From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Type of site
Virtual plush toy world
Founded2005; 17 years ago (2005)

Webkinz are stuffed animals that have two playable online counterparts, "Webkinz Classic" and "Webkinz".[1] Webkinz were originally released by the Canadian toy company Ganz 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 its owner to play with their pet in the "Webkinz Classic" game for iOS, Android, and desktop computer. Webkinz plush toys sold after October 2020 contain two Secret Codes, one eight-digit code compatible with "Webkinz Classic" and one 15-digit code compatible with "Webkinz". On Webkinz World, the Secret Code allows the user to own a virtual version of the pet for online play. Many collections of Webkinz were sold, such as Lil' Kinz (smaller, less expensive versions of Webkinz), and the Signature collection (larger, higher-quality, and slightly more expensive Webkinz). There is also a spin-off, Webkinz Jr.; which is aimed at children ages 3–6. Sales of plush Webkinz toys are limited to the United States and Canada, but international users can buy virtual pets from the online eStore.[2] In 2006, Webkinz had one million online accounts, and according to one estimate published in Wired they made $100 million in 2006.[3] In 2011, Webkinz made its first commercial on TV. Webkinz was updated in 2015 to Webkinz X, making it more kid-friendly. In October 2020, Webkinz unveiled a new logo, introduced babies and began to transition to a 3D version with more social features.[4]

Types of Webkinz[edit]

There are many types of Webkinz: regular pets, wild animals, mythical creatures, and made-up ones. They all come with codes that can be entered on the computer or phone on each downloadable game. Along with the regular Webkinz toys, there are also smaller, less expensive versions called Lil' Kinz, as well as larger, slightly more expensive versions in the Signature collection launched in April 2009. The Signature collection later ended in December 2013. In May 2009, Birthstone Pets were released. One new Birthstone Pet was released for every month. In April 2010, Ganz replaced the Birthstone Pets with the Zodiac Pets. Again, one Zodiac Pet was released every month. In 2011, CandyKinz were released. In June 2012, Rockerz Pets were released. In 2019, Ganz announced that no new plush pets would be released, but purely virtual pets can still be purchased, accounts can be made, and the website still operates.[5] In November 2020, two new Webkinz pets were released, starting a new "generation" of pets. These new plus included two codes, one for Webkinz Classic, and Webkinz, and are only available to purchase online.[6]


Webkinz logo used from April 29, 2005 until October 24, 2020. It is still used in Webkinz Classic.

Each Webkinz stuffed animal and Webkinz accessory comes with an 8-character code. By registering this code on the Webkinz Classic desktop application or mobile app, the customer "adopts" this pet in the virtual Webkinz World. Without the code, the user will not get access to the full Webkinz World, but they can create a free account. On January 19, 2011, Ganz announced that Webkinz World accounts would no longer expire, meaning users would not have to buy a new pet each year to renew their account. However, some games, furniture, and other features are limited with a free account. Young adults who had active accounts on the website have even revisited their pets to catch up on their health as an online trend.[7]

The Webkinz World is an online play area with its own economy completely controlled by Ganz. The user receives money (called KinzCash) by adopting new pets, playing online games, answering general knowledge questions, and through daily activities like clicking "I love my Webkinz!", spinning the Wheel of WOW, playing Wishing Well 2, or completing jobs (minigames) available once every 8 hours. Each day, there is a Game of the Day which can be played for bonus KinzCash, and other bonuses are available each hour, full days on weekends and afternoons only on weekdays. With each Webkinz toy purchased, more KinzCash, rooms, and items are added to the user's account.

The online world also contains many rare or exclusive items. Some of these items require developing a friendship with the Curio Shop owner to purchase, while others are obtained by registering other Webkinz accessories purchased in the real world. Each type of pet gets a special item and food available exclusively for them. Also, a Pet of the Month is announced at the beginning of each month. If a person registers the announced pet in that month, they will receive other exclusive items.

Many of the tasks in Webkinz World involve collecting items. For example, recipes are released for the players through cookbooks or one of the TV shows called The Secret Chef. "Gems" can be mined once a day at the Curio Shop, with a full set of gems being turned into the Webkinz Crown of Wonder and buy exclusive items. A similar feature called Alyssa's Star Challenge, involves users clicking on colored stars to find valuable stars.

