Hi everyone, Steve Webkinz here. In today’s special report, let’s take a closer look at something I see our players constantly discussing: Webkinz plush.
There’s a lot to unbox here, so let’s split this up into some frequently asked questions, and I’ll try to provide an answer.
Q: Is Ganz ever going to bring back Signatures?
A: Sorry, no. The Webkinz Signature line was not actually designed by Ganz. They were made by a 3rd party company that specialized in more realistic plush designs, and those plush were made under contract to Ganz. Unfortunately, this made them very expensive, and this fact led to them being discontinued. Our in-house plush department has been creating some more realistic looks to some of the recent Webkinz plush, but there are no plans for a new Signature line.
Q: Why are some of the Webkinz plush on sites like eBay so expensive?
A: Ganz is a plush toy wholesaler, which means that we sell our plush toys to store retailers at a specific price. The retailer then decides the price for selling that toy to consumers like you. Ganz doesn’t have any control over that. And if someone buys it from a store and decides to list it on a website like eBay, they can try selling it for whatever they think they can get for it.
Q: I can’t find a certain Webkinz plush toy I want. Can’t you just make more?
A: Our plush toys are manufactured overseas and then shipped to our main warehouse before we send them out to retailers. We have to place the order months in advance, so we request a certain number that we think will sell. Over the years, based on previous experience, we have become better overall at meeting demand. However, there are still some situations where a particular pet sells more than we anticipated. In those situations, it is usually too late to go back and order more. Also, Webkinz plush are meant to be collectible toys, so it’s to be expected that some plush will be harder to find than others.
Q: Why is it that I can find tons of some early Webkinz plush in dollar stores, but never any of the new ones?
A: As mentioned in the answer above, in the earlier years of Webkinz, we tended to order far more plush than we could actually sell. Promotions like the Pet of the Month were designed to help sell off all of those extras. Some of the plush back stock was sold to dollar stores just to clear out space in the warehouse. Our more recent plush are now ordered at much lower levels, so we don’t have such a big problem with overstock. If you buy one of newest plush Webkinz pets, you are actually getting a rare Webkinz toy.
Q: Why do you make so many dogs? Why can’t you make some kind of new animal that you’ve never made before?
A: The simple answer is that as a business, Ganz needs to make plush pets that sell, and over the last 13 years, dogs have outsold every other type of plush pet by a long shot. We also try to make some other varieties of pets, but generally we try to stick to the pet types that people have been buying. On the technical game side, each pet has to work within the skeleton animation system we already have, so if we don’t have an existing skeleton to animate a new type of pet, then we can’t make that pet work in Webkinz World.
Q: Are you ever going to use the string fur again that you used on the first Webkinz plush?
A: The string fur was a way in the early days of Webkinz to make the plush pets distinct from other brands on store shelves. As the Webkinz brand has become more established, our plush department has been able to use better and more realistic plush material to manufacture the toys. While it is unlikely that you’ll ever see any new plush Webkinz made entirely from the original string fur, you may still see a small piece of this material pop up in a plush toy from time to time.
Q: Why can’t I find Webkinz plush in my local store?
A: Unfortunately, fewer retailers are ordering Webkinz plush today than when the toys were at the height of their popularity. The only thing we can suggest is to speak to your local store owner who sells other Ganz merchandise and ask them if they would consider ordering and stocking Webkinz plush toys. If enough people ask, they may just do it.
Q: Where can I find Webkinz plush?
A: Some Hallmark stores are still ordering Webkinz plush, but you should call your local store first to see if they are one of them. You may also be able to find them on Amazon. The best way to get the latest Webkinz plush pets is to order them directly from Ganz through the Ganz eStore.
Webkinz plush toys at the Ganz eStore: https://www.ganzestore.com/estore/catalog/plush
Webkinz plush toys on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/webkinz
This has been Steve Webkinz reporting for Webkinz Newz! Do you have any other questions about Webkinz plush I haven’t answered? What are some other things in Webkinz World you’d like to know more about? Let me know in the comments below.