Webkinz are toy stuffed animals that were originally released by the Canadian Ganz company on April 29, 2005. The toys are similar to many other small plush toys, however, each Webkinz toy has an attached tag with a unique "Secret Code" printed on it that allows access to the "Webkinz World" website. On Webkinz World, the Secret Code allows the user to own a virtual version of the pet for online play for a limited time (one year). Lil' Kinz are smaller, less expensive versions of Webkinz, while the Signature collection are larger and slightly more expensive. Sales of plush Webkinz toys are limited to the United States and Canada, but international users can buy virtual pets from the online eStore.
As of 2016, members whose accounts were previously unusable due to not purchasing any new pets have had their content restored. A free membership option was also added, albeit with very limited features. This may be because of the dramatic decline in popularity that the website experienced, meaning that requiring users to purchase new stuffed animals to access the website is no longer a realistic business model.
Tropes displayed in this web original:
- A Dog Named "Dog": Fairly common among the young children who name their Webkinz. In-game, there's "Ms. Birdy", a bird who runs the Adoption Center.
- An Interior Designer Is You: The game allows you to design rooms for your pets with items from the W Shop.
- Everything's Better with Plushies: Well, DUH!
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal
- In-Game TV: If you buy a TV for your pet, you can watch The Secret Chef (hosted by Chef Gazpacho), Monkey & Monkey Show, and Winners' Shows (shows created in the Webkinz Studio that have won contests in Webkinz).
- Merchandise-Driven: Get most of the content unlocked by getting yourself a plush.
- Play Every Day: The game gives a daily gift, daily log-in bonuses, and reward games that can be played daily (Wishing Well 2, Wheel of WOW). In fact, it encourages checking back every hour by having a "Today's Activities" list of potential rewards players can receive if logged in at certain times.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Many people give their pets made up/misspelled names.
- Stealth Pun: Dr. Quack is a doctor who is a duck. He's a pun for a quack doctor, another term for a Snake Oil Salesman "specializing" in the medical field, although Dr. Quack is a qualified doctor.
- Ridiculously Cute Critters:
- Sweet Tooth: Poncho the Chihuahua in the Candy Bash games. He will never get enough.
- Video Game Caring Potential: You can build a strong relationship with your pet by providing for its needs.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Neglecting your pet or feeding it gunk/gak/blech/a food it doesn't like - formerly the only thing remotely close to this trope.
- In the latest update, if you ignore your pet's request to play in a certain area or do a certain activity, they'll say something along the lines of "I guess not..." and their stats will go slightly down.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Very frequently guilty of this.