Webkinz, a time of joy

Lexi Manning

  Elementary school was a time of fun, a time of silly bands, and, most importantly, a time of Webkinz. Creating new recipes, getting high scores in the arcade, decorating rooms, buying pet clothes – those were the good days. Reminiscing about Webkinz left me feeling somewhat empty inside; where has my childhood happiness gone?

  When I was in first grade, I embarked on my first journey into the internet, with my first Webkinz: a clydesdale horse named Emily. Yes, I still remember her name. Together, we built a mansion and made friends with her 22 siblings (shout out to grandma for buying me all of them). I was never happier than when I was logged in. I clearly remember going to friends’ houses and swapping blender recipes, beating each other’s high scores and showing off our new furniture and pets. At 7 or 8 years old, this was the best it got. Me and my 22 fuzzy friends played all day, whether it was online or in life.

  Things that seem mundane in our ordinary lives, like dressing and feeding ourselves, were turned into magic on Webkinz. “I dressed up my pet and made them look rad as heck,” Jr. Kenzie Koning said. Entering fashion shows and buying the newest styles were essential to any Webkinz owner who really loved his or her pet. Loads of KinzCash were put forth into buying new kitchen appliances to make newer, crazier recipes.

  The recipes, outfits, and rooms weren’t even the best part. According to many Webkinz devotees, the arcade games were the heart of the Webkinz world. “I really liked Cash Cow,” Jr. Ulises Bahena said. “My cousins got them, and we did play together. It was hype.” Bananza, Pizza Palace, Hungry Hog and Candy Bash made my heart happy. Earning those KinzCash on Wheel of WOW was the present day equivalent of having your crush like your Instagram pic and leaving the heart eyes emoji in the comments. Taking the daily quizzes and searching for rare items were like discovering new worlds.

  Sr. Morgan Langworthy looked back on her childhood, saying, “I had 13 of them, and I still have them in a box in the attic, with the tags.” Langworthy isn’t the only person with her Webkinz still close to heart. “I have all three in my closet, they’re just sitting there,” Soph. Caitlin Walsh said. Not only were Webkinz useful in real life, but a lot of us played with them in real life too. “My friends would come over, and we’d play games with them, like house,” Walsh said. I used to use my Build-A-Bear clothes to dress them up when I couldn’t go online, something that put me ahead of some of my other friends who didn’t have the blinged out threads I had.

  Webkinz was a huge part of many of our early childhoods. Between playing outside and homework, a lot of us were in front of our computers playing Cash Cow and feeding our lovely pets new recipes. It’s good to look back on old times and reminisce about the good times that were spent on Webkinz, and reflect on how much our lives have changed and how people our age have grown. Thank you to Webkinz for showing us how to share and play mini games together, while keeping us in an entertaining environment.