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About two months ago, Gulley and I were talking on the phone making plans for our annual Christmas shopping weekend when she asked, “Is Caroline going to want a Zhu Zhu Pet for Christmas?”

“She hasn’t mentioned it. Why?”

“Well, I’ve heard it’s going to be the hot toy this season. You might want to go ahead and get one if you think she might want one.”

And then I think I may have made some comment about kids in America needing to spend more time outside and not becoming consumed by fake hamsters made in China because I like to make bold, sweeping generalizations about topics that will come back to haunt me.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when I was looking through the Sunday ads at Mimi and Bops’ house. Caroline climbed into my lap, pointed to the front page of the Walmart circular featuring a prominent picture of the Zhu Zhu Pets milling about in their little plastic hamster house and said, “That is the NUMBER ONE THING I want from Santa this year! The NUMBER ONE THING!”

Dang.

I headed to Walmart the next morning fully expecting to purchase a Zhu Zhu Pet and all the faux hamster accoutrements. In fact, I even threw out a breezy Twitter update that said, “On my way to buy a Zhu Zhu Pet because everyone knows a battery-powered hamster is better than a real one.” Imagine my surprise when I perused the toy aisles at Walmart only to discover that there was nary a stitch of any sort of Zhu Zhu Pet merchandise to be found.

The same can be said of my visit to Target and three other local Walmarts. All I managed to come up with was a lone Zhu Zhu Pet exercise ball which I promptly snatched up even though I do not currently own a fake hamster that needs to get fake exercise. In the midst of my desperation, I turned to Amazon.com only to discover the travesty that is Zhu Zhu Pet price gouging. Those hamsters are being sold for upwards of $50.00 online and while I may be naive enough to pay $9.00 for a pizza at the Rollercade, I refuse to shell out $50.00 for what was originally an $8.00 hamster.

So this past Monday, I went back to Walmart to see if some Zhu Zhu Pets had made their way into the store over the weekend. There were none to be found so I wandered over to a Walmart employee and asked in my most polite voice, “Ma’am? Do you know if you’ll be getting in any more Zhu Zhu Pets before Christmas?”

“I don’t know. And even if we do I have no idea when they’ll get here or how many I’ll have.”

Because I’ve always been told that you catch more flies with honey, I replied “Thank you so much! I can’t even imagine how crazy things are around here right now.”

And with that, I caught her.

“Honey, I’m going to tell you something because you’re a lot nicer than the last twenty people that asked me about those Zhu Zhu Pets. I put in an order on Friday and I should be gettin’ them in sometime next week but they’ll go fast. And I’ll tell you somethin’ else, I don’t know much about computers but we sell them for $8.00. Don’t go buyin’ one off of that google or yahoomail or whatever because they’re sellin’ them for $50.00 and, Honey, those things ain’t nothin’ but a battery-powered rat. If I saw that gray one in my house I’d stomp on it.”

Preach, sister. PREACH.

However, it’s the NUMBER ONE THING on my six-year-old’s Christmas list. I thanked her profusely for her time and her wisdom and then went on my Zhu Zhu-less way.

On Tuesday afternoon I made Gulley go with me to another Walmart (the one where I’d found the exercise ball) to see if they might have any in stock. As we walked away empty-handed, Gulley said, “Well you could always just get a real hamster if you can’t find the Zhu Zhu.”

I stopped short and made her look me in the eyes and vow that she would not let me stoop to that level of desperation. I said, “If it gets to be Christmas eve and I start talking crazy about going to PetSmart and buying a real hamster, YOU HAVE TO STOP ME.”

Then as we were walking out the door of Walmart I was busy messing around with my iPhone. I’ll be the first to admit that I have become a little obsessed with it and all the apps that make life so much easier than it was in the olden days when I had no way of playing Frogger anywhere I went. Gulley glanced over at me and said, “Too bad your fancy iPhone has an app that will tell you when you’re about to start your period, but not one that’ll help you find a Zhu Zhu Pet.”

I don’t know when I’ve ever laughed so hard inside a Walmart.

