiate Toys “R” Us from its value-priced rivals, especially the purchase of F. A. O Schwarz, which enabled Toys “R” Us to offer exclusive, high-end toys.

Toys “R” Us posted a loss of $67 million for the three months ended Oct. 31, an improvement over a loss of $104 million last year. The company typically makes large investments in the third quarter to prepare for the holidays. Net sales were $2.7 billion, down from $2.8 billion last year. Sales at United States stores open at least a year declined 9.3 percent year-over-year. Still, Sean McGowan, a toy industry analyst with Needham & Company, said Toys “R” Us had lately gained market share.

“The profitability of the company is better than it’s been in a decade,” he said.

Also, Toys “R” Us, which is owned by the private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital, and a real estate developer, Vornado Realty Trust, refinanced its debt so that no major payments are due for two years. Last month, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the chain’s outlook.

Retailing professionals said Toys “R” Us — which has 849 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores in the United States and more than 700 international stores — will probably file for a public stock offering in the next year or so. Toys “R” Us declined to comment on that.

Buyers at Toys “R” Us were first introduced to fake hamsters, known as Zhu Zhu Pets, almost a year ago, at the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair.

“We saw the potential,” said Lisa Harnisch, a vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Toys “R” Us. Ms. Harnisch and her colleagues knew children adored hamsters — and they sensed that mothers would like fake hamsters that required no care.

By May, Toys “R” Us had partnered with Cepia, the small company that created the hamsters, to do a test run in a few stores in Arizona. Sales were off the charts. “At that point we knew this was going to be really big,” said Ms. Harnisch, adding that Mr. Storch trusted her and her team to find the season’s hottest toys but “at the same time he’s very challenging and he’s very aggressive.”

“From his perspective it was less about that item,” she continued, and more about “how do we make it big for Christmas?”

Toy’s “R” Us spent the summer talking to Cepia about how many fake hamsters could be manufactured and what exclusive variations could be made for Toys “R” Us. In August the chain began placing orders for the holidays. This week, Toys “R” Us promised it would have more than a million Zhu Zhu Pets and accessories available through Christmas eve.

Mr. Storch boasts “vastly more Zhu Zhu inventory than anyone else,” and other people in the toy trade confirm that claim. That buzz is what has mothers camping out in the parking lots of Toys “R” Us.

Zhu Zhu Pets Electronic Hamster – Mr. Squiggles Brown

If I had to pick a favorite Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster, who would it be?   There is not a lot to pick from…the litter is pretty small right now.

It would have to be….the Brown guy….Mr Squiggles.  Why you ask?  Well…he’s got a great name.   Mr Squiggles is like a super awesome name (not sure if that sounds right…I sound like a 7 year old).

The reason why the Zhu Zhu Pets are so popular amongst kids is the fact that zhu zhu pets are not just toy hamsters but they are actually the worlds first interactive plush toy hamster.

Buy Zhu Zhu Hamster Pets online at www.cmdstore.com

Get 15% off Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster

Zhu Zhu Pets are the hottest 2009 toy out-selling everything else in the universe. Get an additional 15% off your purchase when you spend over 20 dollars (before shipping charges) at Cmdstore.com. Simply add the items you want to your shopping cart and then proceed to checkout using the coupon code: cyber15. Then click the apply button and your discount will be given. Coupon expires Monday, 11:59pm on November 30th, 2009 so hurry to take advantage of this limited offer.

Cmdstore Star Wars Logo

CmdStore.com is one of the retailers able to offer the season’s number one hot toy, Zhu Zhu Pets, with every accessory possible still available for sale through the site! Cmdstore has been in business for over 16 years and is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau Inc (BBB).

Here are some other Zhu Zhu Pets articles you might be interested in reading:

Zhu Zhu Robotic hamsters are holidays’ unlikely new craze!

Zhu Zhu Hamster Pets Names!

Zhu Zhu Pets toy hamsters – How to buy and find the pop culture phenomenon toy in stock!

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamsters Invade America

Cyber Monday search for Hot Christmas Toy: Zhu Zhu Pets

The term Cyber Monday refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the U.S. after Thanksgiving Day. Whereas Black Friday is associated with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, “Cyber Monday” symbolizes a busy day for online retailers. The premise was that consumers would return to their offices after the Black Friday weekend, making purchases online that they were not able to make in stores.

Is Cyber Monday really the best single day for online retailers? For us, it ranks #5 however I did some research online and it appears that Cyber Monday average ranking is #10. We actually sell more on the day before Cyber Monday….Sunday. Sunday is the day to go online to buy what you couldn’t find at the stores. I have noticed most online retailers are offering discounts and free shipping for Friday and Saturday only. Have fun shopping online!

Looking for Zhu Zhu Hamster Pets? We have a selection of Zhu Zhu Pets and related merchandise to satisfy your needs. Zhu Zhu Pets are the hottest 2009 toy out-selling everything else on the planet.

No need to be scared of fraud or scams. Cmdstore is a trusted retailer in business for over 16 years. We haveBBB Online Seal of Approval two retail brick and mortar stores and an online store that has been operating since 2001. Cmdstore.com is a proud accredited member of the Better Business Bureau Inc (BBB) so you can always buy with confidence. Please check it out by clicking the BBB banner to view their status.

