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I saw this snuggimals toy in our local Home Bargains, at £3.99 I couldnt resist buying one as a treat for my 2 year old who loves anything cute and cuddly. I saw cats and dogs but apparently there is a rabbit version also available.
I settled on the cute little cream kitten for Jamie. In the kennel shaped box the kitten was laid on its back looking up and playing with a card board toy when you stroked it. Once out of the packaging the kitten lays in an adult size palm quite neatly and when you stroke its tummy it gives a wiggle about! Although really sweet to look at the kitten is not very cuddly as it has the mechanics under its fabric 'skin'. Jamie still managed to fall in love with the kitten for a week or so, now it lives at the bottom of his bed coming out to play when he remembers it is there.
The kitten requires a AA battery this has lasted quite a while, so far it has only had the original one in.
Although cute and kitten like this toy does grind and whir when it moves about and it does not feel as cuddly soft as it looks due to the workings inside.
I was planning a simple surprise party for my partners birthday this year, as my gift to him. As I am a person who is somewhat obsessed with giving gifts to people I decided a small physical gift to top it up is in order. I decided to buy a small cheap stuffed toy, a orange cat that would resemble his (although not living with him) new cat. Just one of those gifts that have no greater purpose.
When at store, I was a little bit disappointed. True they had a broad selection of stuffed toys but the selection on cats was very modest. White and white and black cats were taking the lead and there were only two somewhat orange cats to choose from... None of them had much resemblance to an actual cat but I had to pick one, and the Snuggimals was the "winner" since it had some mechanical advantages compared to the other. It only cost me around Euro9 (can't remember if it was 8.99 or 9.99) which in general is not too much for a toy I reckon. I see you can buy it for £ 3.29 from Amazon.co.uk at the time of writing.
It is a small cat-like toy, white and orange/brown colored with green eyes. It's a soft, furry, cute and nice looking thing (the last only being true if you forget it is supposed to be a cat). It is not exactly proportional.
It has a interesting twist to that makes it more realistic they say, I would say more fun, not realistic though. It is electronic and if you pet the cat on its back it starts to wiggle it's tail and move it's head for a while. You have to pet it quite roughly though and when petting you will feel the switch that sets the mechanism on the back of the cat. The moving has an unpleasant mechanical sound to it, quite loud for such a little kitty. This movements are somewhat natural looking, they are not exactly smooth but can't say it looks awful. It gives this toy a fun twist.
The toy feels very fragile to me, on the box it is stated that it is for ages 4 and beyond but frankly I would not feel comfortable with a 4 year old tossing it around - I won't give it a test run throwing it in the room to confirm this but I do feel the mechanism inside could break apart.
The toy is surface washable only, and that can be done with a wet cloth I reckon since there is no way to get the mechanism out.
We petted the cat quite a lot in the past months and there was no need (yet) to change the battery. It runs on 1 AA battery (already included) and to change it you will need a screwdriver.
+++Final thoughts on this one+++
I do not especially like it. I have seen other mechanical stuffed toys form Hasbro (the bigger ones) and they do look great and move better but this one just does not impress me. I think it is OK for a quick fun gift to someone, but I would not be buying this for a child.
When you see these Furreal Snuggimals advertised they look really cute, and with my 4 year old being obsessed with all things furry, one of these inevitably ended up as a gift for her recent birthday.
Snuggle With Me
In the Snuggimals range there is a wide variety of animals available, including puppies, kittens, rabbits, and even a seal pup, and they are meant to be cuddly and respond to your touch. The reality is that they are rather small (about 4 inches long), yes they are furry, but you cannot activate them by just stroking their back, it is actually a button located on their back that you have to press to make them respond. Their response is to raise their head and wag their tail...but you also get a strange mechanical sound as the toy whirrs into action, and then whirrs out of action again after a few seconds of wagging. It is quite robotic in its function, and it actually reminds me of something from the 80s which I cannot quite put my finger on! It is something quite primitive hidden under a mass of fur.
They are not particularly cuddly either, because contained within the toy is obviously the battery pack (requires 1 AA battery), and the button you press to activate the toy. So while it is nice and furry, it is not a soft cuddly toy, and they are too small to cuddle anyway!
