Webkinz (lost original beta build of online virtual pet game; 2004)

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A promotional display circa 2005 which showcases tags and a logo with a 3D Cocker Spaniel.

Status: Lost

Webkinz is a toys to life game with accompanying plush toys created by Ganz which released to the public in 2005. According to creative directors, this concept originally started with the plush toy before the decision was made to include a website.

There was a beta build of the game given to child test players in July of 2004. When the team didn't get the reaction they wanted, they scraped most of the early build and worked for eight months to redesign the site for its launch in 2005. [1]


3D was the original medium. According to the creative designer, this was scrapped because of the amount of resources and time taken to build a pet's model.

A Webkinz tour video released in 2005 [2]. shows screenshots which include the original 3D models, namely a rough Cocker Spaniel and a slightly cropped Pig in the GUI. However, because of being near identical to the final save for some shading effects and the removed "W" icon, it's possible these 3D models are placeholders. The Cocker Spaniel shown in 3D looks to be an earlier model than the other known model.

Seen in the video are an early tag and logo design featuring a 3D Cocker Spaniel instead of the 2D one, and some of the early tags on plush toys originally released to the public included this design. The logo is slightly different with the "K" being rainbow alongside the W. Notably, the "Magic W" is also absent on early plush toys.

There is a patent filed in 2004, and while grainy does have images of the 3D pig and show some other early screenshots. Another difference shown is that the categories of the W shop seemed to have been simpler. [3]

The arcade also appears slightly different, and the game Color Storm features a different logo.




The Webkinz Tour video from 2005, showing some beta screenshots.