We are often asked what are the hot Christmas gifts this year, and in our list of top ten Christmas gifts, Chumby is right at the top. In fact, the only reason that we can imagine that Chumby didn’t catch on like wildfire when it was first introduced is due to anemic marketing. Because Chumby just may be the mother of all Christmas present ideas. In fact, if you are wondering what are some good Christmas presents, or are looking for some last minute Christmas gifts, you can’t go wrong with a Chumby. Chumby offers something for everybody, from 5 to 95. And because if you give it to a child, the parent can control the content, it’s very child-safe!*
If you aren’t sure what a Chumby is, you’re not alone – and that goes back to the anemic marketing. Chumby is a very simple, easy-to-use Internet receiver, wrapped up in a soft, squishy hand-hold sized package. Put another way, it’s a screen on which you can choose to have displayed any of your choice of hundreds of widgets and information bits (think the weather, news headlines, cute animals, email, games, you name it); the screen is a touch screen, so that you can interact with games and other fun interactive widgets. And because the screen is just about the size of a GPS, and because its ‘body’ is a soft, squeezable body, it’s easy and fun to hold in your hands, and carry around.
Some would even call it cuddly.
In fact, despite the fact that it doesn’t look like an animal or an animate object at all (in fact it reminds us of a toddler’s soft, squishy football), legions of Chumby fans modify (“mod”) the cases of their Chumbys, adding all sorts of anthropomorphic accoutrement, and posting photos of their mods.
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Each Chumby even comes with its very own schwag – charms to hang off the side of your Chumby (and you can buy others, as well).
Cute though it is, the real genius of Chumby is what’s inside – or, rather, what can be sent to your Chumby. This is where Chumby really shines.
Here’s how Chumby works: once you have your Chumby in hand, you log into the Chumby website with your computer, create an account (this takes all of about 3 minutes), and then select as many of the widgets (think “items to display on my Chumby’s screen”) as you like. They are all free!
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And for parents, the beauty of this system is that your child can’t actually access the Internet* from the Chumby – it’s only a receiver – so the only content that your child will see is what you choose to put on the Chumby (unless of course you decide to let your child log into the Chumby website and choose the widgets themselves).
The Chumby costs $199 and is available through Amazon – you can order the Chumby through Amazon here.
[*Note that the child friendliness applies only to the original Chumby – Chumby has come out with a new model called the “Chumby One” which is not only not soft and squishy but also does allow for browsing the Internet.]
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