Webkinz, the world of cute animals from Toronto-based Ganz, has extended its brand to Facebook with Webkinz Friends. The new social game stands alone but is connected to Webkinz World, the virtual world inhabited by the avatars of actual real-world plush toy animal pets.

The basic premise of Webkinz Friends is familiar: players create their own Kinzville town, filled with homes, gardens, restaurants, stores and other things that are attractive to fantasy pets and their real-world human families. What makes it different, however, is that players can register new Webkinz plush toys in Webkinz Friends as they acquire them. Doing so earns a prize specific to that toy animal, as well as the player’s choice of a new room for their Kinzville home or KinzCash, the game’s currency. KinzCash must be earned through games, quizzes and other activities rather than purchased.

In an unusual feature, players of Webkinz Friends can voluntarily and anonymously send the prizes to their own or someone else’s (a friend or child, for instance) Webkinz World account.

Webkinz Friends is free to play, but ownership of a Webkinz toy enhances the game. Each toy in the Webkinz range comes with a unique numerical code, which can be registered with Webkinz Friends and that also gains access to Webkinz World – “Where your plush pet comes to life” – for one year.

Webkinz World is a family-friendly brand, and we want fans to enjoy our online world on the platforms they have embraced”, said Howard Ganz, president of Ganz and creator of Webkinz. “Webkinz Friends on Facebook lets teens and adults enjoy the sharing and caring aspect of Webkinz World in a format that suits them best. We want parents to be able to play on Facebook and send prizes to their children’s Webkinz World accounts. It’s the new face of co-play, where everyone can have fun in their own age-appropriate environments.”

Related links:

Ganz – official site

Webkinz – official site

Ganz – press release