Webkinz

Website review by Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Webkinz Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 8+

Virtual world for real toys with many ads pushing more toys.

Parents say

age 7+

Based on 116 reviews

Kids say

age 6+

Based on 419 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 7+

Fun games, but incredibly annoying to deal with.

Parents should take a look at what the site has to offer if their child wants to play it, because not all will appreciate some of the content that they have or the messages that they promote. Dealing with their membership stuff has been incredibly frustrating on my end, and Ganz is one of those companies that won't accept anything other than credit cards. If you're a debit user, you can pretty much forget about any kind of membership or paid bonuses. 85% of this site is blocked for those who can't do the membership, so just dealing with them in general has been a pain. Some of the games are super fun, and even have some skill building, but it doesn't matter if you can't access the dumb thing.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
age 6+

As a Webkinz veteran, I have a lot to say.

Given the current situation with this pandemic, I admit I've been thirsty to find something time consuming and therapeutic, and what do you know, I turned to Webkinz. I've played this game since it first came out (I was about 4-5 when it came out), and now have my 2009 account still active. I was pleasantly surprised at how much the game changed, I've experienced every generation of Webkinz pretty much, and some things haven't changed. For example, the lagging and glitching is pathetic for a website in 2020. I am now actually a web & mobile development major and the idea that they're still using flash to run the site is damaging to their reputation. The glitching has been quite annoying, especially since it doesn't seem like they fix anything. You can't visit friend's houses anymore in the game, and I tried to throw a party and that completely glitched. This is just one of many things, but it is clear to me that they expect people to keep pouring money into the game even though they aren't fixing anything. The next thing I have to say is regarding this 'membership' thing, not Deluxe Membership, just a normal Webkinz world membership, now requires that you buy a Webkinz every year? As of current, I had some extra cash so I've been collecting again, however because plush Webkinz are a) Hard to come by now, and b) Downright expensive, it is going to be very hard to maintain an account, and I have A LOT of Webkinz on my account, so for someone who has been playing the game since they were a little kid, I don't think it's very fair to make veteran members pay to keep playing the game. All the years I've poured my heart, soul, (and wallet), into the game should be enough to keep an account running with a full membership (not Deluxe). I find that the company has become greedier and greedier as the years went on because of course, just like any suffering company they have to nickel and dime their customers until they fail completely. Now, I'm not wishing for Webkinz' to end in the near future, I just think they should be working on more efficient marketing techniques and bring back the plush animals. I'm not a child anymore, but I can still see me as a child and what I'd want as a child, so they really need to focus on capturing more audiences and making certain things accessible without spending a fortune on a virtual game. The game market is much harder to compete with nowadays which is understandable, because when I was 10 I was still sitting playing Webkinz, but 10 year olds now are playing GTA and violent games that are far out of Webkinz' league. However, I do still see that Webkinz is still popular among age ranges 10-20, and some even older. I got my older friends and their siblings all to partake in some childhood nostalgia with me, surprising? Not really, people really need something to connect with right now, and if Webkinz plays their cards right I think they can do a very good job marketing. I'd love to see a Webkinz comeback, it may be more difficult with the downfall of many brick & mortar stores, but if they want to focus on virtualization, they should come up with a strong tactic to market the plush animals online. Don't have plush ideas? Get some kids together, even some adults who used to play the game too, because let me tell you I have tons of ideas of what they could do with the game. It's a shame to watch it go into this downwards spiral of greed and targeting, because honestly it was such a huge part of my childhood, I'd hate to see it end for stupid reasons. As of current though, I'd sway younger children away with it because I don't think parents are prepared for the cash-flow it takes to maintain this, and how much harder it is now with Webkinz being so expensive both in game and in real life. I hope to see some change over at Ganz and will continue to play my favorite childhood game despite everything. Hopefully this was helpful, and made sense!

This title has:

Great messages
Too much consumerism

Website Details

  • Genre: Virtual Worlds
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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