Yesterday, I began to work on my ace in the hole strategy, otherwise known as calling Walmarts all over town trying to get insider information. P, who so far has been oblivious to this whole thing, walked in the back door in time to hear me on the phone saying, “Well, my first choice would probably be Mr. Squiggles, but at this point I’ll take Chunk or Num Nums or even Pipsqueek. I really don’t care.” I looked up from the phone to see my beloved husband looking at me with a mixture of pity and fear, so when I got off the phone I explained the seriousness of the situation and he gave me all the sympathy that any fake tragedy involving a fake hamster deserves.

Gulley even went to Toys ‘R Us yesterday and asked them if they had any Zhu Zhu Pets and they just laughed at her. THEY LAUGHED. I believe that Toys ‘R Us and their employees make Santa Claus sad.

Finally, in the ultimate act of desperation, I remembered Gulley’s words and searched my iPhone apps for Zhu Zhu Pets last night. And you know what? THERE IS A ZHU ZHU PETS APP.

SO THERE!

Unfortunately, it’s just a game where you can guide Mr. Squiggles, Chunk, Num Nums or Pipsqueek through a maze by moving the phone in different directions. I can’t help but feel that the app will be of small comfort to Caroline come Christmas day as I sit and explain that Santa couldn’t fit one more battery-powered rat on his sleigh, but if she’ll just wait until January we’ll finally see the day that Chunk will be able to work out in his new exercise ball.

I smell the beginnings of a Christmas we’ll always remember.

Which is still better than the smell of cedar shavings and real hamster.

**Edited to add that many of you have pointed out that they are available online at Toys ‘R Us and it appears that way until you actually try to buy one and then it tells you they are OUT OF STOCK. Which brings me back to my point: Toys ‘R Us = Santa Claus sad

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Comments

  1. 1

    I sat here laughing so hard I almost pee’d my pants! I have so been there! I saw the ZuZu pets at my Walmart just a couple of days ago…I will go by there today and see. If they have them, which one does she want, I will be happy to pick it up, and since we are in the same city, it will be easy to get it to you. you can email me at tegal2169@yahoo.com and let me know. I will email you back if I find one…I love a good hunt for the #1 toy!

  2. 2

    That is too funny:)

  3. 3

    I love a hunt for the #1 toy too! My husband and I travel all over the country so I will be on the lookout as well. Keep us updated! If I find one I’ll email you. Happy Hamster Hunting!!!

  4. 4

    My mom just bought one of these for my daughter for my son’s birthday. (Yes, she buys my daughter presents on my son’s birthday and vice versa…that’s what Grandmas do.) My daughter was very adamant about wanting one. Anyway she opened it, watched it scurry around for about 2 minutes and it has been resting in it’s little bed ever since…untouched and unnoticed. I wouldn’t waste a minute of worry if you can’t get one. And definitely don’t pay more than $8 for one. Even that is about $5 too much!

  5. 5

    Do not, I repeat, do not get a real hamster. They are smelly and gross and they bite. The one redeeming quality? They tend to have a pretty short life expectancy. Rest in peace Snickers.

  6. 6

    How ridiculous are we??? Believe me, I’ve been there with Cabbage Patch dolls, Tickle Me Elmo, and Wii! Craziness!!! Your post was funny…and you know what I discovered? If you can’t find the perfect, #1 gift, on Christmas morning she won’t even remember she wanted it!

  7. 7
    Hillary Empfield says:

    I feel your pain. We’re currently searching high and low for the Geotrax set that features the cars movies characters and it is sold out EVERYWHERE. The only place to offer it is Amazon and they’ve jacked the price up $75.00!!! It’s insane!

    Good luck with your own personal rat race!

  8. 8

    Do not, I repeat, do not succumb to buying a real hamster. My parents did years ago, and I found my self the proud owner of a pleasantly plump, lethargic hamster. By the next morning, I was the proud owner of nine hamsters.

  9. 9

    My mom got wind that this was a hot item for Christmas and she has been working hard to get the whole collection for my four year old daughter who has no idea what a zhu zhu pet is – I have tried to kindly tell her that my child does not know what it is and therefore does not want it – there are lots of other things she would rather have, but alas, she thinks it would be wonderful to have – so I told her it would stay at her house – it’s not coming to mine. If I could get my hands on them now, I would ship them to you directly – just to get rid of them!

