Five things you can learn from Webkinz

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1. Interactivity rules school. The next generation of "digital natives" was born with web connections at home, they understand it, and they're beginning to expect it in their entertainment.

2. A collecting or family element can mean multiple product sales. What fun is one when you can have a whole tribe?

3. Cute and simple still appeal to kids. But make sure to throw in something for both genders-in this case, frogs and gorillas along with puppies and kitties-to attract both boys and girls.

4. Use your happy customers as salespeople and word-of-mouth marketing tools. Satisfied customers can be your best spokespeople. Give retailers the freedom to create their own loyalty or promotional programs.

5. Don't over-PR the product. Especially if it's a new category or product, let retail partners and customers sample it and weigh in before tooting your own horn.
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