I had the distinct pleasure of obtaining my first Webkin last night. My sister and I braved the neon colors of a young girls’ clothing shop for a buy-one-get-one free special. My Webkin? He is a bat and his name is Mr. Battykins. But why on earth would I want to write about Webkinz?
Now, when these hit stores several years ago, I was wary. In fact, when people wandered into the store where I worked and asked for them I had no idea what on earth this little stuffed animals were. However, I think the idea behind Webkinz is interesting and has a great deal of potential.
First, interested parties must obtain one of these stuffed animals for a secret code—this is used for setting up your online Webkinz account. I like this particularly because not only do I get a stuffed animal—and a nice quality one at that—but I get a free pass to go online and play games. The Webkinz website allows individuals to partake in a variety of activities: arcade games, online play with friends, a store for items for Webkinz, and rooms where Webkinz live and keep their stuff. I earn money to buy items for Mr. Battykins by playing games in the arcade.
The website itself can be unwieldy at times. I kept getting caught in the “Please Wait…” screen, but was still able to play some games and buy some items. The games themselves, or at least the ones I played, seem to be based on other popular games. One game I played was a dumbed-down version of Tetris. I was also able to connect with my sister online and we played a very interesting version of Battleships together. The website, of course, could work a little more smoothly but I really adore the idea of being able to sign up for a site like this to play with my friends—with a cute little stuffed animal to keep me company.
Now if only they made a more grown-up version of this.