The New Zhu Zhus

Zhu Zhu Pets Wild Bunch

Zhu Zhu Pets were the biggest selling toy of 2009, and now for fans of the fuzzy hamster toys there is something new to look forward to in 2010 - new Zhu Zhu Pets!

According to Cepia Inc. over $7 million households own at least one Zhu Zhu Pet, such as Mr. Squiggles and Pipsqueak, but with the upcoming release of Zhu Zhu Rockstars and Zhu Zhu Wild Bunch Cepia is hoping everyone will have room for at least one more.

Bruce Katz, the vice president of Cepia held a sneak peak of the new range of Zhu Zhu Pets, including the four Zhu Zhu Rockstars, described as 'hamsters with attitude' going by the names of Pax, Kingson, Ryder and Roxie. They are named after celebrity children.

Good news for Zhu Zhu fans: The fuzzy electronic hamsters have quickly multiplied from just four last year to more than 40 new ones -- including the Kung Zu battling hamsters -- that will hit stores this summer.

"Rockstars are the first long-haired hamsters with attitude," said Katz. Although the hamsters don't interact with each other, Katz said a smart chip in each toy gives it its own unique personality.

Katz said the new "Wild Bunch" collection extends the brand beyond hamsters. "There's a skunk, hedgehog, raccoon and a bunny," he said.
"The appeal of this new collection is that these are animals that every child wants to have but parents won't let them have it," said Katz.

There's also a much-anticipated Kung Zhu line of battling hamsters geared primarily for boys aged 8 to 12.

Zhu Zhu Pets Rockstars

Katz said the Kung Zhu line will have eight initial characters split into two battling groups called "Special Forces" and "Ninja Warriors."

"We're using a smart chip technology to create good and evil action figures that come to life," said Katz.

"As you put them through training, these characters will transform their personality," he said.

Katz said the Kung Zhu hamsters start off as "cute" and "mild-mannered." Then they become "fighting, battling warriors."

"You can actually hear that transformation take place," Katz said.

Kung Zhu hamsters feature snap-on armor, weapons, vehicles and a "battledome."

"It's all the things that boys really love," said Katz. "But the coolest thing is that you don't know who the winner or the loser is going to be."

Cepia will introduce 40 new Zhu Zhu characters in total this year, launching a new line every six weeks, said Katz.

And if that isn't enough Zhu Zhu for you, Katz said Cepia is introducing new "play environments" that include cars, boats, an elevator and a beauty salon for these toy hamsters.

"The car, boat and other toys are all hamster powered," said Katz, explaining that the running wheels on each Zhu Zhu toy powers the car, boat and elevator into action.

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