Battery-powered hamsters become 'must have' toy for Christmas 2009

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London, Nov 9 (ANI): Brit parents are thronging toy shops in a bid to lay their hands on battery-powered hamsters that have become the latest Christmas craze this year.

Priced at around 10 pounds, these Go Go Pets, known as Zhu Zhu pets is the latest entrant in the toy market to have swept the consumers.

Jerry Storch, chief executive of Toys R Us, has said that they are a phenomenon on a par with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the smash hit of Christmas 1987. here are five of the interactive pet hamsters, Mr Squiggles, Patches, Chunk, Pipsqueak and Num Nums.

And each one of these toys responds to touch with squeaks and noise and can run about when set to "explore mode" or "choo and chirp" calmly when held.

They also react to accessories sold especially for them, including a toy house, bed and car.

Storch said initial demand for the toys was so strong that Toys R Us did not list them in its Christmas toy catalogue to avoid disappointing customers.

"Word of mouth alone stimulated demand to the point that if we advertised it would only be bad for business," The Telegraph quoted him as telling the Financial Times.

The range was launched in the summer by Cepia, a small company based in St Louis, Missouri, in the US that was founded in 2004 by Russell Hornsby.

Hornsby wants to cash in on the success of his toys, with plans to bring out a range of other animals.

"It's not just hamsters. We are bringing out the clans: chipmunks, squirrels, hedgehogs, rabbits. We have all sorts of cute things coming," he said. (ANI)

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