Monday, June 15, 2009

They're cute and don't poop

Do you have pets? Do your kids want them? My family is currently without a dog, and until recently our only pet was a beta fish named Sharkbait HooHaaHaa. But now we are happily infested with furry little rodents, thanks to Mom Select.

These new toy hamsters, touted as just like the real thing, but mess-free, are sure to be the "it" gift for the holidays this year. From the ad copy: Go Go Pets are fun, interactive hamsters that talk, move and even navigate their way around their own habitat. There are dozens of add-on sets so your child can create a custom world for their new friend. We're sure you'll be as amazed as we were at the sheer cuteness of GoGo Pets! Watch this adorable video to see for yourself.

Go Go Pets will be released nationwide in the fall, but are offered in the Phoenix market only right now (you can buy at Walmart or Toys R Us). As a marketing promotion, party kits were offered to local mom bloggers. We received a huge box full of Go Go Pets on our doorstep one Saturday morning. And since my boys had been watching the video twelve times a day they could barely contain the joy. We opened the box to find 11 hamsters and one box of each habitrail set they make. Very generous! The individual boxes stayed closed until a few days before the party, but we let the boys pick a color and pet them through the hole in the box. It was love at first sight between my Emmett and his NumNums.

We planned the party, sent out invitations, and talked non-stop about how much fun it would be. And no one was disappointed! We put the habitrails together the day before without any trouble and let the boys play with everything for a bit so they could show their friends. Initially, I wasn't impressed with the quality of the sets - the plastic seemed a little flimsy and didn't stay together as well as I expected while we were playing with it. But, as I watched, I could see how hard the kids were on everything. It's all on the ground and things got stepped on and kicked a lot. And that flexible plastic allowed for bending in the pieces. Even if things came apart, nothing ever broke. And a more rigid plastic certainly would have cracked and broken under kid-pressure. So even though it was sometimes annoying to have to reconnect the habitrail tunnels, it's preferable to kids crying over a broken toy. Teach them to put it back together themselves!

Another worry for me was that the entire set, once put together, is only about 4 foot square, which doesn't fit 11 kids around it. Four or five or six fit well, but the party worked out perfectly because plenty of people were late or left early, and we had food and other breaks. I was surprised at how well the kids took turns. And of course, the kids could put their hamsters down anywhere and just watch them run around alone. The games suggested in the party pack would not have worked for our young crowd (no way do ten 3-year-olds wait while one hamster at a time races through the tunnels). But we improvised and had a whole dance segment during the party. The kids just held their hamsters while we did the hokey pokey, chicken dance, bunny hop, and wild hamster dancing.

My pictures turned out horribly (I hate my camera) but you can see how much fun the kids had. I know of at least two parents who have purchased more Go Go Pets hamsters or habitrails. The hamsters are only about $8 and so cute and fun, even if you don't have accesories. They make over 40 sounds, which will endear them to your child, but the volume is low, which will endear them to you. Keep these in mind for birthday and Christmas presents.


Becky said...

What a fun party! I think you are right about GoGos being a hot gift item this year. Even I kinda want one now...

Megan said...

Looks like fun... and they don't bite your fingers either! Was this a House Party event or something?

Robyn said...

Now that's the way to have pets! We are down to one cat. Thank goodness, the count, thanks to children, was at 13 at one time. Now we have just the one and his nickname is dead cat walking. When he's gone that's it until we move permanently to the ranch.