  10. 10

    I’m so glad my girls are 15 & 18 and I don’t have to chase around this year for that. Of course, who knows what they’ll ask for. I may have to run around yet. lol

  11. 11

    So, my husband was telling me about the new Droid (just hang in there, this becomes relevant) and how it has an app where you can scan a barcode or something and it will tell you all of the places in person and online to find said item at the cheapest and/or closest place. I thought to myself, “when would one EVER need such an application!??!?!?”

    Well, if you wanted to buy two different ones, and a store only had one, your situation would be the time to have that app.
    Good luck on your search and I hope your period is three weeks away!

  12. 12

    I happened to be in Target one morning RIGHT after it opened, checking out, when the lady behind me had Zhu Zhu hamsters.

    Honey, I almost ran to the back, and snatched up the last two they had. (Then hung my head in shame that I had become THAT mom)

    But my two daughters will be getting their Zhu Zhu’s…

    Might want to check target right after they open. Since they are not 24 hours (like walmart- the lady there told me that 1 or 2 AM!! after an order came in was the best time to get them – people get them all and resell them) then you might be able to snag one.

    Best of luck to you….

  13. 13

    Ok – I have read for a long time but never commented.

    There is a way to track Zhu Zhu Pets. Go to http://www.zoolert.com and chose zhu zhu pets. When they go in stock at any number of stores they can send you an email. Easiest way to get your beloved zhu zhu pet :)

    I have 7 of them right now at my house :)

  14. 14

    Maybe we should start a Zhu Zhu pet search party… we can all mail them to you and Caroline will have more fake hamsters than the law should allow!! In all seriousness, my parents almost got in a fight one year trying to get my sister and I a Cabbage Patch kid. Guess it ‘s all just a part of parenting! GL

  15. 15

    My daughter has been wanting one of these since late summer. All I’ve been able to snag is the playhouse, but no hampster and I refuse to wait for hours in line for stores to open which is what the crazies have been doing to get one of these. But I have no idea what else to get my 8 yr-old so I might be just a little insane…

  16. 16

    Hi

    Try Craigslist if all else fails. I have seen them on our Craigslist up here – they aren’t $8, more like $15. But the cost might justify itself if you are driving all over town to a million stores. Best of luck to you!

  17. 17

    I asked my daughter a few weeks ago if she wanted a Zhu Zhu pet for Christmas and she said, “what’s a Zhu Zhu pet?” So I was pretty relieved. But my niece wants one, so I thought I’d sashay into our Walmart to get one for her and lo and behold, the workers LAUGHED at me and said they have no idea if they’ll get any in and when. Blah.

    Please don’t get a real hamster. We’ve had one since June and I pray every single day that it would disappear. It smells, scratches us when we try to feed it, and runs on its wheel at all hours of the night. Dislike.

  18. 18

    Oh, haven’t we all done similar things. When one of my sons was around 4, his older step brother had a white ninja GI Joe. My 4 yr. old wanted one so bad. I looked and looked and NEVER found one. Until this year, he got a white ninja GI Joe for his 26th birthday.

  19. 19

    I can’t wait to read the “hamster” stories.

  20. 20

    I can not believe you posted that today! I was about to post a very similar story! I told my BF at lunch yesterday how my youngest is dying to have one (and her OLDER brother) and she said, “Oh, you are in trouble, they are nowhere to be found”… and I sat stunned. Really? Those rodent things? I can not believe that I am a part of hysteria surrounding a little hamster that my dog will probably eat in ten seconds if they leave the little zhu unattended.

    There is no way I am paying 30 bucks. No way.
    PS I will let you know if I end up paying thirty bucks. Let me know if you end up with one that actually breathes. I feel your pain, way up in SC.

  21. 21

    I am one of those crazy people who bought a Zhu Zhu hamster over a month ago just in case my 4 year old asked for one Christmas. She hasn’t asked for it yet, but I’m prepared when she does. Although I guess if she never askes for it, I’ll feel a little silly. :)

  22. 22

    Oh girl! My Zhu Zhu best wishes to ya!
    This happened to me…several years back with the zip-it cars. I searched high and low…and ended up ordering them on an overnight deal from a shady website!
    They did arrive in time and they were legit!
    So….it can work out.
    And it can stress you to the max!

  23. 23

    I’m holding out hope that mine don’t find out about the Zhu Zhu.

  24. 24

    oh my…i am SO not looking forward to these days! my girls are only 4 and 2 at this point, so we’re not quite there yet.

    although last year, when she was only three, my oldest decided she had to have a hula hoop for Christmas. easy, i thought to myself smugly. but do you know who stocks hula hoops in the winter in texas? NO. ONE. so her sweet (but impulsive) daddy bought her one on ebay. for the bargain price of $32.00!!!!!

  25. 25

    My daddy was a school administrator and made very little money when I was growing up. So they planned our Christmas presents well in advance. For some reason I found an interest in space around the time I was 8 or 9 years old. All I wanted for Christmas that year was a telescope. Although it probably cost more for that one item than my parents usually spent, they ordered one out of the Sears catalog. I can imagine my mama was so proud that she was giving her baby EXACTLY what she wanted for Christmas. Then about a week before Christmas I decided the Milky Way and other areas of space no longer interested me and I didnt want a telescope anymore. Mama took it back to Sears and sent it back and got me whatever it was that I had come up with that I wanted then (I guess). On Christmas day, I mentioned the telescope and she just quietly said “That’s something we will talk about later!” I will never forget that conversation – obviously so since I can almost recall it all these decades later. Even as a young kid, I felt so bad doing that to my parents. And I never strayed from my original Wish List again!! Dunno why I felt the need to share that but I do feel a little better …

  26. 26
    Kristyn Mostek says:

    I had seen the name Zhu Zhu flying around a message board I read and I finally googled it. My 6.5 yr old LOVES animals and I thought this would be right up her alley. I’ve already put my mother-in-law and sister-in-law in different states on “Zhu Zhu Alert” but haven’t found any yet. I do the zooalert thing, but they are always out of stock when the stupid website says they are in stock. The thing is neither one of my girls have asked for them, so I’m not searching too hard. I figure they will still be around in May for my oldest’s birthday if she wants one.

    One morning as she was eating breakfast the commercial came on and my husband and I waited, eyeing each other to see if she mentioned anything (she usually comments on every infomercial–she has already requested a Snuggie and a Big Top Cupcake Maker). She didn’t even bat an eye. I still casually peruse the empty shelves at Target and WalMart just hoping to catch a break one day, yet they remain empty.

    I’m not going to complain. Right now her list has things on it like a math workbook and plain paper. Bless her heart.

  27. 27

    Now I do believe you have the internets on a battery powered rodent search.

    Do you want us to let you know if we find one? Should we charge you $50 in shipping??? :) I’m serious. If I find one I’d be happy to send it to Caroline!

  28. 28

    ha ha ha ha so funny! I remember the days of trying to get the latest thing for my boys the 4AM wake up calls to stand outside in the freezing cold in line to get a nintendo or the latest greatest video game, the last for me was the xbox 360 and yes I scored two and it was just an awesome experience, but so glad those days are behind me now.

  29. 29

    I just saw some IN STOCK at toys r us on line.

  30. 30

    Hey, I need more info on that monthly cycle reminder app. I don’t actually own an iPhone, but Gabe does, and I’m sure he won’t mind passing on the info that, “Hey! I know why you’re being a complete witch right now. You’re period’s about to start!”

  31. 31

    You crack me up.

    And for what it’s worth, they are selling them on amazon, but good grief, they’re $25 and up there.

  32. 32

    Having a 3 year old and an 8 week old, I haven’t heard of the much-loved Zhu Zhu pet, so just out of curiousity I looked on the Toys R Us website and they have some in stock if you are interested.

  33. 33

    This was hilarious and made me laugh out loud this very early Thursday morning. Thank you!

    And you are one awesome mama – I would have given up on the Zhu Zhu after the first Walmart had none. Good luck in your hunt – I hope all your hard work pays off!

  34. 34

    Love it! My mother is just waiting in the wings to laugh her butt off at me when I go through this v. same thing. She is still bitter about the whole Cabbage Patch Kid shortage in the early 80s. (Never mind that my sister and I, living in GA, already had original, signed Xavier Roberts dolls. NO! we had to have the plastic ones too.)

    I feel a trip down memory lane post coming on.

  35. 35

    I think you are funny .. a lot. But today … today when I read about the Walmart employee stomping on the fake rat, I seriously had sustained out loud laughter. SO funny.

    Target in Houston scoffed at me when I asked for them yesterday … it might have been b/c I mispronounced the name which they pointed out. But I heard Toys R Us in Northwest Houston has some … they’ll be seeing me today.

    Good luck on your search!

  36. 36

    Do u belive in fate my friend? I live in a very small town and running out of things around here almost never happens! I am literally at Wal-Mart right now staring at the fake little hamsters as we speek!!! The entire shelf is totally stocked! I would be happy to get one for you and send it your way if you would like me to! Just e-mail me at jennie.newland@yahoo.com if your interested!

  37. 37

    Hilarious!! I remember two years ago when Guitar Hero was the It thing. I went to EVERY place in Houston that I could think of that would have a white chordless guitar for wii…no luck. Finally my mom got the Insider info from a friend who works at the local wal-mart who saw an 18 wheeler pull in and mom ran to it and waited until they unloaded and stocked the items to buy that stupid guitar for my little sister! GOOD LUCK!!

  38. 38

    Seriously, you NEVER cease to make me laugh. How do you do that?

    It is your quick qit and humor????

    I think so!!!!

    Well, happy hunting on your Zhu Zhu search. May the Zhu Zhu force be with you!!!! :)

  39. 39

    You are home free with the lady you befriended with honey at the Walmarts! The year Santa brought Butterscotch the Pony to my girl (she was 6), I’d done the same exact thing with the toy dept mgr and she actually TOOK DOWN MY CELL NUMBER and CALLED ME when the shipment came in. She couldn’t technically ‘hold one’ for me, mind you, but that I was there when they rolled them onto the floor was far from coincidental. Bless her soul.

    Mind you, I promised to send her a Christmas card every year thereafter and also name my next child after her.
    Boy or Girl.

  40. 40

    Over the summer, I was contacted by one of those companies that does blog tours for new products. They asked me to do a Zhu Zhu pets party for my kids’ friends and give out some Zhu Zhus. I have to tell you, when I heard about them I thought they were the stupidest toy ever. But once we got them, I could kind of see the appeal. They are very lifelike (except for the sounds they make: honking, sirens, yeah real hamsters sure sound like that) and when you get tired of them they TURN OFF.

    But I also have to tell you that the exercise ball is an exercise in frustration. The company also sent me all the pieces for the hamsters, and most of them were fun. But we threw the ball away because the stinkin’ hamster kept flipping over on his back and would. not. exercise.

    Good luck in your search! And make sure Caroline doesn’t snuggle her friend up next to her face–her hair WILL get caught in the wheels. Um, I mean the very life-like rotating paws.

  41. 41

    toysrus.com has Chunk, Pipsqueak, and Numnums in stock for $9.99 each. Hope that helps :)

  42. 42

    Can I just add one more little thing, y’all? I’m so glad that none of you mentioned Hallmark as a place to get Zhu Zhu Pets…even though the Zhu Zhu Pets website says Hallmark carries them, we don’t. I answer about 20 questions a day from dads and grandpas who have much better things to be doing with their time than tracking down battery-operated hamsters. I try not to laugh, honest.

    Who decides what the hot toy is going to be anyway?

  43. 43

    The toymakers, thay have us by the….well if we had them. I remember when it was tickle me elmo. New Years they couldn’t give them away. Would she be happy with an IOU? Just kidding. I’ll look for them here in Sweet Home Alabama. Maybe these kids haven’t found out about them yet, since most stuff usually happens here last.

  44. 44

    Thanks for the Thursday morning laugh…hope you find Pipsqueak (just because I like the name)! :)

  45. 45

    Okay, they had them at Cracker Barrel last time I was in. I agree, I’d stomp on it if I saw it on the floor of my kitchen. But anyway, worth a stop for pancakes to suss out the shopping potential…

  46. 46

    I saw where Toys R Us just announced they will have these in stock on Black Friday. Looks like you need to camp out at your local store. Good luck

  47. 47

    I understand this desperation. And Toys R Us DOES make Santa sad. I’ve never heard of this toy but need to search for it now. If I find one (reasonably priced) I’ll get it & ship it to you. Like I said, I know this desperation and it’s not a good place to be. We think we are above it, then as Christmas draws closer, there we are. Good luck!

  48. 48

    I feel your pain. In the mid 80′s a Play Doh Happy meal set was my four year old daughter’s number one toy and I had people in four states looking for one. No internet or iPhone apps (or even cell phones!) to help … just prayer. I felt silly praying for a toy, but a mom just does not want to crush a little one’s heart on Christmas. My friend found one on December 23rd and I will be eternally grateful.

    This website says ToyRus will have “10′s of thousands” on Black Friday.
    http://www.i4u.com/article28324.html

    Which makes me think that makes Santa angry … to hoard toys until you can get a mob to go in a frenzy on Black Friday.
    Be careful. Atlanta literally had a mom get a broken arm over a Cabbage Patch doll back in the day.

    I will say a prayer …

  49. 49

    Cut yourself some slack, buy one now for $50.00 unless your Walmart lady will call you when they come in, and save the $55.00 worth of gas you know you’re going to end up spending running around the state of Texas, not to mention double that in angst pulling your hair out instead of fa la la la-ing through the Christmas season.

    Shades of the 1980′s great Cabbage Patch con and Toys R Us was making Santa sad back then too.

  50. 50

    So right now, I am feeling very lucky to be the mother of two pre-teen boys. I wouldn’t train all of the eye-rolls and sarcasm in the world for having to dash around from store-to-store.

    I actually have the opposite problem. I am headed to the outlet malls of San Marcos this weekend with a bunch of ladies with a Christmas Wish List of NOTHING. “Hey, guys, I need some Christmas ideas. Is there anything you can’t live without for Christmas that I need to look for now?” “Huh? Uh, no.” (Well, of course not. These are the same kids that request cash for birthday gifts.)

    I know that I should be proud that they aren’t asking for Droids or ipods or Playstation 3s, but I would like to see them open SOMETHING with excitement on Christmas Day.

  51. 51

    Aww, it is so sad that they don’t have the distribution down better with these stores so that all the kids that want these can get one. It is crazy the price gouging for toys.

    I hope you don’t end up with a real one. Good luck in your hunt. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you.

  52. 52
    The Diaper Diaries says:

    I am sooooo thankful my 6yo seems to have not heard of these. Not sure how that is possible, but praise Jesus.

    FYI- Toys R Us tweeted this morning that they will be stocking their stores with Zhu Zhu pets for Black Friday. I think you have to be pretty desperate to head there on Black Friday, but it sound like you might be. Best of luck!!

  53. 53

    Lets not forget the real meaning of christmas! Its not about us, and getting what we want.. its about rejoicing over the birth of our SAVIOR! The fact that He came to save us should be gift enough…

  54. 54

    I love to read your humor in the morning it goes well with my coffee.

  55. 55

    I was never a mom that hunted down the latest and greatest toys for Christmas. However, many years ago when my daughter was 3, she asked for a Popple (a stuffed animal that stuffed inside its own pocket) after playing with one at someone’s house. We didn’t think much about it, but she kept asking, for MONTHS, so when Christmas rolled around we decided it would be worth while to find one.

    Only, alas, the day of the Popple was past. I looked, and looked, and looked, and after weeks of searching I finally found the last Popple in the whole state of Nebraska! (Well, I don’t know if it was REALLY the last one…)

    Anyway, happy ending: she got her Popple, and actually played with it for YEARS.

    (Though I can make no guarantee about Caroline with her Zhu Zhu pets….*smile*)

  56. 56

    Good grief, that was a great post….especially the dialogue between you and the Walmart employee. Awesome.

  57. 57

    Have you seen these on youtube? They look really boring. You might want to let Caroline watch and see if it’s really something she’d like. Don’t let her watch the actual commercial, where they look really fun running thru their huge house and playing with all their toys, but actual amateur youtube videos which show the reality of the dull rat.

  58. 58

    You could give her a teaser with the ball for Christmas Day and put a note on it that says she can select her favorite one later. Oh, that would just be wrong, wouldn’t it?

  59. 59

    My mom called a few weeks ago to say she bought a Zhu Zhu pet for my 2 year old son. I had no idea what she was talking about! However, I just clicked on the link you posted and can’t even imagine bringing that much MORE noise into our house! Here’s hoping our 97-pound dog eats it. Is that bad?? :)

  60. 60

    Randomly just this morning I went to Cracker Barrell to get a candle, and they had a whole mess of them! I’m in AR but maybe your CB is secretly the place to get them as well.

  61. 61

    My bestie, Amber over at Raising Rascals (goodrumfive at blogspot dot com), has an extra Zhu Zhu pet if you’re interested. She accidentally bought two on Ebay and her kids don’t even want one. (It’s a long and convoluted but funny story involving a bloggy peep in Atlanta, a bidding war on Ebay and Amb’s over-abundant competitive nature.) I’m sure she’d cut you a pretty sweet deal! :)

  62. 62
    Kelli Jernigan says:

    I lucked out on this one! My sister-in-law called me several weeks ago to let me know that she had picked up two of them for my kids (along with a few accessories) because one of her friends had told her they were going to be “the” toy of the year and they would sell out fast. I totally laughed at her because I had never even heard of them! There is a space for them at our Walmart, but nary a hamster to be seen! I did manage to pick up one of the fun houses, but I guess my kids will be sharing it! Good luck with your search!

  63. 63

    You are so lucky she doesn’t want a real one. Those things stink and they eat their own babies. Awful!

  64. 64

    Laughing. So. Hard. Thank you for that midday laugh!

  65. 65

    Did you try Wal-Mart online? They do free site to store shipping.

  66. 66

    Lawd. I have been in a hamster ball myself and haven’t been here in a while, and for the life of me, I cannot imagine HOW I couldn’t make time for you. Because oh, you live my life but in a much more “Bloggable” way. Last year, for boys, it was those stupid, stupid “Bakugan”. And yes, I did the honey thing on the WalMarts lady, and she did give me the secret, known to but a few, if she tells me she may then have to kill me timeframe for arrival. And I still didn’t score. Stupid cheap, plastic magnetic money-suckers. pffffft. Get the real hamster. Then get a snake. You won’t have to worry about taking care of the hamster for very long… and it will be MUCH more interesting than some ZhuZhu, made in China wannabee could EVER be. I mean, really.. would a snake even SNIFF a ZhuZhu? I think not….

  67. 67
    Kellie Pogue says:

    I live in Arizona and went from Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart and Target, and everyplace in between trying to locate them too. No luck. I did find, however, that many of the Hallmark Gold Crowne stores have them. I couldn’t find Mr. Squiggles the day I was there but they had the others. Maybe you’ll have luck at Hallmark too!!

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    ok dumb question….i bought the blu-ray mattifier…do you put that on before your tinted moisturizer? do you use foundation also? thanks!!

  69. 69

    nowinstock.net or .com, one of those. LOL We have battery powered rodents on their merry way to our house, thanks to that website that dinged my computer when they were in stock.

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    Hey – check ebay. They are selling them on there!

  71. 71

    you don’t have to go out & buy a real hamster…i have one you can HAVE, free of charge! ;o)

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    Uh,oh!! I feel for you. Thirty years ago I had the same fun yuletide 4 years in a row trying to find the Madame Alexander “Little Women” dolls for my darling girl. And I did it, too, but what a nightmare for me and every salesperson between El Paso and Dallas. And that was before the internet. There were, however, several Greyhound buses involved. Happy Holidays!!!

