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:

Zhu Zhu Hamster Pets Names

Every child wants a Zhu Zhu Pet hamster and we have all of them in stock as well as all the Zhu Zhu accesories for this most wished for of toys. They are also know as Go Go Pets or Go Go Hamsters in the UK and Europe. If you have been wondering where to buy Zhu Zhu pets hamsters then the links here will take you to where to buy Zhu Zhu pets online and you can buy Zhu Zhu pets hamsters accessories as well. The Zhu Zhu pet hamster sale is gaining momentum so be sure to buy Zhu Zhu hamsters now if you really do want to ensure that you get what you want.

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamsters Mr. Squiggles

Here he is, Zhu Zhu pet hamster Mr. Squiggles. He is the favorite pet hamster and a must for Christmas or birthdays.

Many people buy Zhu Zhu pet Mr. Squiggles first as he is the most popular. Also…Mr Squiggles is a great name for a zhu zhu pet. How can you go wrong with a name like that.

If you are a parent and wondering what the fuss is all about then just imagine, a hamster that plays and runs around and makes unique noises but without the mess. The kids absolutely love the Zhu Zhu hamsters and Mr. Squiggles is the favorite of all. Who else do we have?

Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster Num Nums

Zhu Zhu pet hamster Num Nums is a firm favorite. Buy Zhu Zhu hamster Num Nums quick before he runs away!

Zhu Zhu hamster Num Nums is a super fast hamster that the kids will love. And we all love hamsters that don’t make any mess. He is a great addition to the zhu zhu collection and don’t worry if you spell zoo zoo hamsters, zu zu hamsters zhuh zhuh or anything else, you will still find Num Nums!

Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster Pipsqueek In Yellow

Zhu Zhu hamster Pipsqueek comes in a lovely yellow and don’t worry if when you hover over him it says out of stock. Click on pipsqueek and you will see him for sale. You can buy Zhu Zhu hamster pipsqueek easily from Cmdstore.com.

All the zhu zhu hamsters have their own unique sounds and you can pet them to listen to what they have to say or watch them run around the ground or in their hamster cage.

All the pet hamsters make different sounds so why not get them all. And finally we have:

Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster Chunk

Zhu Zhu hamster Chunk is a white hamster who loves to run. The children love this white hamster and he is a very cheeky chappie indeed so why not buy Zhu Zhu pet Chunk now.

These pet hamsters are the gift that kids are asking for and don’t forget that you can browse all the zhu zhu accessories simply by clicking on any of the zhu zhu hamsters.

Before we take a look at the Zhu Zhu pets houses and other accessories I wanted to talk a little about where to buy Zhu Zhu pets hamsters. People wondering where to buy Zhu Zhu hamsters can spend hours searching for these little hamsters online without much luck. There are only a few places to buy them and with our special links that take you to Cmdstore. You may have heard how cheap they were at Wal-mart or Toys R Us a few months ago but unfortunately you will not be able to buy Zhu Zhu pets at the prices they once were.

There are limited supplies of the Zhu Zhu in stock now and buying Zhu Zhu pets right now means you will secure these most sought after gifts early.

Zhu Zhu Hamsters, buy online now if you want to make sure that you get them. It is very likely that they will be sold out well before many people even consider beginning their Christmas shopping so get them early if you don´t want to be disappointed.

Buy The Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Funhouse

Most people that buy the Zhu Zhu pets also buy many of the Zhu Zhu pets accessories. Chief among those is the Zhu Zhu pets Hamster funhouse.

If you were wondering where to buy Zhu Zhu pets funhouses then click on the image to buy it online. The Zhu Zhu hamsters pet Funhouse is almost compulsory for children who want a Zoo Zoo pet and it really does show off remarkably well just how amazing these hamsters perform. The Zhu Zhu house has a bedroom a bathroom a tunnel and a kitchen. It is also very easy to add on many extras that we will take a little look at later. The Zhu Zhu pets funhouse really will show you just how intelligent these pet hamsters can be.

Zhu Zhu Pets Adventure Ball

Of all the accessories for Zhu Zhu pets the best selling add on apart from the Zhu Zhu hamsterhouse is the Zhu Zhu pets adventure ball. The Zhu Zhu adventure ball allows the children to put their favorite hamster in the ball and they can watch them rock and roll around the floor. As a bonus we also get a Rattlin’ Clatterin’ mini ball which makes it a great extra for the Zhu pets.

Again the adventure ball for Zhu pets is hard to find so it saves a lot of time and money by buying online. You can buy the Zhu Zhu adventure ball by clicking the image or the links at the top of the page.

The Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Wheel

The Zhu Zhu Pets hamster wheel can be added to the funhouse. It has three tunnel connections as well as the hamster wheel itself. The zhu zhu pets love nothing more than spinning around on their very own hamster wheel, just like a real hamster does.

They simply dash up the ramp and start spinning, pretty awesome. This is another of the many extras than can easily be added to the funhouse to turn it in to something truly massive.

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

zhu zhu toys
Maybe you’ve heard of Zhu Zhu pets toy hamsters, some say the hottest toy cultural phenomenon to hit parents crazed at finding the best-selling toy critters since fads like the Cabbage Patch Kids left people tearing over toys in stores in the ’80s.

Formerly known as Go Go Pets, the Zhu Zhu Pets are toy hamsters that scurry around on wheels and don’t make a mess or stink up houses like the real thing.

