To the list of mothers I know that play Webkinz to earn cash for their kids I can safely add my own sister, as my niece has nearly 20K KinzCash in her account, and I am sure she did not earn that on her own.
Ganz, of course, had a problem though. Once you buy your Webkinz plush animal, they have to figure out a way to get more money out of you.
They tried ads for a short time, but were inundated by complaints.
So this holiday season they pushed a variety of addons for the game, including something akin to a collectible card game, jewelry and charms, and a range of new plush Webkinz and Lil’kinz animals.
Their strategy seems to have worked beyond their plan.
My own daughter received a total of SIX Webkinz and Lil’kinz animals (a bunny, two poodles (one white, one pink), a seal, a unicorn, and a panda) and some Webkinz charms which your pet can wear both in real life and in game.
All of these items need to be activated through codes that come in the packaging, which, I suppose, is where the problems began.
On Christmas Day, the Ganz site started coming apart with traffic.
We were able to log on once in a while, but were unable to go to the rooms on our account or access the “adoption” page where you use the activation codes to make new items appear in game.
Instead we were greeted with the now all-too-familiar “Please wait…” message.
But at least we were able to get on Christmas Day. Since then the load on the system has become worse and we have been unable to logon at all.
Today Ganz finally turned off all logons while they worked on their site. The site now reports:
Webkinz World is currently down due to technical difficulties. Your furry friends at Webkinz are working around the clock to bring the site back up as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.
They have also stopped answering the phones for support and now a message directs callers to please email the company with any issue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So if you got a new Webkinz (or six) in your home this holiday season, it will likely be some time before you can see them in game… or get in the game at all. There is currently no ETA for the return of Webkinz World.