Pop-Up Playland welcomes hamsters to a portable paper pet playground

The Premise. Gerbils, hamsters, mice, lizards, hermit crabs and other small quirky pets generally live in small habitats in their owner’s homes. The drawback is that the habitats can sometimes be too small for these pets, but take up too much room at the same time. In addition, not all offer the props needed for enough exercise or interaction.

The Product. The Pop-Up Playland offers a fun alternative for puny pets pursuing a place to play. Similar to a pop-up books, the product is a cardboard area that folds and unfolds to provide fun and excitement for small pets. When popped up, the playland, which mimics an urban playground, has ladders, seesaws, wheels and other fun features for pets to play with.  When playtime is over, the Playland folds back up into what looks like a large cardboard book that is easy to store. The sides of the Playland have little doors that make it possible to connect several Playlands together in order to expand the space your pet can ran around in.

The Pitch. Pop-Up Playland’s creators Shawn and Olivia, a father and daughter team, talk about how and why they wanted to invent a better solution for small pets in their video. Their pet hamster, Munchkin, was crowded in his enclosure and needed more room to run and play. Shawn and Olivia hope to raise $20,000 in their 35 day run on Kickstarter. More information can be found on their Web site.

The Perks. Early-bird backers can pledge $25 for the Pop-Up Playland, which otherwise goes for $35. Reward tiers go all the way up to a $750 tier, which includes the opportunity to name one of Olivia’s future pets (subject to her approval of course) and a few other perks. Reward tiers that include the Pop-Up Playland itself have an estimated delivery date of August 2014.

The Potential. There are of course lots of options for play areas geared towards small pets. Many are made out of solid materials that don’t store easily. Some, like the Prevue Smallcall themselves playpens, but don’t actually provide interactive features and require additional wheels and toys, The Pop-Up Playland is unique in that it offers an all inclusive play area for pets that it is easy stored and completely portable. While there may be some concerns about long-term durability for such a product, the Pop-Up Playland seems to offer at least as much fun for pet owners as the pets themselves.