Zhu Zhu Robotic hamsters are holidays’ unlikely new craze

Found this interesting article….By Mae Anderson, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — When Lori Fowlkes first saw robotic Zhu Zhu Pets toy hamsters in September, she remembers her kids started jumping up and down and saying “Please! Please! Can we buy them?”

Seeing a fully stocked shelf, she decided to hold off until Christmas.

That was “before I knew that the hamsters would soon be off the shelves and more scarce than an H1N1 vaccine,” said Fowlkes, 32.

Now she can’t find them anywhere.

Zhu Zhu Pets, which retail for about $10, are this year’s bona fide must-have toy, following in the footsteps of past crazes for Tickle Me Elmo and Cabbage Patch Kids. On resale Web sites like eBay and Craigslist, they fetch $40 or more. Vital accessories as the hamster car and funhouse are sold separately.

By many counts, the toy is an unlikely hit. They’re in a field crowded with toy pets. The hamsters, which scurry around, make noises and drive cars don’t always work the way you expect and have a limited range of action.

“Honestly, I don’t really get it,” said BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson. “But I don’t need to get it for a toy to be hot.”

The toys do have several factors that make them compelling, Johnson said: fun accessories and scarcity — sometimes when something is hard to obtain it makes people want it more. And they have one big thing going for them in tough economic times: They’re cheap.

“The last couple of years the robotic pet has been very popular, but those have been very expensive,” like Hasbro’s $250 robotic dinosaur Kota the Triceratops, he said. “But here’s a version of a robotic pet that only costs $10.”

Hasbro’s line of lower-priced Furreal Friends robotic animals have not hit the same chord, perhaps because they still cost more, are immobile and don’t have any accessories.

Zhu Zhu Pets, aimed at 3- to 10-year-olds, have rushed in to fill the void. But unlike past “It” toys made by large manufacturers like Mattel’s Tickle Me Elmo and Tiger Electronic’s Furby, Zhu Zhu Pets are made by tiny Cepia Inc. of St. Louis, with just 16 employees in the U.S. and 30 in China, making their success even more unlikely.

CREATION OF A CRAZE

Just six years old, Cepia previously worked on an electronic dispensing device for consumer products before turning to toys and its only other product, a line of light-up bears called Glo-E Bears.

The company was started by toy industry vet Russ Hornsby, 56.

The success of Zhu Zhu Pets wasn’t entirely accidental. After being inspired by classic robotic toys, like the barking puppy dog who flips, Hornsby created a prototype. Stores in Phoenix were used as a test bed in May.

The company got the word out with a savvy mix of local cable ads and parties thrown by “mommy bloggers.”

Hornsby said he was hoping to sell three to four pets per store per week, but was secretly hoping for eight. The result, Hornsby said, was exponentially higher, though he wouldn’t say how much.

“The rate was so astonishing everybody had to go back and pinch themselves,” Hornsby said. Toys R Us pulled all of the test data to make sure it wasn’t being manipulated, Hornsby said.

That gave a running start to Cepia’s national rollout in August.

Ads on cable stations Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney XD have proved to be catnip to kids.

“My daughter saw a commercial for them on Nickelodeon or one of the kid channels and instantly wanted it,” said Tara Purdy Callender, 21. Her daughter’s 6th birthday is on Nov. 25 and “all she wants is Zhu Zhu pets,” lamented Callender, whose search has been fruitless so far.

KEEPING UP WITH DEMAND

For parents, the hamster hunt is intense. A Facebook fan site tracks parent’s search for the toys. Hornsby said he recently got a call at 4 a.m. on his cell phone from a mom asking for hamsters. Calls have also been received at the store’s Chinese base from parents trying to go straight to the source.

“They’re calling because they’re upset and they feel we’re not doing a good enough job getting merchandise on the shelves,” Hornsby said.

But with retailers being extra cautious with orders this year following the dismal holiday season last year, the maker has had to scramble to make enough to catch up to demand.

Toy analyst Jim Silver at Timetoplaymag.com said it was late fall by the time Cepia and retailers realized how popular the toys were, and by that time it was difficult to increase production.

“You can’t just go to China and flip a switch,” he said. But in the past three months, the company has added three more factories in China.

“We’re all working so hard right now to try to fulfill this,” Hornsby said. “Retailers are airlifting in millions of products,” a rare and expensive move for stores.

Even if the product remains impossible to find for the holidays, the craze sets Cepia up for a strong 2010. Hornsby estimates the company will sell $100 million in Zhu Zhu Pets by the end of the year. It’s always hard to tell how long a toy will stay hot, but based on bookings, he says that will grow to $350 million to $400 million by the end of next year as production ramps up.

Financial analyst Johnson agreed 2010 will be big for Zhu Zhu Pets.

“I don’t know what Chinese New Year is coming up, but as far as toys are concerned next year will be the year of the hamster.”

Click Image to Buy Zhu Zhu Pets:

Here is a cool video clip of children playing with Zhu Zhu Pets: