Webkinz: real and virtual dog

Judging from the press release, Webkinz is a curious game that connect first life and second life environment (take 2nd life as a general world referring to a virtual world):

Webkinz are a line of stuffed animals that come with a secret code allowing the purchaser to enter into an online fantasy world for a one-year period starring that pet. (...) Once registered, this cuddly interactive pet becomes a tangible companion for playtime, but on the computer screen a virtual image of that exact Webkinz pet appears in a room, along with a health/happiness/hunger meter. An initial $2,000 in Kinzcash (Webkinz imaginary cash) is provided to purchase furnishings for the pet´s room, buy clothes for the pet, provide the pet with toys, and to select from a variety of foods for the pet. In order to earn more Kinzcash, the owner can go to "Quizzy´s Question Corner" to earn more Kinzcash by answering age-appropriate educational quizzes. Also featured is a tournament arena of computer games and weekly contests. "Adopting" more pets equates to more playmates both on-line and off-line. The animals can even talk to each other, or the owner´s pet can speak with a friend´s pet.

Why do I blog this? this is another occurrence of a device that let people have an object with a virtual counterpart. The difference with other projects such as the v-migo is that the tangible interaction with the artifacts are not detected or used. It's interesting anyway because it's based on a toy ID that connects the object to a virtual world. So what about a DIY version? like crafting your own stuffed pets, using Thinglink as an alternative to the webkinz #### and... mmmh this needs to be hooked to any virtual world that would let people do so.