Despite my reservations about the toy, my daughter was very excited when she opened the present and it was her favourite toy for about ......... 2 weeks, tops. She loved the fact that he raised his head and wagged his tail, and she would take it everywhere with her, she even sat it on her pillow when she went to bed (she couldn't cuddle it because it's too small!) But the novelty soon wore off and I think she got bored of the limited entertainment value from the toy and I don't even know what she has done with it. Because it is so small it is probably at the bottom of the toy box and will no doubt resurface at some point and the romance will be rekindled again.
I think they are nice little toys, but very limited with what you get for your money, and I think as in my daughter's case, once the novelty has worn off these types of toys are very low in their amusement value. Once you have 'stroked' them a couple of times, what then?
Well they are a novelty that kids will crave, but I'm quite sure that most children will get bored within a few weeks of owning one of these.
I'd recommend them for children aged 3 and over.
Prices vary but the going rate is £7.97 and they are available from Toys R Us, Tesco, Asda, and other major stores.
1 x AA battery is included with the toy.
'Fur Real' animals, made by Hasbro, are a range of I suppose you'd call it 'hybrid' toys: they're like a cross between a traditional stuffed animal and those surprisingly uninteresting 'robot dogs' that were fleetingly popular around the late-1990s. The animals are battery powered and somewhat moveable; the legs move and the tails wag and so on. They're supposed to be 'interactive' in the sense that they respond to external stimuli - such as being patted, for example , though in my opinion, this aspect is never particularly impressive. Fur Real animals come in various sizes, ranging from small through medium to large, with price tags to match. I understand that the bigger toys in the range also make electronic yip and squeaking noises.
Fur Real Friends 'Snuggimals' are at the lower end of the size range / price bracket, and are intended for children aged four years and up. They are approximately four inch long little fur-fabric-covered figures, quite nicely styled, that appear to be exactly like ordinary, soft toys - until you pick them up. Worth noting here is that unlike the fairly similar 'Nintendogs' robot dog toys, these Fur Real figures don't have any unattractive components housing / connecting their electronic doo-dahs, and are much more attractive for this. (The 'Nintendog' we were given a year or so back had a disproportionately large, clunkily unattractive plastic 'collar' attaching its head to its neck - presumably there to facilitate its extremely limited range of robotic action, which made it look something like Dr Frankenstein's dead puppy dog, reanimated in pitiful cyborg form.)
When you pick up a Fur Real Snugginmal you realise the fur fabric is only covering a hard interior 'shell' - so they're somewhat misnamed, I'd say, as they're not exactly 'snuggly' to handle. The black and white little dog we've got (it's the same as the pup shown in the dooyoo product illustration, only with different coloured fur) wags its tail and whirrs a bit when you pat it, looks quite sweet and - unfortunately that's about it. One thing I do take issue with is what I'd consider to be the over-the-top delineation of the nostrils on these puppies, which makes the (already rather obvious) nose more like a snout, so that the dogs look inordinately pig-faced, to me.
These things - and there are many, many different types of animal represented in Snugginmal form - cost between about £7 and £10 from online retailers such as amazon.co.uk, but we got ours from the local Sainsbury's supermarket.
It's always a bad sign when the carton that a toy came in receives a lot more playtime attention than the item inside itself, which is definitely the case with the Snugginmals toy we've got. That said, the Snugginmals box is relatively natty, as far as this sort of thing goes. The cardboard packet it came in is shaped like a small purple kennel with a yellow shingle roof attached to a green grass cardboard lawn - (with photos representing 'windows' on the sides showing the other dogs in the Snuggimals range that you can buy!) Though the box part is only about an inch and a half deep it's just big enough to squeeze smaller toys into. My five year old daughter seems more interested in / attached to this 'kennel' than is to the soft toy dog that she so desperately wanted in the supermarket. So I suppose in that sense the toy was a success - even if not in the manner intended.
These toys are all right stocking-filler type toys but not amazing - they're not much more than a standard small soft toy, for all the 'Fur Real' packaging. I'd say they're a bit pricey for what they are.