Webkinz are stuffed animals that have a playable online counterpart, in "Webkinz World." Webkinz were originally released by the Canadian toy company Ganz on April 29, 2005.
In April 2010, Ganz replaced the Birthstone Pets with the Zodiac Pets. Each Webkinz stuffed animal and Webkinz accessory comes with an 8-character code.
Again, one Zodiac Pet will be released every month. By registering this code at the customer "adopts" this pet in the virtual Webkinz World.
With each Webkinz toy purchased, more Kinz Cash, rooms, and items are added to the user's account.
The online world also contains many rare or exclusive items.
Some of these items require developing a friendship with the Curio Shop owner to purchase, while others are obtained by registering other Webkinz accessories purchased in the real world.
Each type of pet gets a special item and food available exclusively for them.
On Webkinz World, the Secret Code allows the user to own a virtual version of the pet for online play.
Lil' Kinz are smaller, less expensive versions of Webkinz, while the Signature collection are larger and slightly more expensive.
Other features of Webkinz include: When a pet is registered at "adopted"), it gives or renews an account's full membership features for one year.
When membership of a pet expires, the account becomes a retired account and some features become unavailable.
They all come with codes that can be entered on the computer at with the regular Webkinz toys, there are also smaller, less expensive versions called Lil' Kinz as well as larger, slightly more expensive versions in the Signature collection launched in April 2009.