About The Happy’s Pet Toys
The Happy’s are motorized plush pet toys which seem to run amok, but can be signaled via an infrared “treat” that calls the toy to its owner. It appears that this product has only been available since early 2014. My review below will encompass a standard Happy’s pet, along with the Happy’s Rockin’ Playground.
The pets do a variety of tricks. Which treat you use to call the pet will dictate which trick it does. There are a variety of Happy’s accessories available, which enhance the overall experience. The toy’s official website is the-happys.com, which was registered in July 2013.
The Happy’s pets are available in stores such as Toys R Us and Walmart.
The Happy’s Products and Cost?
There are currently six different breeds of Happy’s Pets, each with its own name: Chance the Beagle, Mittens the White Cat, Bentley the Golden Retriever, Sport the brown dog, Thunder the Blue Dog, and Lady the pink cat. Lady and Thunder are not available everywhere, and appear to be the most highly coveted. If you see one of those available, you might want to consider them first. Accessories include a skateboard, agility course, Rockin’ Playground (reviewed below), and Chase & Play Ball.
A representative of the company told me that there would be an announcement of new characters for the 2014 holiday season and Spring 2015.
A standard Happy’s Pet costs about $15 to $20. Accessories range from about $10 to $20.
Video: Unboxing and Test
The video below shows the process of unboxing and setting up a Happy’s pet dog, followed by some initial tests on a large, hard floor. You’ll probably need a pair of scissors and a Phillips screwdriver to open the packaging. You’ll also need two AAA batteries, which aren’t included in the box.
My teenage son and I set up two cameras and played with the toy for about an hour. The video below includes some random highlights.
Do kids like The Happy’s pets?
Although the manufacturer suggests an age range of about 4 to 7, I would venture to guess that slightly older kids may still enjoy The Happy’s because of the toy’s frenetic and interactive nature. Younger kids, however, seem to be especially enthralled by the product. How long this – or any other toy – holds a child’s attention will vary greatly. Due to privacy reasons, I have not posted videos of kids testing out The Happy’s, but I can tell you that the kids who played with these toys did so rather enthusiastically. They were on the younger end of the suggested range.
My Happy’s Pets Review
Happy’s pets are activated by turning them on via a button on their backs. They will run around and make sounds on their own, and they can also be called by an infrared (IR) remote, called a “treat.” When you point the treat toward your pet and hold the button, the animal will make a whistle sound and travel in your direction. It will then perform the trick which is printed on your treat. The treat that came with my pet (“Bentley”) was “chase tail.” Although your pet comes with one treat, you can purchase additional treats separately. The four treats are beg, chase tail, pounce, and wiggle.
You must be within about 7 feet of the pet for it to receive the IR signal. You also must hold down the button on the treat, rather than simply pushing it and letting go. Although my video above shows me holding the remote at floor level, this isn’t necessary. I was only doing that for the filming process. I found that sometimes the pet went right up to my feet and seemed to be trying to climb my leg. The kids with whom I tested the product found this behavior to be entertaining.
Admittedly, I am hard-pressed to find any major “cons” with the product, but I did notice that the pet tended to get stuck on chairs, walls, or even my foot. A few times it flipped on its side. While this sounds like it could be a problem, I never had the feel that correcting such moments distracted from the enjoyment of the product. The pet also seemed to get itself un-stuck surprisingly often . As you can see at the 1:58 mark of the video above, as it appears to get stuck on a tripod leg, only to recover and “run” away. Similarly, it un-sticks itself from a chair leg at the end of the video.
The Happy’s pet toys work best on a large hard surface. In my tests, the pet would occasionally go onto the carpeted area, and it moved much more slowly there.
Real pets may not be as fond of your toy as your child is. My golden retriever didn’t seem to know what to do, and followed Bentley around, licking it. My chihuahua stood there trembling, and pretended to ignore it. I have a short video below of my real pets’ reactions to The Happy’s pets.
The Happy’s Rockin’ Playground Review
The Rockin’ Playground comes with a sign and five wobble figurines. The sign emits an infrared signal which attracts the pet. The wobble figurines are not motorized and are simply there to enhance the setting. Because they are balanced on a rounded bottom, they often spin for long periods of time after the pet bumped them (as seen in the first video above).
There is little assembly required, other than inserting the top of the sign into the base and inserting batteries. Pressing the button on the sign cycles through three settings: Off, Dance, and Chase Tail.
How much does The Happy’s Rockin’ Playground cost?
I found the Rockin’ Playground at Toys R Us for about $20. It would appear this is the standard price for online retailers as well.
The video below shows my Happy’s pet interacting with the Rockin’ Playground. My only point of contention about the Rockin’ Playground is that the pet seemed almost a little too obsessed with it. As you can see in the video above, it was difficult to keep the pet off of the sign. I suppose in all fairness, this isn’t significantly different than how a real obsessed dog might act.
The Happy’s are toy pets which deliver. As with any toy, there is no guarantee it will hold your child’s attention over the long run, but I’m guessing most kids will get enough enjoyment out of these to make them a worthy investment – and likely a good Christmas gift.
The Happy’s is easily the best toy I’ve reviewed in 2014.
What do you think?
Have you purchased The Happy’s pets for your child? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: As standard with my reviews, I purchased all of the products reviewed above. I do not accept free items to review except in unusual circumstances. See my “About” page for more info.