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As my eldest daughter has the Lulu cat from the Furreal collection from Hasbro, my youngest daughter also wanted one too! Whatever one has the other wants, despite previously showing no interest at all! So we decided to treat her to the Cookie 'my playful pup' toy, also from the Furreal collection. With an RRP of £69.99 they are extremely expensive but I managed to find them for sale on Amazon for £39 which is obviously a massive saving and I was willing to pay this price for it. One of the best selling toys of last year, I'm not sure if the massive saving I made on Amazon was as a consequence of them buying too much stock due to its popularity.
It was an instant hit and it has literally been everywhere with us since she got it. We have had several arguments about whether or not it is going to Nursery with her (I normally win!). As my husband didn't grow up with any pets he is absolute dead against us getting a pet despite my protests (and the girls) so we have to do with realistic moving toys instead. It has its benefits, no poopy bags for a start!
The whole Furreal collection is a favourite of mine, we have a few now and they are perfect for little ones with big imaginations as they actually move and make sounds that they can easily make believe that they have a pet. This particular toy is very cheeky (and playful!). Pat it on the head or back and she barks, wags her tail and moves her head! If you rub her cheek ever so slightly she turns towards you for you to do it some more. Cookie comes with a squeaky toy and if you make it squeak for her she will turn towards you. Give her her toy bone and she will make a right racket chewing it! The best is if you tell her how sweet she is she makes puppy yapping noises that are so cute. With voice recognition technology, I've found on a few occasions that if I talk while in my daughter's bedroom, if it is turned on it will react (this has caused me to jump out of my skin on one particular occasions when I was alone in the house and singing away to myself!!). Cookie also comes with sensory recognition and so she will move her head to follow the bone if you put it in front of her. This is one thing to bear in mind if giving as a gift, make sure it is definitely turned off before you wrap it up or it will give away tell tale noises from inside the packaging as it reacts to your voice and movements (if you are close enough to it).
Cookie is a golden retriever and I spent about a week telling mums in the school playground that we HADN'T recently got a golden retriever puppy as both of my girls were telling all their friends at school who were consequently going home and asking their mums for one! Standing at 14 inches tall, it is a fairly decent size for a toy puppy and perfect for young children to be able to handle it. She is really soft and cuddly, but this fur tends to shed all the time, as do the other Furreal toys we have in our house. They don't matt up and do stay soft which is nice, especially for cuddles, but do be aware of the shedding! I find it particularly annoying on bedding as my daughter invariably puts it on her bed on a night and there is a little patch of fur on her bed despite the constant washing it and even vaccing it!! Cookie can be positioned to be sitting or standing and she looks life like either way, and the cute little pink tongue is a nice touch when she opens her mouth to bark.
All in all a great toy that is perfect if you (or your husband!!) doesn't want a real pet. It moves well and can be turned off (which is something you can't do with a real dog!) but it doesn't walk. There is a furreal dog called GoGo which walks that has an RRP of £59.99 and you can pick up on Amazon for slightly less than the RRP but we didn't see this one until we had bought Cookie. I would say that Cookie is an excellent toy but for the same price if I had the choice again I would probably go for the GoGo as it has the same movements but also walks.
I tried to be quite organised this year in terms of Christmas and in early November I asked my sister what my niece wanted. On top of the list was a Cookie Puppy. I had no idea what this was so did a bit of research and it seems to be everywhere at the moment. I was a bit naughty this year. Because I am going away for Christmas, and I won't be seeing them for a while, my sister and I agreed that I could give my niece her Cookie Puppy a few weeks ago! I think I was just as excited as her.
==** Hasbro Fur Real Friends Cookie My Playful Pup **==
The puppy itself is a toy version of a Golden Retriever puppy. It is part of the Fur real brand from Hasbro Toy Company, where the soft mechanical toys are supposed to have the most up to date technology to make is really life like.
Cookie, the playful pup us supposed to be one of the top toys for 2011 and since hearing about it from my sister I have seen it everywhere. It is meant to be like a real puppy that you can switch off and without the mess!
It is about 14 inches high so pretty big and has voice recognition so that the puppy moves in reaction to your voice. It also has touch technology and is meant to be able to move in different ways depending on where you stroke it. So for example, if you stroke its head it should bark and move its head. Cookie also comes with a squeaky, squeezy purple plastic bone, just like a real dog's toy. Cookie has sensory recognition and is expected to turn her head to follow the bone if you wave it in front of her.
It definitely is a simple looking puppy toy that has a lot going on inside. It sounds rather exciting and I knew my niece was looking forward to it. So, as I won't be around for Christmas this year we decided to give it to her a week and a half early!
==**Unpacking & Setting Up**==
The puppy itself is securely tied up in a cardboard box with a clear front so when my niece unwrapped it she saw cookie straight away. What I found really funny is that Cookie comes with display batteries and she would not stop barking and whining. We tried to put it in the corner of the room where she wouldn't be disturbed by us walking past (sensory stuff obviously working well at the point!). She quietened down but did keep going off in the box. As the on and off switch is located on her tummy, it was impossible to switch her off! So a word of warning, if you by this as a gift for someone... hide it well otherwise they will hear the puppy noises!