Other features of Webkinz Classic include:

  • The ability to create shows with the Webkinz Studio, and enter to be chosen to appear on the Webkinz TV.
  • Buying a swimming pool, a trampoline, and a treadmill where Webkinz can improve their health.
  • Sending gifts or letters to friends on a peer-to-peer network.
  • Inviting a friend over to one's house, where users can chat and interact with each other and play games.
  • Participating in the hourly events, which can earn the user prizes, KinzCash, and coupons, among other things.
  • Brushing, washing, and bathing one's pet.
  • Cooking and baking, in which users must combine random foods to crack secret formulas and recipes released by the site.
  • Setting up a party, inviting guests, playing games and giving out loot bags. (a Party Pack costs 750 to 1000 KinzCash)
  • Playing a variety of games such as gem mining.
  • Trading items with other players.
  • Reading virtual books exclusive to the Webkinz World.
  • Enrolling one's virtual pet in school, or "The Kinzville Academy" where they can learn and develop skills to help them compete in tournaments.
  • Decorating pets' home. Furniture can be purchased via the W-shop in the Webkinz World.
  • Interacting with other players via the Webkinz Clubhouse, where players can play games such as "Link'd" (Similar to the board game Connect Four), Checkers, and much more.
  • Shopping for clothes with one's pet.

Webkinz Studio[edit]

  • The Webkinz Studio is an item used to produce shows.
  • The Webkinz Studio generally costs 1000 KinzCash in the W Shop.
  • There are currently 18 characters and 9 sets. One can buy more from the W Shop.
  • In 2008, a very strict dictionary was added to secure the words used in the studio.
  • In March 2010, Webkinz announced that the Studio had been "enhanced" with more features, including "slide transitions", the "who speaks first" option, and character entrances and exits.
  • Also, the Studio can be found in the Curio Shop on a rare basis for less than 1000 KinzCash.

Kinz Tunes[edit]

In 2009, GanzWorld released what would be later known as Kinz Tunes, a song that correlated with the Pet of the Month. Debuting in March 2009 for the April Pet of the Month, The Alley Cat, was "Where Did You Get Those Stripes?" Following its success, The May 2009 Pet of the Month, The Cocker Spaniel, received the song "The Dog on the Front of the Tag." For the next two years, Kinz Tunes generated songs for the Pet of the Month. Although views were not displayed on the Webkinz site or on the current app, the popularity of these songs can be seen on Ganz Youtube channel. There, songs like "Nine Lives" and "Hug a Pug" raked in more than half a million views. The last song Ganz produced for the Pet of the Month is "My Favorite Time of Year" for the December 2011 Reindeer. Today, users can still watch these videos on the Webkinz app by going to the "Music Starz" icon. Full list below:

  • April 2009, Alley Cat: "Where Did You Get Those Stripes?
  • May 2009, Cocker Spaniel: "The Dog On the Front of the Tag"
  • June 2009, Pink Pony: "The Prettiest Pink Pony In Town"
  • July 2009, Spotted Frog: "I Love Being a Spotted Frog"
  • August 2009, Gray Arabian: "I Wanna Run"
  • September 2009, Leopard: "I Gotta Lotta Soft Spots for You"
  • October 2009, Golden Retriever: "Cats & Dogs (Why Do We Always Fight?"
  • November 2009, Pug: "Hug a Pug"
  • December 2009, Koala: "Koala Holiday"
  • January 2010, Schnauzer: "Mustache Louie"
  • February 2010, White Terrier: "A Dog With a Bow In Her Hair"
  • March 2010, Himalayan Cat: "Cat's Pajama Party"
  • April 2010, Lion: "It's Good to be King"
  • May 2010, Skunk: "Misunderstood"
  • June 2010, Pig: "Piggy Plum Pie"
  • July 2010, Bengaltiger: "Tiger, Tiger"
  • August 2010, Pink Googles: "Go Go Go Googles"
  • September 2010, Persian Cat: "Nine Lives"
  • October 2010, Pink Poodle: "I Dream In Pink"
  • November 2010, Jack Russell: "Just Wanna Be Your Friend"
  • December 2010, Polar Bear: "Iceman Blues"
  • January 2011, Silverback Gorilla: "Do You Want to Party?"
  • February 2011, Bluefadoodle: "Stay Away From Me"
  • March 2011, Caterpillar: "It's a Wonderful World"
  • April 2011, Caramel Lion: "Caramel Soup"
  • May 2011, Grey Owl: "Let's Make the World a Better Place"
  • June 2011, Silversoft Cat: "Miss Kitty"
  • July 2011, Clown Fish: "I Like to Clown Around"
  • August 2011, Rooster: "It's a Beautiful Day"
  • September 2011, Pelican: "Let's Go Fishin"
  • October 2011, Black Cat: "Scaredy Cat"
  • November 2011, Walrus: "The Coolest Thing is Everyone"
  • December 2011, Reindeer: "My Favorite Time of Year"


When a pet is registered at www.webkinz.com (or "adopted"), it gives or renews an account's full membership features for one year. When the membership of a pet expires, the account becomes a free account, missing the ability to play some games, buy certain items, and do other things in the world. However, a player can renew their account again at any time.

