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    Webkinz deleted your account, but the mobile app provides a new future

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    If you’re familiar with Webkinz, the plush toys that were popular in the mid-2000s and had a corresponding online world, you may sometimes wonder about their lifespan. Specifically, you might ask yourself whether your Webkinz are still alive or not. Well, according to the official Webkinz Twitter account, the answer is simple: “Webkinz don’t die.”

    It turns out that Webkinz, including both the stuffed animals and the virtual animal simulator, is still active and running. From now until March 30, you can enjoy the complete deluxe experience for free. That means you don’t need to buy any expensive toys or sneak onto the family computer to play the Wheel of Wow. The popular animal simulator from the mid-2000s is waiting for you to rediscover it.

    Webkinz and Neopets are two virtual animal simulators, but the former has a significant distinction. When you purchase a Webkinz stuffed animal, you get an online code that gives you access to an explorable web-based world. Unlike Neopets, which has a rainbow-swathed dream world, Webkinz is based in a world similar to Disney’s Zootopia. The Webkinz world is a town where all the citizens are animals. Animals can attend school, get jobs, walk on treadmills, cook fancy meals, and explore mines to find gems to complete the legendary Crown of Wonder.

    Each Webkinz toy allowed you to access more online products and credits, and granted you a year’s access to the Webkinz website. People rarely just bought one; the more they had, the more products they could unlock. The more products they had, the more invested they were, so they were more likely to keep their account longer. Plus, the toys were adorable. As someone who had nine pets in my prime (and a tenth one that my sentimental mother fished out of a deal bin a few years ago), I often long for the simpler days of the past. Back then, the word “discourse” was reserved for academia, I used to hide my true identity behind the oh-so-clever username “petragirl,” and Facebook didn’t dominate the world. Webkinz was one of my first experiences of being online, and it reminds me of the carefree days of childhood.

    In September of last year, Webkinz announced its plan to close accounts that have been inactive for more than 7 years. Recently, I was able to recover my account thanks to a gift from my mother. Unfortunately, anyone who is hoping to recover their childhood Webkinz collection is out of luck as older accounts, similar to old LiveJournal logins and DeviantArt pages, have been permanently deleted. However, there is some good news: Webkinz still exist in a spiritual sense.

    Since the summer of 2012, it is no longer necessary to purchase a plush toy to access Webkinz. You can now sign up for free online. However, due to Flash player being disabled by default in most web browsers (with full support ending at the end of 2020), you have the option of downloading the full experience on desktop or using a slightly reduced experience on mobile.

    Registering For a new account provides you a choice of some default complimentary family pets. All are strong options, but if you wish to particularly recreate your earlier toolbox, you can pay out some real-world money for animal alternatives. While the complimentary family pets offer you 6 alternatives, if you particularly desire the *er Spaniel you had at age 12, you can purchase it for $8.49 on the Webkinz store. Compared to the costly plushies, which began at $11 for mini-versions but increased to $25 for luxurious editions (with some unusual toys sometimes auctioned for obscene amounts of money), it’s a take. (And hi, although Ganz, the business behind Webkinz, terminated the present plushes, it has strategies to roll them out once again, so as soon as they’re back in stock, you can likewise get a luxurious!) Not just does getting a animal offer you more alternatives, it likewise opens a “full membership,” which provides you more material than a complimentary one.

    “Webkinz offers both free and paid membership options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. For $5.99 a month, you can access all the benefits of the Deluxe membership, including special features and exclusive content. Until the end of March, Webkinz is offering a free trial of the Deluxe membership, which is a great opportunity for both new and returning fans to experience the perks.

    When I revisit my old pets on Webkinz, it feels like I’m flipping through a photo album. The virtual home that I carefully curated at the age of 11 remains unchanged. My pets are still doing the same things they were doing when I last logged off years ago – sleeping in beds, sitting in empty tubs, or watching a TV that hasn’t been turned on in ages. It’s a calming experience, but there’s also a strange sense of nostalgia that comes with it. As I explore my Webkinz home, I’m reminded of my past self and the quirky design choices I made, such as combining the “Jungle” and “Funky Lady” bedroom themes.”

    Webkinz has expanded significantly since I was a child. There are new activities ranging from games and collectible missions to new stores, which are all more extensive than the website I once knew. There’s the Adventure Park, which as far as I can tell, is a sort of exploration-based game where you complete missions. There’s the Wonderful Forest, which includes antiques and minigames. There’s the Design Store, which is somehow different from the Design Outlet. The full panel of activities is a bit overwhelming, to be honest. There’s so much going on. I just want to play with my pets.

    This is why the mobile app is perfect for casual nostalgia. It has a minimal amount of activities: you can explore your house, look for items, see the game, and take care of pets. Sure, it doesn’t have the Curio Store or the task center, but it’s an adorable pick-me-up in the middle of a workday. I can walk my pets around, feed them, and dress them up. I can spin the Wheel of Wow and play a quick game of Golden Goose. It’s not the same as the full Webkinz experience of the desktop app, which is as close to the original web application as it could be. The mobile app is a modern, streamlined take on Webkinz, more suitable for the somewhat nostalgic adult than for the actual target audience of children.

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    Tristan
    Tristan
    Tristan Dyason is an author at Gaming Ideology, with a passion for Battle Royale games. He enjoys streaming and writing about his gaming experiences. Formerly a freelancer, Tristan is now a permanent member of the Gaming Ideology team.