With an average retail price of £9.99, high street stores such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Argos and John Lewis have already sold out of battery operated rodents called Go Go Hamsters, and shrewd entrepreneurs are offering the gadgets at inflated prices on internet auction sites such as eBay.
There are four robotic critters to collect in all – Chunk, Mr Squiggles, Pipsqueak and Num Nums – and each has its own accessories such as a bed and blanket, surfboard and the inevitable hamster ball.
Alternatively, owners can delight in watching their pets scamper around the equally out of stock Go Go Hamster Funhouse, which features a series of tunnels, wheels and even a small car for the furry friends to drive.
Somewhat analogous to the Furby of recent years, Mr Squiggles and pals are interactive and responsive, meaning they react to stimuli such as snuggling and being picked up. They also act on their own accord and emit sounds such as a flushing toilet and sleeping noises to indicate what they’re up to.
Go Go Hamsters Enjoy Unexpected Popularity
Such demand for the Go Go range has caught many theorists off guard. The Toy Retail Association included more notorious brand-name and cinema tie-in toys in its predicted bestsellers, such as the latest Barbie, Igglepiggle and Transformers figures, all of which are priced higher than the hamsters.
Indeed, the relatively low price for the Go Go assortment has been offered as an explanation for its increased popularity in this ongoing era of recession. However, such frugal bliss has since been decimated by the auction site traders, and those early Christmas shoppers out there can sit smugly before a warm open fire, safe in the knowledge they have secured not only a bargain but also the love of their children come yuletide.
Alternative to a Real Pet
While this latest gadget is sure to keep kids entertained (at least until Boxing Day), it is likely parents will endorse the hamsters for their attributes as a pet substitute, much like the long-forgotten Tamagotchi. As their television advertisement states via tune: “You will love your Go Go Pets, ‘Cause they’re so real without the mess.”
Conversely, does the avoidance of caring for a living creature, feeding it and disposing of its little pellets of faeces on a daily basis before waking up one morning to discover it curled up and stiff with rigor mortis render it obsolete as such a surrogate?
Either way, Go Go Hamsters are in demand and with each Chunk selling for almost £30 on the auction and trading sites, it may well be a very expensive Christmas for parents eager to please their offspring when Santa does his rounds.