Which comes first anymore - the toy or the online community? I remember the days when toys were just toys. These days it seems like every toy comes with an online community. Do the online communities such as Zooble Games or Webkinz add any extra value?
Personally, I don't like it when you have to purchase toys or extras to use an online toy based community. Webkinz makes you have a toy code or purchase a code in order to enter their community. I like the communities such as Zoobles games were you can play the games without buying a toy. So do people buy the toys in order to be part of the online community? Yes, though, I personally don't understand the appeal of Webkinz. There are many kids who really like them. Even Build a Bear started an online community for kids.
I like the online communities but I hope that manufacturers will continue to create toys that have great play value. Not create toys that have a good chance of making a great online game community. Kids needs to play with toys so as to encourage muscle development and imagination.
I think that the trend of creating online communities for toys will continue. Kids love playing on computers. Toy manufacturers are looking for any ways to keep kids buying toys and playing with them.
So what do you think? Are online game communities ok for kids? Does it matter if the toys are just stuffed animals?