There is also an upgrade to regular memberships called the Deluxe Membership which is available at the Ganz eStore. This is a premium membership with many features, benefits, games, and prizes to which regular accounts do not have access. Deluxe Members also receive free Webkinz eStore points at the time of purchase and at the beginning of each month afterward for the extent of the Deluxe Membership.

If one wants to register an account at www.webkinz.com without a pet code, they are permitted to select from 9 Ganz eStore Pets. Several limitations exist on free accounts that make many challenges and activities impossible. Free accounts can be upgraded to regular memberships or Deluxe Memberships at any time.[8]

W-Plus & Trading Cards[edit]

Aside from the Webkinz, Lil' Kinz, Signature, and Rockerz Pets, Ganz also has made other toys that can be used on Webkinz World. These are called W-Plus items, and all W-Plus items come with a secret code that can be used in the Code Shop in Webkinz World. These codes unlock items for the Webkinz Pets, like new room themes, clothing for pets, KinzCash, and other prizes.

Cardback to the trading cards.


These are all of the W-Plus items Ganz has released:[9]

  • Body spray and lip gloss—unlocks a piece of furniture for the Glam Boutique theme
  • Clothing for the Webkinz stuffed toys—unlocks the KinzStyle bag, which can be used to access the KinzStyle Shop. The KinzStyle Shop contains clothing that can't be found anywhere else.
  • Charms—gives access to Fairy Falls and Magic Mire.
  • Bookmarks—unlocks a Book Bag, allowing the user to choose one free book in Webkinz World.
  • Mousepads—unlocks an exclusive Mouse Pad Art Print, a hanging poster of the mouse pad.
  • School supplies—unlocks exclusive KinzPost stationary.
  • Pet carriers—allows the user to assemble an exclusive wardrobe from four choices.
  • Figurines—unlocks a virtual figurine and a unique prize (varies by figurine); also unlocks a display case that can be used to hold all the figurines.
  • Wacky Zingoz plush toy—gives access to Wacky Zingoz Extreme, an exclusive version of the game Wacky Zingoz.
  • Webkinz Trading Card binders—unlocks two exclusive podiums to hold the virtual binders.

Trading Cards[edit]

There are 4 series of Webkinz Trading Cards, of which 2 can be used (in virtual form) to play the challenge game. The cards come in booster packs, with 5 playing cards and a code card in each pack. In these packs, there are also chances of getting special cards, such as free pet codes. In Series 1, players can also get Curio Shop Curiosities and Webkinz Doodlez.[10] In Series 2, there is At Paw Level and W-Tales Snapshots instead. These special cards are foil. For Series 1, 80 base cards have been released, 12 challenges, 8 Curio Shop Curiosities, and 8 Webkinz Doodlez. In Series 2, there are 85 base cards, 15 challenges, 8 At Paw Levels and 8 W-Tales Snapshots.[11] The cards are also W-Plus items, and they each come with 2-5 codes. 1 code on each card is for a virtual pack of Trading Cards, while the other 1-4 can unlock prizes like rare and exclusive themes or coupons. Series 3 changed the format, with only 1 feature code per pack, and no code for a virtual pack. The packs also included stickers and a chance to win a previously unheard-of Pet, the Magical Retriever. Also, Ganz has said that each Series 3 code gives users an item they cannot find anywhere else in Webkinz World. Series 4 has also been released, and the prize Pet, the Mystical Panda, replaces the Magical Retriever.

Ganz eStore[edit]

The Ganz eStore is targeted to an older audience of the website, it can be used to purchase virtual pets, furniture and items with real currency. Sales of plush Webkinz and Lil' Kinz are limited to the United States and Canada, however, virtual pets can be purchased from the Ganz eStore by international residents. Secret Codes issued in conjunction with virtual pets can be used the same way as Secret Codes attached to plush pets.[2]

Deluxe Members get free Ganz eStore points every month.

