DISCLOSURE – THIS ITEM WAS GIFTED TO THE REVIEWER FOR THE PURPOSES OF WRITING THE REVIEW. ALL THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ARE THE REVIEWER’S OWN.
Reviewed by Helen O
With a son who is obsessed with Halloween and all things quirky, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the John Adams Feisty Pets which I had been asked to review, as they looked a little different. I didn’t have to wait long until a big box turned up on my doorstep and inside I was excited to find not 1, but 3 different Feisty Pets! There were two 8 inch toys plush animals -Sammy Suckerpunch (dog) and Glenda Glitterpoop (unicorn) and one 10 inch plush animal – Sir Growls-a-Lot (bear).
Each ‘cuddly’ plush animal arrived in it’s own cardboard outer carton, resembling a cage, with gaps at the front and back to enable you to see the face of the pet at the front, and larger hole at the back to try out the unique feature. The Feisty Pets are essentially a cute and cuddly teddy bear, with a twist. They are emblazoned with the phrase “Try Me, Squeeze the back of my head…if you dare”, well we did dare and discovered they turn into a ferocious beast!
I thought the cage type design was a great way of packaging the toys. On the front and sides of the box, the name of the toy is given and on the back of each box, there’s a little ‘back story’ for each of them, which is unique to each animal. This includes an ‘About me’ section which we found quite funny and ‘Likes’ and ‘Dislikes’ which adds to the character, so you can get a feel for how mischievous these characters really are.
Sir Growls-a-Lot, the 10 inch bear was the one my son made a bee-line for. It’s made of really soft material and on first glance looks really cute and cuddly, with his big brown inviting eyes. However, by gripping the buttons to the back of his head, his cute face quickly becomes angry and animated, with his expression swiftly changing in the blink of an eye including his mouth opening bearing his sharp teeth. Not only does he looks scary, but he also growls (as his name suggests) for the duration that the button is squeezed. My son absolutely loved this surprise feature and can’t wait to surprise his friends. The downside of the mechanics is that the head is quite hard, which takes away the ‘cuddliness’ of the toy, so it probably wouldn’t be suitable to take to bed to cuddle, as it’s a bit hard.
Sir Growls-a-lot takes 3 x AAA batteries, which are included, which is great, as that doesn’t often happen these days. The batteries can be found in a sealed compartment in the back of the toy, which is fastened with velcro, making changing the batteries easy and accessible, but also safe if there are younger children around.
Sammy Suckerpunch and Glenda Glitterpoop, the 8 inch plushes are very similar to Sir Growls-a-Lot, in that their expression changes from cute and cuddly to fearsome and angry, with a squeeze of the back of their head, but they don’t make any noise and are just that little bit smaller. I found that they didn’t feel quite as soft to the touch as the material used for Sir Growls-a-Lot. However, they are a handy size for smaller hands to grip easily and would fit neatly into a bag for taking out and about. Again, as with Sir Growls-a-Lot, the head is hard due to the mechanics, which impacts on it being a ‘true’ cuddly toy.
However, I think it’s really clever how the mechanics of these toys work, changing the expressions of these toys with a simple squeeze, but once the button is released, returning to the cute and cuddly look. So if for any reason a child was a bit scared of the feisty face, it could simply be used as a cuddly toy.
Feisty Pets are marketed at age 5+ which I would say is about right. I showed my almost 2 year old and she pulled away a little scared when the faces changed, whereas the toys really appealed to my 5 year old. I would recommend these plushes as a great gift idea for children who are into Halloween and enjoy a prank toy, especially if you are looking for something a little different and quirky. Although it’s worth bearing in mind that once they know about the unique feature, the element of surprise has been blown. I think they would appeal to boys and girls equally too, although they wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and I can imagine some parents being appalled by the idea of a feisty cuddly toy, as it’s a step away from the norm.
The RRP for the Sammy Suckerpunch and Glenda Glitterpoop is £28.65, but at the time of my review, they were on sale at Amazon for £21.99 each. I would say that this price point is fairly high, however, you need to take into account the clever engineering design, bringing these toys to life. At the time of my review Sir Growls-a-Lot was on sale at Amazon for £27.99, again this is a relatively high price point for the toy, but it does have a unique selling point with the animated face and sounds too.
Rating 4 out of 5
Buy at Amazon at www.amazon.co.uk Sammy Suckerpunch and Glenda Glitterpoop currently on sale for £21.99 each and Sir Growls-a-Lot currently on sale for £27.99