Wednesday Dec 09 2009
This year’s ‘it’ toy comes to Rocklin
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
Shoppers line up for shipment of Zhu Zhu Pets at Toys “R” Us
Remember Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, Tickle-Me-Elmos or even the Furby? The hysteria over this year’s new hot holiday toy has finally come to the local neighborhood. Saturday, a shipment of 100 Zhu Zhu Pets showed up at Toys “R” Us in Roseville and quickly flew off the shelf. The demand forced the store to have people line up outside at 3 p.m. with no guarantee they’d have an opportunity to purchase one. “I never thought I would be standing in line for hours for a Christmas toy,” said Rocklin parent Chris Okamoto. Okamoto and her daughter had 40 people ahead of them and waited for more than an hour. She admits she doesn’t know much about the toy other than it is a stuffed motorized wheel toy that looks like a hamster. “It has been kind of a new thing,” Okamoto said. “We’ll see how long it lasts.” Fellow Rocklin parent Shelly Red said their popularity is perfect in this economy. “I think the way the economy is, they are inexpensive. It is a $10 toy,” Red said. However, some people have paid $50 on online auction sites. The faux hamsters come in four colors, move themselves and chirp by the push of, literally, a button nose. Ten-year-old Savannah Red blissfully stood in line with her Santa hat and can tell you all about it. “I want a white one. I’m going to name it snowflake,” Savannah said. “I like it because it is the closest you can get to a real hamster.” Her mother Shelley said buying the Zhu Zhu Pet is better than the real thing especially with dogs at home who’d love to get a hold of one. “I don’t have to feed it or clean up after it,” Shelly said. “She wants a real hamster but we have four wiener dogs. Can you imagine what would happen?” Shelly said they’ve been searching everywhere for months for the furry creature. “We went to all these stores and the shelves were empty,” Shelly said. The pair admits they were successful on Black Friday after standing in line for three hours at midnight. But the Reds are here again. Are they greedy? Just the opposite. In fact, Shelly said they felt the holiday spirit and wanted to give back to the less fortunate. “I’m in line for an orphan girl,” Savannah said. The Reds took a gift request tag off of a charity Christmas tree and decided they’d spend a couple more hours in line to create a contagious Christmas smile for one little stranger. “She probably couldn’t find one, so I’ll give her one,” Savannah said. “It’s fun.” A Toys “R” Us source at the Roseville store said they’re expecting more shipments of Zhu Zhu Pets before Christmas.