Webkinz games[edit]

Webkinz World has many games in which players can play to earn KinzCash. The application also has a wide range of multiplayer games for users to play against their friends and anyone else who wants to play at the time. There are some games specifically reserved for a premium tier of users, called Deluxe Membership.


Concerns have been raised about children's use and overuse of the toys. Parents may worry that children will become addicted to the game.[12] Some parents have voiced concerns about the website's online chat system. The KinzChat chat system has various safety precautions, with restrictions on who can send messages. Additionally, users cannot type, but can choose phrases to say from a list.[13] Concerns have also been raised about the toys being a distraction in school, occasionally resulting in them being banned from school grounds.[14][15] Concerns were also raised when the once advertisement-free site [16] started displaying advertisements, previously only for their own additional game-related products, but now also for movies, such as Alvin and the Chipmunks and Bee Movie.[17] There is an option that members can use to block ads that promote sites not sponsored by or affiliated with Webkinz or Ganz. However, if enabled, this option can not be changed until 30 days have passed. Rumors have circulated that malware is present.[18][19] In 2007, rumors spread about a character that would kill Webkinz on the site,[18][19][20] supposedly inserted by a disgruntled employee or a rival site.[19] These claims were dismissed by Webkinz.com.[21]

2020 data breach[edit]

In April 2020, a hacker gained access to the login information of almost 23 million players, and was later leaked.[22] Ganz later strengthened their encryption and required all users to reset their passwords.[23]


There has been problems in the past with connecting to the Webkinz World site. These range from technical problems with customer's internet browsers and unresponsive customer service[24] to programming problems at the Webkinz World site.[25] Changes made to the Webkinz World site have resulted in many disappointed users as newly introduced features often limit access to a small fraction (less than 1%) of users.[26]


  1. ^ "All-New Webkinz FAQ". WKN: Webkinz Newz. Retrieved 2021-06-24.
  2. ^ a b Webkinz eStore
  3. ^ "How to Take Money From Kids: Sell Toys Both Physical and Virtual". Wired. August 13, 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  4. ^ "Join the Family". WKN: Webkinz Newz. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  5. ^ "Official Statement on the Future of Webkinz Plush Toys | WKN: Webkinz Newz". Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  6. ^ "They're Here! All-New Webkinz Plush Toys! | WKN: Webkinz Newz". webkinznewz.ganzworld.com. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  7. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Return to Webkinz - Facing my fears with my unaware friends". YouTube.
  8. ^ "Homepage FAQ | WKN: Webkinz Newz".
  9. ^ Webkinz Collection Catalog
  10. ^ Webkinz - Webkinz Trading Cards
  11. ^ Webkinz - Trading Cards Series II Available Now! Read all about it!
  12. ^ "Is the Webkinz Craze Bad for Kids?". ABC News. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
  13. ^ Pardo, Steve (2007-04-11). "Kids hooked on Webkinz world". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
  14. ^ Seltz, Johanna (2007-04-08). "Toy causes classroom distraction". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
  15. ^ Lazarowitz, Elizabeth (2007-07-30). "Webkinz: Big money lessons for little kids". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
  16. ^ Barakat, Matthew (2007-07-13). "Review: Webkinz pleases parents and children". NBC News. Retrieved 2007-08-20.
  17. ^ CCFC News - Webkinz takes heat for taking advertising
  18. ^ a b Davis, Lisa (28 September 2007). "Interactive Toys Like Webkinz Are Drawing Young Kids, Worrying Some Parents." Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  19. ^ a b c Mikkelson, Barbara; David Mikkelson (3 January 2008). "Webkinz Murderer". Snopes.com. Urban Legends Reference Pages. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  20. ^ Schoberg, Diana (9 February 2007). "Virtual Pet Threat: No Need to Worry, Kids Assured". The [Quincy] Patriot Ledger.
  21. ^ Webkinz.com="Webkinz" "Concerned About a Rumor?". Webkinz.com. Concerned About a Rumor. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2007-02-25. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  22. ^ "Children's game Webkinz suffers from a data breach (Includes interview)". www.digitaljournal.com. 2020-04-21. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  23. ^ "Webkinz Incident and Password Change | WKN: Webkinz Newz". Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  24. ^ Family Experiences Problem Interacting With Webkinz Online :: WRAL.com
  25. ^ Morris, Keiko (2007-12-29). "Tots have trouble logging on to Webkinz site". Newsday. Archived from the original on 2008-12-07.
  26. ^ Webkinz stadium sadness - Gamertell

External links[edit]