Trade Ya? My Cockatiel for Your Zhu Zhu Pet

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Parents still on the hunt for Zhu Zhu Pets are growing desperate—and the folks who are willing to part with the robotic pet hamster toys in their possession are growing demanding.

The craze for Zhu Zhu Pets, the must-have, can’t-find toy of the holiday season, doesn’t seem to be losing steam. eBay tells me that there were more than one million searches for Zhu Zhu Pets in the first week of December, and roughly 100,000 Zhu Zhu items were sold on the site during that same time period. It’s hard to say what Zhu Zhus are selling for nowadays, but mark-ups of four or more times the retail price seem fairly standard.

Want to know where Zhu Zhus are hottest? eBay has some indication, with its newly created Zhu Zhu digital heat map. The cute toy hamsters, described by late night’s Jimmy Kimmel as a “Matchbox car with hair on it,” appear on a map of the U.S. in bigger size and denser clusters in the parts of the country that have yielded the most Zhu Zhu sales on eBay. Right now, the map shows lots of mid- and giant-sized hamsters over the Midwest and nearly all of the East Coast.

Check it out:

Craigslist offers another insight into Zhu Zhu mania. Here’s what turned up in the bartering sections of various Craigslists around the country:

In southern California, somebody is willing to trade four Zhu Zhu Pets for two adult passes to Disneyland.

In Minneapolis, Zhu Zhu Pets are available if you’re willing to hand over Nintendo DS2 games, an electric blanket, homemade quilts, or other items.

In Philadelphia, a new or slightly used T-Mobile G1 phone (preferably white) can be traded for Zhu Zhu Pets and some accessories.

In New Jersey, the owner of a Zhu Zhu (Num Nums) wants a $50 gift card to Home Depot or Lowes.

And in Chicago, a “hand fed baby cockatiel with a cage” is being offered in exchange for “Zhu Zhu pets and/or accs.”