Special Report – With Steve Webkinz!





“Why do I have to pay money to play Webkinz when I played it for free when I was a kid?”


As many people who played the game years ago are re-discovering their childhood fandom, this is a common complaint posted on social media. However, while it may have seemed to some that they were getting access to the game for free, in reality, they were not.


When Webkinz.com launched in 2005, the only way to play on the site was by registering a code that came attached to the plush pet they were adopting onto their account. Once a code was registered, the player could play for one full year from the date they adopted that pet. At the end of that year, the account became locked until another code was registered during a new pet adoption. An important side note is that multiple adoptions NEVER “stacked” multiple years of membership. So, adopting 10 pets on the same day only ever gave 1 year of membership—not 10 years.



Once the “Webkinz craze” hit around 2007, with so many new plush pets flying off the shelves and players’ collections constantly growing, most kids never got locked out of their account. Basically, they were continually adopting so many pets that their membership never ran out.


In 2009, once plush sales began to decline from their meteoric peak, Ganz introduced Deluxe Membership as a new way to subscribe to the Webkinz game without having to constantly purchase physical plush toys. While this form of membership came with many bonuses like monthly gifts and eStore Points for special items, the amount and variety of bonuses added to Deluxe Memberships has steadily increased over the years, while the fee has essentially remained the same.



In 2012, Webkinz transformed its membership structure to a “Freemium” model. While Deluxe and Full Membership basically remained the same, once those subscriptions ran out, players were no longer locked out of their accounts. Instead, they could continue as a free player, with limited access to certain items and features. Kids that wanted to create a new account could also for the first time adopt a free pet instead of registering a code. This is the membership model that Webkinz still uses today.



Want to know what all the differences are between being a Free Player, a Full Member, and a Deluxe Member? We created a handy list which you can see here.


Do YOU remember the days when the only way to play Webkinz was to purchase a plush toy? And what would you like me to report on next? Let me know in the comments below!


110 Responses to Special Report – With Steve Webkinz!

  1. tjequine says:

    So many problems with items that no longer work, absolutely NO response from customer service and I have left NUMEROUS messages with no responses. I have been Deluxe for many years and am seriously disappointed.

  2. TheMamaDragon2 says:

    I remember when you didn’t have to be deluxe to go to vacation island, but glad we don’t have to deal with healing sick pets anymore.

    • LunarGameCorner says:

      Oh yeah! I remember that too. I think there was an office for it once and it costed like 1000 Kinzcash to go. I was so excited when I finally could afford it. Being able to afford the spa thing for my collection of Webkinz was (And still would be, given I had deluxe) kind of rough as well, heh.

  3. danielleigh611 says:

    i just logged back in after being gone since 2011…. kinda sad how i have soo many pets and sooo much money but cant do anything cuz im a free player now.. its like all the hard work i put in is gone….

  4. traceyjess says:

    You forgot that some games like Zingoz Pop and Zingoz Pie used to be available for Full Members. I was so upset when Deluxe started because Zingoz Pop was my favorite game and I couldn’t play it anymore since my parents said they wouldn’t pay for it.

  5. duckess1 says:

    The foods from Dr. Quack tonic has not worked for me since the beginning. Is there something special you must do to get the pet to eat it? Should it work if all you need is hunger or does everything have to low? What a waste of farm vegetables to make this food if it does not work. I have not seen any updates or good instructions for this problem. Can you help?

  6. FoxesRule612 says:

    Oof, I actually see some minor spelling errors on the last login screen. XD It should say, “International Distributors” but instead it says, “Internatinoal Distributers.” XD

  7. dixiecup says:

    Steve, I hope you’re reading. Will you please let us know how the move to a flash-less app is coming along? A lot of my friends and I are seeing a disturbing lack of presence from the ‘Team’ in both customer Service and in repair of broken items. We have seen a scale back of one pet every 2 months from two pet release at the beginning of 2018. You’ve told us that soon we will no longer get Ganz rewardz. All this taking and no giving, only a couple of Newz articles saying ‘we’re working on it, please be patient’ is making a lot of us very worried that we’re seeing the exact same steps you took before you shut down Amazing World. I’ve spent a lot of money (real life) and engaged a lot of new customers in an effort to keep things alive. I know many others are doing the same. My huge question, Is Webkinz shutting down? Did I spend hundreds of dollars in the last year for nothing?

