Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zhu-niverse Ice Cream Party

What will they think of next? The group behind ZhuZhu pets sure have my children hooked. When the party box arrived a couple of weeks ago, my daughter was so excited to see more ZhuZhu Pets, an ice cream parlor and an ice cream truck. She was ready to open it all up and start playing. When I told her she would have to wait for the party, she started asking daily, when will we have a party?

Finally (from my daughter's perspective), this past weekend we hosted a Zhu-niverse Ice Cream Party. Okay, I guess maybe we didn't technically host since we weren't at our house, but we brought the party with us! I had planned to host at our house, , but things got busy and my daughter couldn't wait, so since we were off to a party with my nieces and nephew, we decided this would be a good time to have a Zhu-niverse Ice Cream Party.

The newest ZhuZhu Pets (at least that I know of, seems that they are always coming up with something new) are very colorful - I would describe the ones that we received as bright pastels - I know, it seems a bit like an oxymoron, but they came in pink, purple, blue and green. They were light shades like pastels, but very vivid colors at the same time. My son was quickly drawn to blue (it was the most "boy" color in the set) and my daughter, of course, liked them all. She eventually selected the pink one as the one that she would claim after the party.

The ice cream parlor came with many accessories, including a picnic table, "tubs" that looked like a variety of ice cream flavors, an ice cream scoop, sundaes, shakes and scoops of ice cream. It has an awning and serving window on one side and a slide open "Zhu-m" up window on the other side (that was bad, wasn't it?). I will say that if you have younger kids, this is one item where the accessories will need to be stored out of the way.

The hit of the party though was the ice cream truck. My video doesn't capture the sound but you can see the truck driving along with the ZhuZhu Pet wearing his ice cream driver hat. The kids kept wanting to be the next to drive the ice cream truck. They loved the music it played, sounds just like you would expect the ice cream truck to sound. They would stop the truck to push the button. When they did, sometimes the hamster would keep trying to push it along and other times, it would simply back out of the truck and go on it's merry way.

My kids are enamored with ZhuZhu Pets. As they continue to evolve, they are still very much intrigued by the toy and very excited to play with them when we get new ZhuZhus or accessories.

These new bright color one's were definitely more appealing to my daughter and nieces than to my son and nephew. When we wrapped up the party, we left two of them with my nieces to play with. We already have a "horde" of hamsters (although in trying to find the name for a group of hamsters, I learned that they don't usually live in groups - which made me think, do you still find hamsters in the wild?) at home anyways.

Myself, I think it has been an interesting evolution. The first ZhuZhu Pets that we played with - they were the colors of hamsters, their habitat, although having "room" stickers to enhance them felt like hamster stuff complete with a hamster wheel and ball. The first ZhuZhus felt to me a little like a pet without the responsibilities of a pet. Somewhere in the middle we had the KungZhu Pets, which came with battle armor and were ready to fight. Now, here we are with these new brightly colored ZhuZhus that have an ice cream parlor. The good news is that the rooms/shops are all modular and can connect to build an extensive habitat for the hamsters (especially since most of our play space is carpeted, if it weren't for the habitat, they would only be able to play with them in my kitchen. Which, is where things like the ice cream truck have to be played with - a bit of a disconnect with the rest of the toy in the basement. Another challenge (one that make my husband says "enough!") is that when all of the pieces hook together to form an elaborate and complex habitat, it's not compact and if all the rooms are used, it can take up a lot of space on the floor.

They are still fun to watch as they wander around "free" on the floor.

No compensation was received for this post. Through MomSelect and MommyParties, I received the ZhuZhu Pets and Ice Cream Parlor and Truck, for the purpose of hosting a party and sharing the experience with my readers. All opinions expressed are my own and those of my family.