What are Zhu Zhu Pets?
Zhu Zhu Pets are battery-operated toys that resemble hamsters. Its creator is Russ Hornsby of Cepia LLC. These hamster-like toys were sold in the US in the year 2009. In other markets like the UK, these toys are called Go Go Hamsters.
The name “zhu zhu” has Chinese origins and literally means “little pig”. Zhu Zhu Pets became widely popular in the US by the Christmas season of 2009. A total of 9 different hamster characters were introduced as the original batch. Various accessories are also available for these cute and cuddly toy pets. These accessories include hamster roller wheels, balls, and playground or amusement park mazes. They also mimic real pets by making up to 40 different sounds. And what is really amazing is that these toy pets respond with a specific sound for different types of stimulation. These hamster toys are equipped with an electronic brain wherein they appear to navigate obstacles on places where they are dropped or played. Many children have loved these toy pets as they “act” and “respond” like real pets do. Like when they are touched, these hamster toys give out a specific sound as if telling the owner that they like the touching and rubbing on their fur.
Zhu Zhu pets come in different colors with cute names like Num Nums, Chunk, and Mr. Squiggles. These pets can also be set to two types of modes namely: explore mode and love mode. In explore mode, these pets sort of go an adventure wherever they are played. It’s like they walk and run around the environment just like real animals. In this mode, these toys respond to different types of stimuli. The love mode on the other hand refers to their actions when being gently touched. These toys are equipped with computer software that makes it able to respond to different touches and toy-handling.
Various versions were released after the original batch in 2009. Today, many people collect Zhu Zhu pets with different designs and motifs. These designs cater to different market segments and the genders of the children they are targeting. Pet lines and variations include Zhu Zhu Puppies, Zhu Zhu Princess and Kung Zhu variants among others.