Ugghh! This is bringing back old memories, or shall I say nightmares, of my very first job out of college, a retail manager for Toys ‘R Us. Yes, Smarties, back in 1994, my fine education at the University of Florida landed me an 80-hour work week in retail! I recall all too vividly the I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y of parents who would do anything to get their child that coveted toy under the Christmas tree, even if it meant breaking limbs to do it, I’m totally serious here! Back then it was the Power Rangers White Tigerzoid. You can bet my nephew was the coolest kid on the playground because a) his aunt had connections with Santa and b) yup, she hooked him up with a White Tigerzoid. So here we are, a zillion years later and the hottest toy this 2009 holiday season is the Zhu Zhu faux hamster and all the accessories that go with it. And I’m just not sure I buy into the madness.
For those of you not familiar, Zhu Zhu Pets are 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 hamsters to play in and explore. As I’m typing this I’m thinking, yeah, this totally beats cleaning up a hamster cage, but am I willing to duke it out with all of the crazies on Black Friday, probably not.
So where can you find a Zhu Zhu pet? The answer is nowhere right now unless you’re willing to pay $55 bucks on Amazon or for $687.88 you can get the entire hammy-city on eBay (now do you see the level of insanity here?!). These things should retail for $8 and the accessories can go up to $50 or $60. From what I’ve read, it sounds like the retailers (Toys R Us, Target and Amazon) are holding their stash so their Black Friday advertisements aren’t bogus. So get your boxing gloves on, Smarties, and set your clocks for 2am Thanksgiving night!
This is what I think we at Smarty Land should do. Let’s keep an ongoing Smarty Alert system if you are ever successful at landing your Zhu Zhu get-up. I have heard of random success this week here in the Queen City at Wal-Mart & Target. But trust me, they are few and far between. So email us here when you have a successful sighting & purchase. We’ll alert the rest of the Smarties in hopes that we help each other out this holiday season. Until then, you may want to consider getting your kid the real deal:-)