Cookie was very easy to set up once we got her out of the box which was a bit of a chore. We need put some new batteries in straight away (4 C batteries) and the battery department easily unscrews. You should use a screwdriver but as my niece was in a rush we just used some scissors to unscrew it! Once we did this, cookie was alive and ready for action.
==** In Use **==
Cookie is incredibly soft and furry. The first thing my niece did was give it a little cuddle. One word of warning, just like a real puppy, the fur goes everywhere! I was wearing black jeans and I was covering in it. My niece was wearing black leggings and the strands of fur were all over her too. My niece even mentioned that it looked like she had a real puppy.
In terms of the life like actions, it is quite funny to sit there and watch my niece with Cookie as it wags its tail (quite fast) and make little barks and whines. It is responsive to the actions and sounds but not as smooth or reactive as I expected it to be. For example, Cookie should turn her head when you wave the bone in front of her. I can only assume that whatever the sensors sense has to connect directly because she sort of moves her head when she feels like it. We played with the bone and my niece tried waving it frantically and then just put it to the side pretending to make cookie bite for the bone, but no movement. Then when my niece but the bone down and went to pick up Cookie, suddenly her heard moved and she let out a little bark! The one bit that works really well is the touch recognition, when my niece strokes cookie on the head then she barks a little and moves her head from side to side, all be it rather slowly. Cookies tail also wags when she is being stroked and this wags quite fast compared to the rest of the moving actions.
I am aware that the touch technology is also in Cookies cheeks and chin, so depending on where my niece strokes her will depend on which way she turns. But it seems the instructions are rather clear, but in action it really is a bit random. Cookie does move, bark and whine like a real puppy. Just a much slower version. There isn't a direct movement that will make Cookie move a certain way (although I thought there would be). So for example, even though the booklet says move the bone from side to side to make cookies head move, it is a bit hit and miss when it actually works.
We did change the batteries to ensure that the display ones had not run out and making cookie move slow, but even with new batteries, cookie did work but was a bit temperamental in terms of when, how fast and in reaction to what.
The good thing about Cookie is that she is vocal which means my niece gets a response from the puppy. It keeps her much more entertained than just having a cuddly toy and lets her imagine run a bit wilder. If Cookie barks my niece takes it as a sign that she is hungry or thirsty. Sometimes she tells her off for being a naughty puppy and other times she cuddles and strokes it to make her feel better. The on and off switch is on cookies belly so when my niece takes her to bed to cuddle up with, Cookie is always switched off.
Cookies little smiley face is lovely and when she barks her little mouth opens to show a pink tongue, this is one of the best features along with her tail. Cookies front legs can also be positioned so that she is either standing up or lying down. So when my niece doesn't want to cuddle up with cookie we put it at the end of her bed like a really dog.
My niece was really excited about getting Cookie and it hasn't seemed to disappoint her. She hasn't let cookie leave her side since she has had her and so far cookie has been a robust little thing, taking all the knocks and bumps that a 5 year old could give it.
==** Positives **==
* Soft and cuddly
* Behaves like a real puppy without the real mess
* Barks and moves
* Great for imaginative play
* Puppy 'Babble' is quite funny.
* Can be switched off.
==** Negatives **==
* Fur gets everywhere
* Quite expensive (would be better if it walked)
* Cookies movements are a bit hit and miss
==** Price & Availability **==
At the moment this toy is in the top 10 Christmas lists everywhere, and this means that most toy stores are stocking it. From Argos to Amazon, Cookie is around. The price varies from between £45 t0 £55. I paid the average prices of £49.99 and bought mine from Very.co.uk.
I think the price is reasonable le because it is a modern toy that really has a bit of magic to it. I can't see my niece getting bored of it soon, because even if she isn't actively playing with Cookie, she ensures she is sitting nearby just like a real puppy.
It would have been better value if it walked, just to give it a bit of an extra benefit. I do think £50 is a lot of money to spend on one toy and this was my nieces only present from me apart from a little box of sweets.
The fact it does let my niece role play and be very creative, I think it is worth the money. I just wish the actions that Cookie made were a little more precise and a little bit more consistent so that it seemed slightly more real. But then again, I don't have an imagination of a 5 year old. So in my niece's eyes, Cookie is 100% real and we have to make her dinner too!
==** Overall **==
An expensive but interesting toy that wins because it allows interaction with my niece rather than just a cuddly toy. It is also worth pointing out that by having this Puppy allows you to see if your child will really sustain the upkeep of entertaining a puppy. Obviously having the real deal is a different story, but as a trial, this could work quite well. (Especially if you keep the on button on!).
Although I was disappointed slightly by the slightly slow movements of the puppy, my niece was thrilled and that is what is important.
All the perks of a puppy, except the walking part and it is quite entertaining hearing it bark and whine occasionally. It looks very cute and is very huggable. My niece has certainly brought Cookie into the family and she isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
(Cookie is suitable for ages 4 and upwards).