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My wife and I bought Mr Squiggles and Winkie for Christmas for our two children.
The toy comes complete with batteries which have yet to wear down even after 10 months over weekly play.
We also bought about £120 worth of the tracks and castle etc. This was despite the warnings of my reviewers that say children get bored very easily indeed with this overall toy and tracks.
They are hilarious to watch as they make noises and move back and forward randomly. On the tracks they seem like real hamsters in how they move and interact.
They work by pressing both the nose and the back you get a change of noises and music. Pressing the back again and it goes to sleep, so no worry it will be left on. And you don't forget they are there as they make constant noise (in a nice way) until turned off.
Certainly a fascinating toy - and at £10 per hamster, very inexpensive fun.
My daugher recieved this as a christmas present, At first i wasnt impressed when my friend said she had brought my daughter one of these as i know that you can spend a fortune on other bits and bobs for it.
However once i saw the cute little thing i fell in love with it. I couldnt help but laugh as it sctuttled around the floor making really cute little noises and changing direction to avoid furniture.
We have had to hunt it out a few times cause we have lost it. which as left my daugher very amused.
Luckily my daughter asnt realised that you can buy other stuff to go with it yet as she is a bit too young. So my money is safe for a bit longer. But she does get a lot of enjoyment in making it beds to sleep in and pretending to feed it.
overall a fab toy that every child should have
Last Christmas the big toy for girls were the Zhu Zhu Pets (they were then known as Go Go Hamsters) and my daughter went crazy for them. As did most of the country as these little mechanical hamsters were flying off of the shelves with what felt like every parent in the country trying to get hold of them. The problem was that eBay sellers cottoned on to the frenzy these hamsters were causing and snapped them up to put them on eBay and sell them for stupid prices. The hamsters retailed at £9.99 but they were selling for anything up to £80 on eBay which was more than ridiculous but some parents were paying this sort of money so that their children were not disappointed come Christmas Day.
We were lucky in that we got hold of all 4 hamsters - Mr Squiggles, Num Nums, Chunk and Pipsqueak - and the hamster fun house before the madness took off.
Mr Squiggles is the brown and white hamster you can see pictured here. He has a little squiggle in white embroidary on his back. He has a pink nose which when you press it he makes his little noises. The hamster is run by 2x AAA batteries which fit into the motor underneath which are the wheels to make him go along.
I need to say do not let your child put these hamsters near their hair. My duaghter did and her hair became tangled around the wheels and took a good 20 minutes to untangle! They actually come with a warning stuck on them now to say not to put them near hair so it didn't just happen to my daughter!
Mr Squiggles like all the other hamsters in fully interactive with the accessories and the other hamsters. The chitter chatter to each other all the time when they are going along and if you put it into a certain part of the funhouse it will make different noises.
The hamster scuttles all over the place and are particularly fast too. They work best on wooden flooring though they still go along on short pile carpet. Do keep an eye on them if you can as they do get into some strange places and my husband and I have been on a hunt for them on more than one occassion!
My daughter loved her hamsters and she plays with them regularly. She has since expanded upon her collection what with the introduction of the Zhu Zhu Babies, newer hamsters and accessories.
I do think the whole thing is a bit of a con now as Character Options are constantly expanding with accessories and new hamsters surprisingly just in time for this Christmas.
The hamsters are worthwhile as they are better than real hamsters and you don't have to clear up after them either. You can pick the older ones up alot cheaper on eBay now so I do recommend you look on there before heading to Argos.
Last xmas Go Go/ Zhu Zhu Hamsters were THE xmas must have toy from santa. They were flying of the shelves at a rate faster than the speed of light and when ever they came back into stock at Argos, Tesco etc they were gone almost as soon as they arrived.
When we first set eyes on these cute little hamster toys we had just one thought in mind and that was (close your ears now all you children and parents that didn't manage to get one) that the cats would love one for xmas as their annual xmas treat gift. I must stress that these hamsters are not sold as toys for cats, they are childrens toys and so we were a bit naughty getting Mr Squiggles for that purpose perhaps.
At first we thought that we would pick one or two up if we could and if we couldn't then we would choose something else for them to unwrap with our help on xmas day. However the more time went on in the run up to xmas, the more these things were discussed by everyone. Ebay was full of them being sold at silly prices and the ferver created by it all meant that we wanted to get our hands on one more than ever!
It was an extremely lucky day when I checked and Argos had a handful of them in stock, so after parting with our money, we carried Mr Squiggles and another hamster friend we bought called Winkie home gleefully, thinking about how much fun they would give their new owners. Poor Mr Squiggles and Winkie had no idea of our plan and just sat innocently in their boxes all the way home...Aaaaw bless them.
Mr Squiggles came nicely presented in a sturdy blue and yellow box with a clear plastic window so we could see him and he could see us. He was safely packed and protected and looked as though he would have made a lovely gift for a child as he is a very sweet and friendly looking little chap.
