Webkinz Owns Second Life

Webkinz and other kiddie web playgrounds continue to school adult virtual worlds like Second Life. Yesterday we heard just how much elementary kids love their virtual plush toy world in the final round of a preteen research study. By unanimous vote they placed Webkinz at the top of their “favorite” and “most visited” lists…topping mega brand sites from Disney, Nick, PBS Kids, etc.

The Webkinz usage numbers are pretty staggering….reports from Fall 2007 point to more than 6,000,000 unique visitors logging on to Webkinz each month. Around that same time Second Life’s “active user” base was somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000 (and has probably decreased since).

Brands are rushing to the party as eMarketer estimates that 20 million children will be members of a virtual world by 2011, up from 8.2 million today.

The magic of Webkinz starts with the purchase of a stuffed animal that comes with a special code. But it really takes hold when kids use the code to enter the website to officially adopt the animal, care for it (feed it, play with it, get it job, etc.), play games, interact with other kids, earn virtual Kinzcash to spend in a virtual store and more.