Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 400,000 inspiring examples.
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 750 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Join over 200,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Join 20,000,000+ people getting better and faster with our New York Times Bestselling methods, best innovation books & keynote videos.
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
Learn how the Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Keynotes & Workshops
Empower your team with the insights and frameworks they need to innovate better and faster.
Custom Research
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Futurists
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
Grow your professional skillset in an award-winning workplace.
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
World Summit
Learn why 97% of people rate it "the best innovation conference ever".
1-Day Innovation Events
Explore our 2019 tour dates and find the best city to inspire your team.
Custom Events
Host a custom innovation conference in your city that will inform and inspire.
Custom Training
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team with custom training packages.
Search our database of over 390,000 cutting edge ideas.

Digitized Animal Interaction

Toy Company Ganz Introduces Webkinz, the Virutal World for Kids

— April 12, 2007 — Life-Stages
While adults play in virtual worlds like Second Life, kids have found a digital outlet to play too. The online gaming site is geared at tweens (ages 8-12) and owned by Canadian stuffed animal line Ganz.

The plush pets ($10-$12.50) from Ganz come with coded tags that give owners access to the Webkinz World website. When they register the ID, their pet comes to life in the virtual world.

The pet owner can then adopt the digital pet and choose its name and gender. Upon registration, the owner gets 2,000 in KinzCash to buy their pet's necessities like food and clothes. If this runs out, they can apply for jobs, like virtual burger flipping to earn more KinzCash. The e-store even has furniture so kids can customize the homes and private rooms for their virtual pals.

It's like a Tamagotchi for the big screen, but with more features. Kids can participate in trivia contests and chat with other pet owners around the world. The site has countless games which let Ganz exercise their ingenious marketing tactic: play time is restricted to certain amounts. Wheel of Wow, for example, can only be played once a day. Kids want more so they keep coming back; it also ensures they don’t get bored.

So how big is the children’s market? Packaged Facts released a report in 2005 stating that 29 million kids in the U.S. are between 8 and 14 year old. 90 per cent of them are online and have a combined purchasing power of $40 billion a year.

Virtual-reality gaming for tweens could be the next big gold mine. Ganz sold over 2 million Webkinz since April 2005. Traffic on the website is booming with over one million registered pets. The site had 1.9 million unique visitors in December, and between April 2006 and January 2007, the average user spent about 128 minutes per visit.

Webkinz is a safe place for kids to play in the virtual world and is free of advertising. The demands of kids and teens changes almost daily, making future success for virtual tween worlds a mystery. It’s a trend worth watching, however, since these are the consumers of the future.