His box has some text on that said something about him being able to skoot about and chatter just like a real hamster. It also showed some cartoon style pics of some of his fellow hamster buddies. As a gift Mr Squiggles seemed well presented and came with the AAA batteries that you need for him to work.
When the big day came we liberated Mr S from his box and showed him to the cats who seemed not too interested in him at the time. Once we set him down on the floor and got him working he was quite nippy and the cats were surprised to see this funny little golden furred creature, with his white swirly squiggle detail on his back and his cute little pink nose scampering around on the floor.
Mr Squiggles has a set of pretty fast moving wheels which means he can roam about on the floor, bumping into stuff and then carrying on in his own merry little way. He was able to move faster than we thought he would and so the cats were quite surprised by him for sometime, so we switched him off and left him on the floor to see how they would react.
He was soon attracting some attention but when we switched him back on he went off quite speedily and was too fast to be caught. He did catch the cats attention and we could see their heads and eyes following his very movement as he made his way around the room. They didn't feel confident enough to go and chase Mr Squiggles about, which is what we thought they would do, but they seemed content enough to watch him skoot about. On reflection, he may have seemed like a larger version of the wind up mouse toys you can buy for cats to play with, but in practice he is bigger and a little bit too imposing as a cats toy.
We haven't really used him much with the cats as he didn't spark their interest as much as we had hoped and so he gets a just little use at times when friends who have their younger children with them visit. Mr Squiggles was not a complete waste of time as they like to play with him in short bursts. He is very cute to look at with his honey coloured fur and white paws and nose, but his wheels do go quite fast and its easy to catch your hand or finger on them if you aren't careful. He makes some cute and chirpy noises too and seems a friendly little chap.
He isn't suitable for children under the age of 4 and there have been reports since we first bought him, that he had high levels of antimony in him, after he was tested in america. This did make us wonder if he was safe for the cats or visiting children to play with him at all, but we have since read that the manufacturers claim he is safe and certified as being within safe limits for levels of antimony. However you may want to check into this to be certain if buying Mr Squiggles as a gift for a child.
There are other little friends you can buy to go with Mr Squiggles and there is also a range of accessories and play sets which a child would have great fun playing with. Mr Squiggles is still the more popular of the hamsters you can buy and I think he is the cutest to look at.
He does have his place as a fun to use toy and I am certain that he offers limited playability. But we have found that with our friends children they have had enough of Mr Squiggles within 15 minutes of him chasing about. This may be due to the fact that we don't have any of the play sets and so perhaps he could entertain for longer with the addition of some of those to go with him.
As a childs toy he gets a 3 star rating and as a gift for the cats he gets a 2 star rating, which just shows that it may be best to stick to the products that are made for your feline friends. He may have been more fun if he had been bought with other hamsters and some play sets for a child to use, but I cannot comment on that any further as I don't have experience of the other items in the range. He seems a nice enough toy, but does have very limited playability and children soon become bored with him on his own.
My two daughters love these little cuties even though we do actually have 2 real life Guinea Pigs. We first brought ours last year before christmas and have since expanded by buying various add ons and other hamsters. And have also got 2 of my daughter friends into them as well when they came over to play. They do make some amusing sounds, and when placed the the hamster house, make noises corrisponding to the areas that they are in. When they go over the bathroom area they make a water noise etc. But they are great as a stand alone toy that can be played with, with or without the house and add ons. Once we brought one, my youngest them wanted one and so the obbsession began. I must admit they are very cute but we have had one incident with my youngest placing it on top of my older girls head whilst the wheels where turning, hence some scissors and a hair cut was needed. But I have noticed that recently they do state the hair thing on the box! Not that a 2 year old would understand. but they havent done it again.
OK, so, now we have a Zhu Zhu pet hamster; it's admittedly not the Mr Squiggles illustrated here, but it looks darn near identical: the Zhu Zhu pets marketing corporation produce near-identical mechanized toys in all sort of iterations and as the 'Nugget' battery-operated hamster we've got looks, for all intents and purposes exactly the same as this one (it's got honey-blond fur, white undersides and a pink nose) I feel quite justified in wiritng a review for this (arguably very subtly different) one.
So the 'pets' themselves are motor-operated, AA-battery powered little knick-knacks, very much like something you'd buy to entertain your pet cat. They consist of a softish fur body surmounting a hard plastic / mechanized frame with inetegral motor, with wheels on the underside - the 'pets' can move around, you see - and set-up buttons on the nose / small of the back.
If you press Zhu Zhu pet's nose it sings all sorts of squeaky hamster songs; if you press the button on its back, it starts motoring mechanizedly about like a little toy car. It has some kind of state-of-the-art sensor that lets it back up and reverse and change direction if it bangs into something - so it works like a very feebly 'intelligent' furry toy car.
