I avoided getting sucked into the Zhu Zhu Pet hoopla over the Christmas season but eventually caved. My children’s cousins owned a couple of them and they were all having a blast watching this little hamster make squeaky noises and run around. A week or two later, we were at the mall and picked up the pink, “Jilly” hamster.
The way that the hamster senses that it’s run into a wall and needs to back up reminds me of a Roomba. Smart little hamster! I’ve observed an almost 2 year old, 3, 4, and 5 year olds all having a great time. However, be aware that Cepia, the company that makes the Zhu Zhu Pet, recommends the toy for 4+ year olds. While researching for this review, I found out that the Zhu Zhu Pets were almost recalled for a high level of antimony, which is a dangerous metal. Though the Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed the toy safe, I would probably still keep the toy away from younger children who may put the toy in their mouths, just to be safe.
We had to return our Zhu Zhu Pet after just 2 weeks because it worked only intermittently. It would make a high pitched noise and would not move forward unless we gave it a little push. We just ordered a replacement online and hope that this one is a bit more durable.
Zhu Zhu Pets are definitely fun little toys. Though some kids may not be that entertained by it, I think a vast majority will. And as with all toys, make sure that it is age appropriate and that play is supervised.