Zhu Zhu Pets: Here today, gone today -- hamsters playing the disappearing game

UPDATED (12/1)
The elusive Zhu Zhu Pets faux hamsters continue to tease those who covet them. They show up at a handful of major retailers and disappear as quickly as they showed up. Most Zhu Zhu hunters didn't even know they were there.

Such is the life of the hot toy of the year -- following the likes of Furby and Tickle Me Elmo in the annals of toys whose scarcity was part of their allure.

Zhu Zhu Pet mania is bordering on the absurd -- creating a secondary market where the tantalizingly inexpensive toys ($8 at Walmart) become, well, expensive toys (about $60 for one on Amazon.com).