There have been some funny chirruping noises coming from the girls bedroom's the past few days, a few squeaks and lots of giggling and laughter from the girls too. You see they have been testing out a new toy that we have been sent to review.
Do you remember Go Go pets? A hand sized toy pet that would run around your room. Well they are back, they have been updated and have a new name, Zhu Zhu Pets. There is also a new website and there has even been a TV show too.
Zhu Zhu pets are about the size of my palm, fun fluffy likeable little things with big embroidered eyes and a tuft of stiffened hair on top. The Little Ones have been sent both 'Chunk', the blue one, the rodent to go to when you need some muscle and 'Mr Squiggles' the orange one, the hamster of all trades that just needs to get a bit more organised.
We were also sent the Zhu Zhu pets adventure ball (rrp £12.99) and the Hamster wheel and tunnel set (rrp £14.99) for the hamsters to run around in.
Each pet has several different settings. Nurture mode, activated by pressing a button on it's head, causes the pet to 'talk' to you, cooing and squeaking and making cute noises. In Explore mode (activated by pressing a button on the pet's back) the pet starts moving and exploring across the floor where it runs in a variable pattern and even reverses and changes direction if it bumps into something thanks to a clever little sensor on the end of it's nose. There is also a secret setting by holding down the Explore button that causes your hamster to do a little dance and sing. The pets go into Sleep mode after four minutes or if they tip over conserving battery life.
Both girls love their hamsters and have been playing with them non stop the past few days, they work best on a hard floor but ours run perfectly fine on the carpets too (just watch out fluff doesn't tangle round the wheels). Little 3 loves them too and all of them think it is funny to stand in the kitchen with them on the hard floor and jump out the way as the run towards them.
As well as the Zhu Zhu hamsters themselves we were sent the wheel and tunnel set, once I had put it together which was fairly easy, we tested it out. Put the pet in the end of the tube and press the button on it's back, it will then run up the tube and into the wheel and eventually adjust its position and come back out again.
Mr Squiggles is obviously well trained and turns right on entering the wheel and does this manoeuvre with no difficulty (see the video below), however, Chunk must have a different running pattern and tries to turn left at the top of the tunnel, he then bumps his nose sensor and reverses several times over before falling backwards down the tunnel more often than not. It doesn't seem to bother Little 1 much as she just corrects him but I can't help but feel that defeats the idea.
As well as the wheel we were sent the hamster ball, after clicking a little plastic stabilising piece onto the bottom of your pet to stop him sliding around in the ball you just pop him in and press the back button before shutting the lid and he is off. This really reminded me of my pet hamsters running around in ball like this when I had them as a child. Just like a real hamster he careers across the carpet, bumps into something and reverses off in another direction.
The only thing about the ball that I wasn't so keen on is that it was in two halves that kept popping apart and had to be aligned up to click back together, Little 1 at almost 8 couldn't do it herself and I took a moment to do it a few times, a bit of clear tape solved the problem and stopped it coming apart though. We had to tape down the door too after the end of the first day as it would open by itself whilst in use, none of this bothers the girls though, they love their Zhu Zhu pets, wheel and ball.
Tonight they have both made their hamsters a bed in their slippers and taken them up to bed with them, and I know that they will be the first thing they get out in the morning.
N.B We were gifted these items in return for a review, all opinions in this post are our honest thoughts.