Reviewed by David Ashworth
In our house, my wife and I share a long running gag with our nine-year-old son. Basically, over several years he has become quite adept at scaring my wife and I by jumping out from behind corners when we least expect it. We then reciprocate by making him jump when he least expects it. Over several years this game we play has evolved to include toys, old Halloween costumes and household items. Essentially anything we can get our hands on to maximise the scare, so imagine if you will, how quickly the gears started turning when we were given the opportunity to try out a FEISTY PET from Jazwares. In case you don’t know, FEISTY PETS are cute and cuddly animal toys that, when squeezed on the back of the head, turn into scary, ferocious looking beasts with snarling teeth and evil eyes.
Let the scary fun begin!
First of all, I just want to tell you a little bit about the FEISTY PET and the product packaging because they are both absolutely fantastic. The FEISTY PET we got for review is called ‘Fabio Flamefart’, a small black and green dragon type creature. Fabio comes in an open fronted box covered in warning signs such as “FUR-OCIOUS ANIMAL” and “KEEP FINGERS AWAY” as well as a description of your specific FEISTY PET including his or her likes and dislikes, a stark contrast to the bug eyed cutey staring at you from the box. Also, there is an image of bent cage bars leading to a scene of a living room in absolute shambles. Ripped sofas and scratched up walls belie the sweet and innocent looking creature you pull out of the box. It really does set the tone of what is to come and puts me in mind of the old Boglin hand puppets I played with in the nineties (if you’re old enough to remember those, how awesome were Boglins?).
On to Fabio himself, the FEISTY PETS are beautifully manufactured plushes made from polyester fibre and polyurethane foam, which helps them maintain their shape and posture longer than standard cotton and stuffing toys. They come in several different varieties ranging from cats and owls to mystical creatures such as unicorns and dragons all of which are brightly coloured and feature a soft and cuddly furry body. Inside the head of the FEISTY PETS are the mechanical workings which, with a simple squeeze, turn them from cute and innocent looking cuddly toys into ferocious looking beasts with sharp fangs and angry looking expressions. FEISTY PETS are purely mechanical and require no batteries to use. The function of changing them feels similar to squeezing a large clothes peg and isn’t particularly stiff or cumbersome meaning even little hands can operate them with ease, although FEISTY PETS are recommended for ages six and over. That being said, my four and three-year-old loved Fabio and have requested FEISTY PETS of their own.
The moving parts are sturdy and don’t feel like they would deteriorate with repeated use and after several days of use I’ve not noticed any sluggishness or sticking of the mechanical parts as Fabio transitions between his cute and feisty forms.
One negative thing I will say about the FEISTY PETS is that because of the plastics used in the head to facilitate the transition of the creatures being quite hard, it does make the heads feel very solid in contrast to the softness of the bodies, therefore kids might not find them comfortable enough to take to bed at night. For general play though, they’re fantastic!
And in case anyone was wondering, we did manage to scare my nine-year-old with the FEISTY PET. We presented it to him as his brand new cute little friend and just as we handed it to him we changed the little dragon from sweet to scary and my son nearly jumped out of his skin… point goes to the parents!
Available to buy from www.smythstoys.com.