I see that Zhu Zhu pets are looking like the next Tickle Me Elmo this year, and I hate to say it--but they are so cute that they are worth all of the trouble.
I had been contacted about throwing a Zhu Zhu pets party back in June and was excited to do it in August for the boys' birthday, but due to repackaging and some other setbacks, I didn't receive the playset and hamsters until September. I didn't go all out party-wise as I had originally planned, but I did invite a few friends over and set up the playset and handed out the hamsters, and kids were freaking thrilled.
The only downsides I can warn you about is that the playset helps conserve batteries--if you let your rodents roam the house, you'll go through batteries really quickly. Secondly, warn your child not to put the pet on their head. Big Kid did this right away and had a hamster quickly entangled in his hair. This is particularly worrisome because he apparently thinks putting a real hamster in your hair would be appropriate hamster-owning behavior. I had to cut some hair to free his hamster, and no, he would not let me take a photo of him with a hamster dangling from his head.
As far as the play set, the running ball is really cute and fun to play with, as are the main parts of the play set and the little add-on car thing. The hamster goes into the garage, slides into the car and races across the room. I crack up every time I see it. We have Chunk and Num Num and they are beloved family members (who sometimes end up under the couch for a week or so at a time, without dying and stinking up the whole house.)
So yeah, searching around town and paying more than retail for these things is frustrating but they are seriously the correct parental answer to the "Can I have a small rodent?" question. They are adorable, they have a habitrail, each one interacts with you and the playset differently and they make really cute noises.
I have one extra one left over and I'm going to give it to one of you for Christmas. Comment below by the end of the day Monday, with either your Blogger user name or leave a comment like "Susie from TX" so that I can easily announce the winner.
I am happy to save at least one of you from tromping around in the cold in search of toy hamsters.