Thursday, September 27, 2007

The World Wide Webkinz

It seems wherever we go, the kids can find someone with whom they can share a conversation about Webkinz. Apparently, we have indulged in a craze, a craze which generates perpetual enthusiasm and excitement: There is always a new game to play, a new gift, a new item to "buy", a new Webkinz friend to visit...or a new Webkinz plush toy to buy. Of course buying a new plush toy is most exciting of all because the secret code that comes with the toy is the key to unlocking the World of Webkinz.

As mentioned earlier, the kids have been saving for new Webkinz. Well, Grandmas are for spoiling, and these children's Dana didn't waste any time. A check came in the mail today, enough for each of them to get a new Webkinz. And we didn't waste any time heading to the Hallmark store to make our very important purchase.

The Webkinz craze in this house all began in July when the kids' cousins came to visit. To provide a common link, we got the kids their first Webkinz so they could spend some computer time with their cousins. Since then, the requests for computer time have not diminished, nor has the children's delight in playing with their little critters. Michael's Webkinz, Sparkly, is especially well-loved and has, in fact, had a haircut (one that subsequently resulted in a little love-wound on his back--we try to keep his stuffing in as best we can). Sparkly is carried everywhere, including to Show and Tell at Co-op, and has been known to sport clothespins on his ears, fanciful yarn around his neck and waist, and many a Lego or penny taped to an appendage. Hopefully, Sparkly will in no way feel threatened by the arrival of Sonic, Michael's new Webkinz.

I have mixed opinions about the benefits of the Webkinz. On the one hand, the kids learn a little about money and responsibility as they must complete certain tasks--like play a game--to earn money to feed, clothe, and house the virtual version of their pet. On the other hand, they are sometimes of the notion that when you want something, you just buy it. Of course, this notion is typical with kids and not necessarily a by-product of their time in Webkinz World. I suppose it doesn't help at all that Mom often spends evenings playing her favorite Webkinz games, thus earning "free" money for them to spend at will.

At any rate, the Webkinz do serve as a source of imagination. In addition, with the craze comes the almost-guarantee that the kids will have something to talk about with just about every child they encounter. It does trump conversations about the very-often, very-strange video games of the present age--don't you miss the good ol' days of "Frogger," "Pac-Man," "Pitfall," and "Donkey Kong?" Maybe the Wide World of Webkinz will one day enter the halls of fame to reside alongside those wonderful ol' quality games!

Dear Dana, Thank you for giving us enough for a Webkinz. My Webkinz is a Google - half platypus, half duck. I think he's cute. I also have another Webkinz. I love you, Michael

Dear Dana, Thank you for giving us enough money to buy a Webkinz. My Webkinz is a tiger, and my other Webkinz is a chihuahua. I love you, Jacob

Dear Dana, Thank you for the money for us to buy a Webkinz. I got a unicorn, and I named her Eunice. She has sparkles in her hair and on her tail, and her hooves are shiny pink. I love you, Alex

No comments: