I wish I invented Webkinz.
I’m embarrassed to say how many Webkinz toys we once owned, let’s just say it was many, and why not? At around $10 each they were the perfect gift and in addition to being a plush toy, each one came with a unique code that gave access to an online community where your stuffed friend came to life. These adorable cartoon creatures lived in houses that kids could furnish and wardrobes children could accessorize with items from the Kinzstore. There, with codes and coins they earned online gaming in a safe, free, and adorable environment, kids could purchase just about anything we use in the human world, but in cartoon form. They could choose to play online with neighbors and friends by entering the same color code before they went into the virtual arcade. Not only that, but each Webkinz animal was cared for with feeding and playtimes and they were always happy to see you.
One of my girls in particular had a special affinity for all things cute. She gave all of her Webkinz names like Moo, or Chocolate Milk (the brown cow) or Blueberry the blue bird. But her first and favorite, and the one I’ve save for always is named Happy. Happy is a well worn black lab puppy that she loved, carried just about everywhere, and has never once gone missing.
Today for kicks I went to the Webkinz website and tried her decade old login and password. To my delight and surprise I was immediately taken right to Happy’s room where I found a tiny sleeping puppy in a thoughtful bed selected just for him. I didn’t wake the puppy, instead I clicked on the arcade icon and went there, where for 20 minutes of rousing games like Goober’s Lab and Smoothie Moves I earned 15 “K”coins. I was quickly taken back to the days when my then kindgergartner would sit with me and teach me all about the special world of Webkinz. She was home at the time so I asked her to come look at the computer with me and just like old times, she showed me how to spend the 15 coins I earned in my game play for some carrots and a chew toy which I gave to Happy before singing off.
If you had grade school kids during the Webkinz craze you must remember the stacks of toys in store displays. Looking back they must have been a thing to behold to a child. Color and texture and cuteness piled 5 feet high and each selection held a code to bring them to life in a safe sweet environment called Webkinz World. I was just thinking that I wish I could WekbinIZE my kids and people I love so that in years to come I could visit and play with them at my whim. Who knows maybe one day that will be a real thing and I can start another blogpost with the words “I wish I’d invented that.”
For now, I’m happy with my little taste of childhood, particularly since it was theirs and not mine for a change. Go to Webkinz world and take a look for yourself and if you see a black lab puppy named Happy, tell him I said “Have a nice day.”
Thanks for reading, and you have a nice day too!