Zhu-niverse

Website review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Zhu-niverse Website Poster Image
Site for "Zhunatics" to learn more about little robot pets.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

 The over-emphasis on getting kids to become "zhunatics" by looking through every Zhu Zhu item for sale (at retailers, not on the site) and selecting "I Want It!" or "I Have It!" buttons to build up lists of Zhu Zhus sends the message that you gotta buy more to enjoy them.

Violence & Scariness

A couple of games, such as "Sneaky Ninja," are based on fighting themes and include military vehicles, attack dogs and cannons shooting water balloons.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The site is based on promoting how much fun Zhu Zhu Pets can be, with YouTube videos showing kids playing with their Zhu Zhus, bios that show off each character's personality, places for kids to mark "I Want It!" or "I Have It!," and a list of where-to-buy retail sites.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fan site will appeal to kids who collect Zhu Zhu Pets. Kids must be able to read to play many of the games, and there's not a lot to do here other than play the games and look at all the different Zhu Zhu products you can purchase (but not on the site). The main emphasis is on promoting the hamster characters and showing kids all the ways they can have fun with them. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 year old Written byproveiwe May 15, 2011
i love it
Parent of a 9 year old Written bykatelynhodge June 15, 2010
Kid, 5 years old June 26, 2010

The Cute Zhuzhu Pets!

I think the zhuzhu pets are fine for older kids but better for younger kids. The younger kids would play all day with the zhuzhu pets if they could when the old... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 21, 2011

Meh.

The toys are a waste of money, they break after like 5 months.

Is it any good?

For kids caught in the Zhu Zhu
Pets craze, the site is fine for an occasional visit but it doesn't offer much
in the way of education or interaction. It offers a few amusing, age-appropriate games, information about the ZhuZhus, and a few ideas to spark offline fun like coloring pages and cutouts. There's some YouTube videos here of real kids playing with Zhu Zhus while an offscreen adult prompts them to say what they like about the toy. This odd way to add video advertising to the site seems like an unfortunate attempt to put unmarked ads on the site without kids recognizing them as such. Of course, all of this fun is under the goal of selling more Zhu Zhus, even if you cannot buy directly from this website.

Online interaction: There are no opportunities to interact with others on this site.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of mechanical pets. Are Zhu Zhu pets really as much fun as a real pet? Do real pets always act the way you want them to on command like robot toys? Which type of pet is more rewarding to care for? What about virtual pets? How do they stack up against real and robotic animal companions?

  • Families can talk about sites that are designed to sell.

  • How do toy companies use Web sites to get you interested in their

  • products? What can you do to make sure you aren't pulled into the

  • marketing hype while surfing the Web?

Website details

For kids who love cute and cuddly characters

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