It's a fairly nice little bit of kit; nowhere near the £7 to £10 that online retailers are currently charging for it, but if you can get one for a fiver, P&P free like I did (from Play.com) it's not a bad buy as a gift for a younger child.
Nefariously, Zhu Zhu pets come with all sorts of fabulously expensive accssesories - such as toy pet environments for them to live in, etc., so once you've bought the basic toy, they'll feel free in hitting you megabucks for all the assorted tatt that it comes with. If you can resist that, a £5 Zhu Zhu pet is not a bad deal in my point of view. It's amusing enough to occupy a four to five year old for a bit, and I'd say that's worth a fiver of anyone's time.
Zhu Zhu pets hamster also known as Go Go pets hamsters were flying of the shelves before Christmas and became increasing difficult to get hold. The RRP is £9.99 but some were going for around £60 - £80 at times on sites like eBay and Amazon Marketplace as parents obliviously didn't want to disappoint their kids and were prepared to pay silly prices.
I bought my son Num Nums and to be honest he wasn't overly impressed. I queued outside toy's r us one freezing December morning knowing a delivery was due to ensure he had the must have toy for 2009 and boy do I now feel a fool. What you basically get is a motorised hamsters that runs around and make noises. They can interact with there surroundings and you can buy all manner of accessories for them including a deluxe house, wheel, ball and car just to name a few bits. These are suppose to realistic hamsters but Num Nums sounds like he made the noise of a car horn and could often be heard going moo. I thought this is one crazy little hamster dude.
So what did the 3 year old think? Well firstly he called it mouse and it then became known as mouse. He played with it for a few minutes before getting bored and really didn't seem overly impressed his baby brother however found it very funny and loved when the hamster came running towards him and would giggle and giggle but the recommend age is 3 + as the toy does have small parts which could fall off and be swallowed.
Something else rather random was a sticker on it that said keep away from hair. I thought Eh why would this be a problem but apparently loads of kids have got there hair tangled in the wheels of these things.
On the plus side you do get the fun of a hamster running around the floor and banging in to things but with out the mess that comes with a real hamster. Plus this hamster wont die so you wont have tears you'll simply be able to pop another set of batteries in and hey presto Hamster was just sleeping.
Personally I find these thing perferable to real hamster but a tad pricey considering you can get similar hamsters with a ball at the local market for less than a fiver.
Zhu Zhu Pets were one of the 'must have' toys for Christmas 2009. They were originally released with the name 'Go Go Hamsters'; however, towards the end of 2009 they were re-branded as Zhu Zhu Pets which is what they are also known as in the USA.
Official Product Description:
Make playtime more fun with interactive realistic hamsters. They are artificially intelligent hamsters that talk and move around their habitat. These beautiful high quality plush hamsters look great and love to be hugged. Collect all their playsets and create your own world for your chosen hamster. Its like having a real hamster but without the mess.
Originally there were 4 interactive hamsters to collect ... Mr Squiggles, Chunk, Pipsqueak, Num Nums and Chunk all with their own individual personalities; however, the collection has grown in 2010 to include several new hamsters including a very cute and very pink Jilly who is just perfect for girls.
The hamsters come with the rrp of 9.99 and are great value for money when you compare them to other interactive toys. However, high demand and lack of stock in the run up to Christmas saw the hamsters attract a high premium on auction sites; although as new stock is now arriving in-store they should hopefully become easier to obtain.
The hamsters come with batteries included; which make them an ideal gift which is ready to go; however, these soon run out so stock up on AAA. The hamsters are great fun and very interactive, I'm not sure if you could call them 'realistic' as you need to press them on the nose or on the back to activate them; however they are a cleaner alternative to a real hamster ! A press on the nose or on the back will set the hamster off moving in a random direction or making a funny noise, anything from blowing a kiss to a cow mooing. Even if the hamster runs into a wall or some other object it will soon reserve back and set off in another direction. You are able to purchase a variety of accessories for the hamsters, an adventure ball, beds, car and fun house although this list is set to grow. The fun house is an ideal first add on for the hamsters to play in, the hamsters respond to whatever area of the house they are in, for example in the bedroom they will snore and in the kitchen they will munch, etc ... my little one loves hers. We have wooden floors which is ideal for the hamster to move about on due to the underneath wheels but I don't think they would manage well on carpets. The hamsters come with an age guide of 4 years and a warning not to put near hair as the wheels could soon become tangled so we always make sure our little one has her hair tied back when playing to avoid any accidents.
Some people thought that the hamsters would be a one hit wonder for Christmas 2009; however, I'm not so sure. With the release of the new hamsters along with new accessories like a pushchair, babies, etc it would appear that you'll be able to add to your Zhu Zhu set for some time to come.
I give the hamsters a five star rating, based on price and the amount of fun and play time my little one has with hers.