    • lemony says:

      Steve mentioned on here Dec 31…..he has a big announcement coming and they plan on sticking around for a long time

      • dixiecup says:

        Thank you, Lemony, after I saw your post I did some ‘digging’ and now, I am excited and relieved! Apparently, Steve answers my question Long before I asked it AND the great news is something unexpected occurred and they will be sharing that awesome news in a couple of weeks with us! And also, Webkinz has plans to stay alive for a very long time! Steve, thank you for addressing our questions and respecting our concerns. It’s lifted a weight off of a few shoulders …. now, off I go to the eStore LOL

    • FoxesRule612 says:

      I dunno Dixie, but I sure hope this isn’t Webkinz’ “final few breaths”, so to speak. =(

    • 1Emerald1 says:

      It does look like they’re getting ready to fold up, so to speak, with the eternal crashing & glitching, still tons of things that don’t work & more features disappearing. Broken items still being sold at the estore for real money, no more items being fixed. No collection event for the holidays. Now no trash or recycling in the Kinzville Park. Fewer and fewer new designs for Deluxe gifts & prizes. More & more old items that have just been re-colored or re-seasoned (like snow added to an old item). And you’re right it is the same pattern we saw before Amazing World was dropped. It would be nice to have an answer on this, so many players have asked these questions…..

      • lemony says:

        I didn’t know about the trash in the park. I am thinking all the issues are related to the flash ending and Ganz moving over to non flash. As a wise friend said, and she knows who she is ;) it must be hard for the creative team to come up with new, fresh and dazzling items all the time. I guess half new and half re coloured isn’t so bad since we are at least getting something. To be honest, sometimes the re colour look 100 times better than the original.

        • 1Emerald1 says:

          I’m hoping the trash no longer appearing is another glitch and will be restored. Because there’s usually nothing else to do in the park! I don’t mind the snowed-on old items (the snowy covered bridge that’s out now is quite nice) or even the re-colored ones, just noticing that ganz appears to be making less effort. Like pet medallions. Most of the medallion pets were designed years ago, now they’ve had a player-designed medallion pet contest. Not much effort needed there. I’d rather worry about the designers having to come up with fresh new designs than about ganz letting designers go because they’re no longer needed for new items! But LOL, speculation is basically worthless. Which is why players keep asking questions, we want to know what’s really going on! Thank you for mentioning the announcement Steve referenced on Dec 31. Like dixiecup, I did some digging (used the search bar), but unfortunately, I did not find the article. How did you find it? BTW I’m on Webkinz FB now, may I send you a FR there and also in WW? Thanks, lemony!

          • lemony says:

            Hi, a good friend directed me to them too! I read all the comments and found the answers myself but they are replies to different posts. Please send a FR :) on FB…and I will pm you my WW I’d :)

          • lemony says:

            Trash issue is being looked into….another glitch but fixable…Betty butter rocks :) at fixing things!

      • zengirl says:

        Have you tried hanging on the swings by the stage or playing games. Trash doesn’t appear too fast but I have seen it recently.

    • Steve Webkinz says:

      Webkinz is NOT shutting down for the foreseeable future. We will be making an announcement about our future plans in the coming months once things are ready and Ganz gives us permission to talk more about it.

      • dlee says:


      • hope1122 says:

        I’m hopin to buy a membership soon, so let’s known what is about to happen soon

      • zengirl says:

        Happy to see this. I, for one, am ok with this website. I love how safe it is to play games, earn kinzcash and design rooms. There is lots to do for a full member. Buying 1 virtual pet per year is only $1.00 or less per month. Even Deluxe is only $2.00 per month if purchased at the right time. Maybe you could offer a 1/2 price sale in April for Webkinz Day and people can offer to do something to earn the money for Deluxe or Full Membership.

  8. pinkkie9 says:

    I rember when I little I was trying to collect every webkinz thre was and I rember what webkinz use to be like before membership it was fun

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