“ Manufacturer: Character Options / Age: 3 Years+ / Type: Moving animal toy „
When my daughter was four she was desperate for a puppy. There was no way I was going to commit to the real thing, so as Christmas approached I was thrilled to see this paws pal perky puppy advertised. I immediately set about tracking one down for my daughter.
I found one of these puppies for sale in Argos. I payed around £15 for this toy, which I believed to be excellent value. When I opened the toy to check it before Christmas, I was both suprised and pleased with the quality and novelty value of this toy. I was very impressed with the appearance of the puppy. It was very fluffy and quite lifelike. Although, I would say that this toy appears to be targeted more towards little girls rather than little boys. I feel this because the puppy is like a big cute ball of white fluff which to me indicates very feminine overtones.
The puppy is operated by using the plastic pole which attaches onto the centre of the pups back. This is very easy to slot into place. However, I noticed that the more the toy was used, the handle became looser and soon would quickly become disconected from the slot in the puppy's back. This became a real disappointment, as play had to be disturbed for reconnection. My daughter became increasingly frustrated with this and I am positive that this had a real negative effect on her playing experience with this toy.
Initially, this toy has a real wow factor. It is certainly the type of toy that will make an impression. My daugher was so excited by this puppy. She abandoned all other Christmas gifts and played with this pup all morning. By pressing the grabber type handle on the plastic pole lead the puppy will begin to move. I wouldn't say that the puppy walks as much as crawls along. The mechanism within the puppy, is very loud and makes a loud buzzing sound when the handle is squeezed. Although, this did not bother my daughter.
I was thrilled with the lifelike bark the puppy makes. It also has a gentle whining and panting sound. I felt this helped to make the puppy much more realistic. For a small child, this puppy is very lifelike and certainly creates a magical gift.
I was suprised to find that this puppy maintained it's battery power well. Despite almost continuous usage. There is an on off switch on the underside of the puppy. This is also where the batteries are to be inserted. When I bought the puppy the batteries were included. I never had to replace them. Which I believe to be very efficient.
A couple of negative points to this puppy was the colour of the fur. Considering this toy is aimed at small children, I think a more appropriate coloured fur may make this toy easier to maintain. The white fluffy fur becomes grubby quite quickly. Especially when your child insists on taking the puppy outside. I would have prefered to have a choice of colours of pups to chose from.
I am also slightly worried that this lead attachment could cause a child to become hurt if it comes loose from the pup and was swung around. The handle itself is quite heavy and if this was swung and caught a child it would most certainly hurt. I would therefore recommend adult supervision when this puppy is used.
In all fairness, for the price I believe that this puppy is a really lovely gift. It certainly gave hours of happiness and pleasure to my daughter. This gift really does offer a wow factor, simply because of it's novelty value.
I also think it made my daughter more aware of the need to care for animals. It allowed her a sense of responsibility and ownership. I would warn potential buyers of this toy, that it did nothing to dampen my daughters wishes on having a real dog. However, I do believe that this puppy toy helped my child to have a better rapport with animals.
This toy has a great ability to promote imaginary play. My daughter would always pretend that she was going to take the puppy for a walk to the park. I also feel this toy utilised my daughters larger motor skills as she had to grasp the top of the lead to operate the pup.
I don't think this toy will ever be a substitute for the real thing. However, If you wish to buy a bit of time before comitting yourself to having a living, breathing puppy then I think this is a great little toy.