Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Great Webkinz Scandal

Okay, it’s not really great great, and it’s hardly a scandal, but in today’s reactionary times, there’s nothing like an incendiary headline. (Brad’s twins were fertilized in vitro. I had to lie down and put a cool cloth on my head after seeing that at the supermarket check out.)

So here’s the deal. If you’re finding that Webkinz are under glass or behind the counter at your favorite toy store lately, it’s because people are stealing the codes. Yes, one of our friends who runs a small toy store actually said he caught a woman nipping off the hangtags with a nail clipper. Of course, if that seems just a little bit too too—oh what’s the word? CRIMINAL, they’re copying down the codes from the hangtags and taking them home and plugging them into the computer.

Well, of course, when that Webkinz is finally sold and taken home to a legitimate and loving family where it will be cherished for a good few hours, the code doesn’t work. In fact, it shows that it’s already been registered, prompting the irate parent to return to the store and demand the money back. Ganz won’t take the product back because the code has been activated. (Indeed, Ganz hasn’t returned our calls for comment on this.) So, who takes it on their little plush chin? The store owners who are stuck with the goods.

Kind of reminds me of my friends in the mortuary business who get stuck, a lot more often than you might imagine, with unclaimed “cremains.” (That’s what’s left over after cremation.) What do you do with all that “inert material?” (You probably don't want to know, but let's just say the forgotten plush toy at the bottom of the toy chest has all the luck.) After all a Webkinz without it’s code is just another plush toy.

I’ve talked to many people about this over the past couple of weeks, and it seems like this is a new kind of development that’s endemic when the economy takes a downturn. Shoplifting goes up, for example.

But, people, this is stealing! There is no justification for it on any level, and it’s not a “victimless crime.” And what a horrible lesson to teach kids. So don’t be surprised to have to ask for Webkinz, and other web-enabled toys in stores over the next few months. It’s a sad commentary, and one wonders who could actually enjoy a toy that they’ve virtually stolen?

Then again, having worked in retail, there isn’t a lot in this vein that surprises me. It’s just too bad.

5 comments:

Webkinz said...

it really is a shame that people are resorting as low as this just to get some new Webkinz in their accounts. What is even more sad is that these are grown adults doing this too. Some people have no morals.

Anthony said...

I feel bad for the people who buy these Webkinz with the used up codes. What a letdown that must be.

So the high price of gas is affecting even Webkinz now? No one is safe. :)

Anonymous said...

I would like to say thanks
for posting this..I sent
in this question along time ago :)
(may just be Godinsedentil though !)

also do you think there is a ganz scandel..since
webkins and other toys are made in China
(like children making the toys
and only getting 1 cent per hour or per toy ?? :( )
I wrote in 9 years ago
about the disney scandel..and
they finally have found out
that it is TRUE..
kids were making the toys
and getting like 1 cent per toy
(or per hour)
I have been a Child Activist
since I was 10 years old :)

Free The Children,
Leaders Today,WeToWe,
and O Ambassadors rock!

if you belive me about Ganz
might having a Scandel like this..keep the toys you have
and only register 2 per year..
and enjoy the site while you can...
and if you are Christian..pray
for the children who might have made your webkinz codes..
if you arnt Christian..keep
them in your thoughts
and dont buy anything to do with Ganz!

:)
Peace Out!
MeMe

Anonymous said...

Why would someone want to do something like that? It is just wrong because when some kid buys one and takes it home, he/she wil discover that it is void. Where has the world gone?

Freaked out reader said...

What's with those werdos???!!! They should be in prison. They are acting like scum. And why would ADULTS do such a stupid thing? They should be more mature. I wonder if the bad economy has something to do with this craziness.