And no biting, either, which is perhaps the appeal behind the Zhu Zhu Pets (pronounced Zoo Zoo Pets) that are sending parents across the nation online — scurrying themselves to stock up on the animals and all their accessories before the Christmas 2009 craze to get them ensues.

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamsters are interactive toy pets, each with their own set of over 40 sound effects, squeaks, chirps, and more. Used in their playsets, they recognize what room they’re in and play appropriate sound effects. They make cooking sounds in the kitchen, brush their teeth, shower, and toilet flushing sounds in the bathroom, and sleep sounds in their bedroom.

How to buy the Zhu Zhu Pets and find them in stock:

Detailed reports of how to find the Zhu Zhu Pets for $7.99 or $8.00 in stock have been written — but for parents short on time and energy and patience at tracking them down in their local Wal-Mart stores, and longer on monies to spend who want the little “Zoo Zoo Pets” now can find a plethora of Zhu Zhu Pets online in stock at Amazon.com

You can also buy Zhu Zhu Pets from Cmdstore.com. Below is a nice pic with all the basic instructions on how the Zhu Zhu Pets work. Click the banner and you can check out what they have in stock.

Below are a few of the Zhu Zhu Pets available for sale at Amazon.com:

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Pipsqueek – Yellow
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Mr. Squiggles – Light Brown
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Num Nums
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Chunk – White
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Funhouse (Hamsters Sold Separately)
Zhu Zhu Pets Adventure Ball
Zhu Zhu Pets Add On Garage
Zhu Zhu Pets Add On Hamster Wheel

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamsters Invade America

zhu zhu hamster pets

“Smart Pets” Anticipated to be the Newest Craze Among Kids and the 2009 Toy of the Year!

ST. LOUIS–(Business Wire)– Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters have invaded the United States! From baseball stadiums to children`s hospitals, this new collection of adorable, furry, interactive pets is expected to overtake the nation, and catapult to the top of every child`s wish list. Riding on the heels of an extremely successful test market launch in Phoenix, and remarkable focus group findings, Zhu Zhu Pets are expected to be the newest craze among kids, and quite possibly the 2009 Toy of Year.

The best alternatives to real live hamsters, Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters don`t poop, die, or stink, but they are still a riot of motion and sound. They dart around in their hamster tubes and busily scurry from room to room. Simply pet the hamster`s back, set him down, and watch him Zhu Zhu Zhu-oom! Zhu Zhu Pets like to be picked up and snuggled too! Pet them gently on the nose, and they`ll squeak with contentment. These hamsters have over 40 different sound effects, depending on the unique environment they encounter.

“Zhu Zhu Pets hamsters are truly unlike anything on the market,” says Natalie Hornsby, brand development and marketing strategies, Cepia, LLC. “They`re completely interactive, as if they have a mind of their own.”

Zhu Zhu Pets drive around in little cars, zip up ramps and spin down slides, and run in their hamster wheels. Their artificial intelligence even allows them to know what room of their hamster habitat they are in. They make toilet-flushing or teeth-brushing sounds when they enter the bathroom, and sleeping noises and alarm-clock sounds when they go into their bedroom.

Zhu Zhu Pets are available as five different characters:

* Zhu Zhu Pets Patches – the flower-loving hamster
* Zhu Zhu Pets Chunk – the laid back surfer hamster
* Zhu Zhu Pets PipSqueak – the petite powerhouse hamster
* Zhu Zhu Pets Mr. Squiggles – the hamster who loves to explore
* Zhu Zhu Pets Num Nums – the hamster with an affinity for yummy food

Multiple Zhu Zhu Pets accessories are also available for purchase, allowing kids to collect and connect them all to create their own customized hamster habitats. Zhu Zhu Pets accessories include:

* Hamster funhouse
* Hamster wheel and tunnel
* Hamster-mobile and garage
* Spiral slide and ramp
* Adventure ball
* Surfboard and sleep dome
* Skateboard and U-turn
* Pet bed and blanket
* Pet carrier and blanket

Zhu Zhu Pets are available for sale at Walmart, Toys”R”Us, Target (beginning in October) and other select retailers. The national launch is already underwaywith a series of events in select cities across the country, including special promotions at major league baseball stadiums and deliveries to children`s hospitals by a professional athlete/celebrity.

Hamster parties will also be hosted around the nation by select moms for kids and their friends to experience Zhu Zhu Pets first-hand. The parties will include various hamster-related games and activities, while kids play with Zhu Zhu Pets and build their own hamster habitats. Zhu Zhu Pets will entertain children for hours on end, engage their imaginations in an entirely new interactive way, and provide a constant low-maintenance companion for kids desiring a pet of their very own.

What are Zhu Zhu Pets?

Zhu Zhu Pets are innovative, realistic, interactive, plush, and artificially intelligent hamsters that talk and move around in their own playsets. Zhu Zhu Pets include two play modes: nurturing mode where the hamsters coo and purr and adventure mode where the hamsters explore their habitat with intelligent audio and mechanical responses to various habitat stimuli. Over a dozen add-ons can be
purchased to build an ever-evolving hamsterworld for your hamster to play in and explore. Powered by 2 AAA batteries (included), Zhu Zhu Pets are suitable for ages 3 and up. For more information, please visit http://www.zhuzhupets.com.

Where to Buy Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster Toys?

Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Pipsqueek – Yellow
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Mr. Squiggles – Light Brown
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Num Nums
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Chunk – White
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Funhouse (Hamsters Sold Separately)
Zhu Zhu Pets Adventure Ball
Zhu Zhu Pets Add On Garage
Zhu Zhu Pets Add On Hamster Wheel