Since its establishment on April 29, 2005, Webkinz has been the definition of many childhoods. The small plush animals, complete with secret codes, continue to provide a creative and enjoyable release for children around the world.
However, the kids who played from 2005 to 2009 experienced the franchise's prime window of popularity. Our friend lists were full, our rooms were themed/decorated, and our animals were (creatively) named.
We will never get those innocent times back, but it is always fun to reflect. We will never completely forget Webkinz World!
1. Popularity was based on the number of Webkinz each friend owned.
If your "My Pets" page looked like this, you had some work to do before your friends would accept you into the Webkinz family.
2. Checklists were a necessity; the animals piled up quickly.
3. Newly released Webkinz animals were perfect bribes for chores.
4. Our parents dreaded going into any store that carried the brand, including Limited Too!, Hallmark, Cracker Barrel, and basically every other store in the universe.
5. Daily Spins on "The Wheel of Wow" (and the theme song) were part of our identities.
"THE WHEEEEEEEEL OF WOW!"
6. There was this gnawing need to go gem hunting at the Curio Shop. The Crown of Wonder would not construct itself!
"Welcome to the Curio Shop. I hope you find what you're lookin' for."
7. Holiday gifts from Webkinz World were rare treasures. If you logged into the website on Christmas and Easter, you were provided several exclusive perks.
8. Somehow, basic games seemed to be more enjoyable in Webkinz World.
From "Dogbeard's Bathtub Battles" and "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to air hockey or pool, Webkinz World made the simplest games fun.
9. We all thought that our animals' names were beyond creative.
Of course, those "creative" names turned out to be bland, boring, and predictable.
10. The Employment Office warned us of our inadequacies early in life.
I never learned how to complete the "Flooring Assistant" activity, and I am still bitter.
11. Your Webkinz pet was more active than you
Treadmills. Pools. Trampolines. My pets reminded me of the exercise that I was neglecting as I continued to stare at a computer screen.
12. Birthday cake slices and birthday balloons took over the bulk of our storage space.
13. We all played Wacky Bingoz, but we never actually knew how to win.
14. Early experiences with KinzCash did not prepare us with lessons on money management.
Even though our pets did not need anything except the bed, we still bought the entire theme and the largest room. Fifteen rounds of Cash Cow later, and our KinzCash accounts were still not redeemed from our spending spree.
15. We fed our pets, but they never actually ate. You just "dragged" and "dropped" a hamburger onto a picture and hoped that they survived.
Also, the KinzCash that we spent on that food always seemed like a waste.
Here's a fun fact! As I was writing this piece, I decided to dust off my old Webkinz username/password to explore and to remind myself about the website. Surprisingly, after years of inactivity, the animals are still alive!
If you have a minute or two, try it out. You will laugh at this time capsule of your childhood; I know that I did!