Go Go Pets Hamster Toys "Invade" Phoenix; Interactive Plush Toys Going National After Valley Campaign

One of the most wonderful attributes of a new line of toys released in Phoenix this weekend, Go Go Pets Hamsters, is that the rodent lookalikes don't "poop, die or stink."

That's according to the Scottdale-based PR firm, Martz Agency, which tells us the toys "invaded Phoenix" over the weekend, scampering into local children's hospitals and -- naturally -- retail stores. Martz says the products are being debuted in Phoenix prior to a nationwide media blitz.

The local promotion includes the scheduled giveaway of 5,000 hamsters masks at the May 31 Arizona Diamondbacks home game, say promoters.

The toymaker, Cepia, obviously hopes to see these "artificially intelligent" critters -- and their all their shiny, plastic accoutrements -- go forth and multiply. Cepia must figure if the hamsters thrive in the desert, they'll do well anywhere.

The realistic hamsters may be too Willard for some. We haven't handled any yet, but they do look kind of cute.

Of course, coping with the "mess" pumped out by real animals does have its rewards. Buying an actual hamster might even be cheaper -- depending on how quickly it dies.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.