Back in the fall of 2007 my children started to mention Webkinz. I wasn't really sure what they were or how they worked, but it seemed that all of their friends were starting to get them. My husband and I finally gave in and got our oldest son one in November.
Webkinz are a stuffed animal, but also a game. The reason I put this in the collectibles category is that I was at the "Hobby Show" at my children's school last week and several children had huge collections of these.
Each "pet" comes with a tag and it's own personal code to go online with. Your child can then go online to www.webkinz.com and adopt their pet. Then the fun begins! They can play games, go to school, hunt for gems, get a job, and so on. Each activity they do earns them "Kinz Cash". With the Kinz Cash they can buy their pet food, clothing, toys, rooms, furniture, etc. They can also go online at the same time as their friends and play games against them.
My children have 2 Webkinz pets each now. We have the Collie dog, the St. Bernard dog, the Tree Frog, and the Black Cat. They come in all sizes, colors, and varieties of animals. All very cute! Some of their friends have 20+ Webkinz in their collections!
The only negative thing about this is that a lot of the time the Webkinz website is VERY slow. Especially on the weekends. This can be very annoying. It seems like their website is not equipped to handle the volume of users they get. Hopefully they will fix that soon!