Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Return of the "Living" Zhu Zhu

The Horror....The Horror....

The Toronto Star said last week that the “Zhu Zhu” is going to be the hottest toy of the season. They are supposed to be so hot that they have run out of them in the stores in the States and now people are selling them on eBay for like, millions of dollars (ok, I exaggerate, maybe fifty or sixty dollars – hey, that’s five to six times the retail price!).

Reading this piece of news, I had to convince Man Yung that we needed to get one. “Come on! This thing is going to be even bigger than the Tamagotchi!!”

Luckily Man Yung didn’t need to much convincing when I explained to him what a Zhu Zhu was. Zhu Zhus are the PERFECT pet hamster. They don’t poop, they don’t eat, they don’t throw temper tantrums or need psychotherapy, and they come in a variety of “Naturalistic” colours like white, beige, yellow and grey!

“We definitely have to get a Zhu Zhu for our cats,” Man Yung remarked. “It is a much better alternative than a real hamster.” Which would honestly be a total bloodbath.

“So,” you ask skeptically, “What’s the difference between these critters and a set of Hot Wheels wrapped in faux fur?”

Well, any idiot can make a battery powered engine, slap on some wheels and have it run around the room. In contrast, a whole battalion of scientists have spent years working on the awe-inspiring technology behind the Zhu Zhu. A whole conglomerate of marketing people have worked night and day to launch the marketing blitz that has blanketed North America. The Zhu Zhu is, all in all, no mere “toy” but a Perfect Marvel of Modern Technology and Ingenious Marketing.

I felt compelled to do my bit to boost the economy so there I was, just 4 minutes after the doors opened at the local Toys “R” Us on Saturday morning, fighting tooth and nail to get my hands on a Zhu Zhu. I may have clambered over a couple of pregnant woman and shoved aside an ancient crone with a walker in the process, but don’t tell anyone! I got my greedy little hands on one of the boxes. Triumph!

I took it home, unboxed it, and sure enough, our Zhu Zhu was pretty darn marvelous. It’s cute. It runs backwards and forward and spins. It goes around obstacles. It has a vast repertoire of barnyard noises – cars honking, cows mooing, toilets flushing, monkeys chattering. And it does all of this at random – just like it was alive! It walks and walk, it talks the talk – it’s PERFECT.

Except that our cats weren’t the slightest bit fooled. Ms. Z took one bite of its butt and – PFFFFFFFFFTOOEY! She couldn’t spit out fast enough in disgust.

Hmmmm.... there's more life in this cardboard box than in a Zhu Zhu.
Yes, we can tell when something's alive and when something is merely undead.
Which only confirms: Cats are smart. Humans are stupid.

There's must be some deep and profound significance in this tale about "Mass Production", "Jumping on the Trendy Bandwagon", "Scary Commercial Perfection", "Cookie-Cutter Tango Competition style dancing" and "Rabid Tango Ambitions". Unfortunately, I think the Zhu Zhu ate my brain.


Unknown said...

I think zhu zhu pet is quite interesting. However it's selling quite expensive right now and out of stock everywhere, you might monitor it by using when it comes in stock in retail price

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Wilson,

We're going to hang on the Zhu Zhu we have and then wait for the right moment to sell it for ONE MILLION DOLLARS (Evil Laughter). Then we can retire and spend all our free time writing our tango blog.

Wait a moment - that's what we are doing anyway (except for the retirement part)...

Irene and Man Yung

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! My cat wouldn't be fooled by it either. He prefers the real thing! He isn't called Tiger for nothing!

Anonymous said...

When I had cats, it only took me about 10 years to realize that whatever I bought for them was nowhere near as interesting to them as the packaging it came in.

Incidentally, you might enjoy the incredibly irreverent, brutally honest, and hysterically funny writing over at

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Arlene and Johanna,

Both of you obviously understand cats! We have bought all sorts of intriguing toys for our cats - an automated fish aquarium with fancy fake fish that moved up and down with the bubbles; a space-age bubble with openings where the cats can try and grab the rolling spheres that dispense cat treats; a super-duper cat tree with three storeys of fun and all the trimmings - but the cats always scoffed at us!

The funnest things ever seem to be cardboard boxes (you know exactly what we mean, Johanna when you say "packaging!) and pieces of string and McDonald's drinking straws, preferably attached at one end to Man Yung's hand and waved continuously by Man Yung for at least half an hour or more!

Thanks for your comments,

Irene and Man Yung

Anonymous said...

I’ve been hearing about Zhu Zhu pets for a few days now. It doesn't seem all that special, except that it was "chosen" to be that one must-have Christmas toy

Toronto Weather

Buenos Aires Weather