For many kids the must-have toy last Xmas was the Zhu Zhu Pet. Then known in the UK as Go Go Pets or Go Go Hamsters, these toys became increasingly hard to get hold of, leaving some children disappointed and some parents seriously out of pocket as costs soared. Rebranded for 2018 as Zhu Zhu Pets, the manufacturer has introduced a new range of hamsters, accessories and playsets including the Kung Zhu range for boys. Will these new additions make them the hottest Christmas toys for 2018 as well?
Go Go Hamsters Turned Into Zhu Zhu Pets in 2018
Originally marketed in the UK as Go Go Pets/Hamsters in 2009, these toys were re-branded as Zhu Zhu Pets in 2018. This is the name originally given to the products in the U.S. and in other countries. The principle behind these toys remains the same. A Zhu Zhu Pet can “talk” and can move around its environment, interacting with playsets and accessories.
New Zhu Zhu Pets Could Make a Hamster the Most Wanted Christmas Toy
There were originally four Zhu Zhu pets (Mr Squiggles, Chunk, Pipsqueak and Num Nums) and a range of playsets and accessories that kids could use to build an interactive hamster environment. This year, the four originals have been replaced by various new ranges, including:
- Hamsters Packs: These toys resemble the original hamsters and come in a range of colours and designs. There are 11 different characters to choose from.
- Rockstars: This range has created four funky long-haired hamsters.
- Wild Bunch: The four characters in the Wild Bunch are based on skunk, hedgehog, bunny and raccoon designs.
- Babies: There are six babies in this range. Each comes with accessories and, if you buy the stroller playset, you can get an adult Zhu Zhu Pet to push a baby around.
There are also some new playsets and accessories available for Christmas 2018 including balls, tunnels, vehicles, shops and a grooming salon. Hamsters can also be dressed up in a range of outfits and given various accessories.
Kung Zhu Makes Hamster Pets Better Christmas Gifts for Boys
The core Zhu Zhu Pet products may appeal more to girls than to boys. The new Kung Zhu range of hamster pets may, however, change this. These toys can be trained to battle against each other in specially constructed playset arenas. Toys, playsets and accessories include:
- Ninja Hamsters: There are four Ninja hamsters in this range. Two of these characters represent the good Dragon Clan; two the evil Skull Clan.
- Special Forces Hamsters: The four pets here make up Delta Force.
Kids can dress their Kung Zhu Pets in specially designed armour and have them ride round in vehicles. Playsets include HQs, training centres and a battle arena.
Will Zhu Zhu Pets be the Hottest Christmas Toys for 2018?
These toys became incredibly hard to get hold of last year and a lack of stock resulted in some parents paying up to five times the recommended retail price to get hold of just one toy and an accessory or playset. As yet, it is hard to say whether the new Zhu Zhu Pets will be as popular, or whether the manufacturer will be better prepared if they do turn into the must-have Christmas gift.
It is worth noting, however, that both Zhu Zhu Pets and Kung Zhu toys made it on to Toy Retailers Association lists of the top 12 toys for Christmas this year. The association often predicts the hot gifts each season and Go Go Hamsters made it on to their core list last year. This year, the Zhu Zhu Grooming Salon made this Dream Dozen list and the Kung Zhu Battle Arena was included in the category for boys.
How to Save Money Buying Zhu Zhu Pets and Kung Zhu Toys
If these hamsters do turn out to be the hottest Christmas toys for 2018, then the easiest way for parents to save money is to buy early. If they go out of stock again, parents may have to buy from small retailers/etailers and auction sites where costs are likely to be higher than RRP.
The costs of the hamsters themselves may be relatively low but kids are likely to want playsets and accessories to get the most out of these toys. This can add to the overall cost of giving Zhu Zhu Pets as Christmas presents. Parents may find some bargains by shopping online and may be able to get money-off discounts by using voucher code sites.