That company, Cepia Inc, has moved some $70 million worth of furry product, capitalizing on the parental desire to give kids what they want– specifically, a pet–so long as there is no mess and no stink. Now they are adding a slight edge to the cute crowd already owned by about 7 million American households. The new lines, Zhu Zhu Rockstars and Zhu Zhu-Wild Bunch, feature the same sort of lovable, wheel-riding hamsters, only now they have fashionable haircuts and–could that really be?–even pet fauxhawks. And the new breed has names like “Kingston,” “Rider,” and “Roxie,” which CnnMoney.com says are taken from the kids of celebrities. The desired audience for these Zhu Zhus skews a little older than the previous editions.
A cynic might find fault with this faddish line and the gullible public’s lust for the latest must-have little critter. But that same cynic is not charged with finding new and clever ways of making cash-strapped Americans open their wallets. And at $10 a pop, Cepia has landed on a price point that even the hardest-hearted cynics among us have to admire.