  73. 73

    My mom still likes to remind me of how she stood in line at the mall toy store, waiting to grab a Cabbage Patch kid doll for me. I still have it. Hopefully, Caroline will also treasure her battery powered rat (too funny!!!) for years to come. If you can find one. ;) I’d totally be willing to look in our Toys ‘R Us. It’s not like I don’t have to shop there anyways.

  74. 74

    Who knew a fake hamster would be all the rave this year for Christmas! Is Elmo still popular? How does someone know what’s going to be popular in time to actually get one? The stress of it all! I’m glad Brennan doesn’t have a say in his Christmas gift this year. ;) I still have a few years to prep myself for the trauma.

  75. 75

    I’m so torn on the toy craze thing because we did something similar last year for my daughter and then after the initial peals of delight Christmas morning, she decided she didn’t like it. All we have is a picture of her with a glum look on her face for screwing up her life by getting her what she wanted. Then again, my aunt did the same thing for me to get me my first cabbage patch doll and I loved that thing like no other. I still have it.

    I say that if you do find her the elusive toy, you give it to her wrapped in the plaid vest you love that she won’t wear and force her to take a lovely holiday family portrait in it before she can play with her toy. You’ve already earned it for this “rat race” you’re on. That jolly old elf better not take credit for this one! Good luck. :)

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    I got three back in September! There were four the shelf at our Wal*mart and hubs had taken the kids camping so it was just me and the baby, I admit, I did all my xmas shopping that weekend.

  77. 77

    I looked at the commercial. They look really cute and my kinda a pet. Good luck finding them.

  78. 78

    Oh no! My daughter hasn’t mentioned them….yet! I’ve been trying to get a jump on my shopping but it’s been really hard. Every time I think I know what to buy her, she sees a new commercial and absolutely HAS to have that toy.

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    I am laughing because your story reminded me of the year Baby Alive came out. I went to 3 cities looking for it and finally Amy’s grandfather found one in Waco and we met half way because it just wouldn’t have been Christmas without BABY ALIVE. Relish these scavenger hunts….they will be gone before you know it and you’ll be helping Caroline find the perfect toy for her babies. Can’t wait to see you!!! I just made a Mexican Chocolate cake for you Amy and pimento cheese for Caroline and boys!

  80. 80

    Omigosh. SO FUNNY!! I am still laughing! And I have to tell Gulley that the iperiod application is just about the best application ever!

  81. 81

    You know, I have a battery powered cat toy that looks a lot like those hamsters. Have you tried picking one up at petsmart and just drawing a design on its back with whiteout or something? Even better, my cat never plays with the one he has…so I’m willing to part with my Zhu zhu knockoff for only $7.50!

    Let me know. Operators are standing by.

  82. 82

    Oh the zhu zhu, had never heard of this until I read your post, then today that is all I’ve heard about on TV…on The View, now on Nightline. GOOD LUCK, hope you DO find these critters for your precious little one. Now I’m wanting them for the grand kids but since I’m not a shopper, I’m hoping they don’t hear of them:)
    Blessings to your family. Have a great weekend and happy shopping!
    Kaye
    Matthew 21:22

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    You know, do not neglect the teacher stores in search of the afore mentioned rodentia. Many of them sell them…

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    toys-r-us makes Santa sad…rofl & I AGREE 1000%%%%%%%%%%%!

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    I’ve never even heard of a Zhu Zhu pet until just now but I feel like I need to go patrol all my local walmarts in case my 4 year old wants one. WHAT IF SHE WANTS ONE? I better go look…tonight.

  86. 86

    Check out maedolls.com. This is my sister’s toy store in Alabama. She has them. Even SHE had to pay retail for them, but she can at least say she has them. Call her Monday of you don’t see them on-line. Her name is Holley. The # is on the website. Good luck! Tell her you’re Big Mama and she’ll bend over backwards to make you happy!

  87. 87

    It is crazy. Ever notice how the eBay resellers mysteriously never run out of inventory? They corner the market and sell at their whim. I learned last season though (when I was buying my Wii Console) how these resellers do it. It
    is rather simple if you have a browser and some patience.

    It’s all explained here: http://hardtogetonline.com.

    Anyway, good luck…It’s what I will be using.