Cyber Monday may be over, but great prices are here to stay.
Features an authentic purring sound, soft fur, and realistic head and body movements. Built-in sensors to it responds to the users movements. Choice of 4 coat colors.
Some find the sounds it makes too loud.
Created using safe materials and tested for quality and durability. Moves and sounds like a real baby panda. Comes with more than 45 responses, a bottle and a rattle. Rattle can be shaked for her to walk up to you. She also comes with a blanket for sleepy time and a bib, bowl and spoon.
Consumer complaints about occasional glitches.
Comes with Mama Josie and three baby kangaroos (one boy, one girl and one mystery). Has 70+ sound and motion combinations, including feeding sounds, hopping to music, and loving sounds towards her babies. Comes with four accessories that allow your child to interact with her and the babies.
Occasional consumer complaints about interactions and sounds glitching.
Has programmable features and touch sensors, allowing it to walk, talk, dance, shake, and move its head. Comes with an easy-to-use controller. Has a battle mode, allowing it to prepare for battle by letting out a roar and launching darts from its back. Comes with a battery and USB charging cable.
Doesn't come with an instruction manual.
Plush exterior that's perfect for cuddles. Walks on a leash, sits, talks, and wags her tail. Touch- and voice- responsive for a realistic interactive experience. Free app adds another level of entertainment that children won't quickly tire of. Robust design easily withstands enthusiastic handling.
A bit costly, but well worth it for the quality. Leash attaches directly to the toy’s back and isn't removable.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Kids tend to be fond of animals, but it isn't always possible to have pets at home due to working patterns or allergies. Enter the electronic pet. Sure, it's not the same as a real pet, but your child will have an animal companion without the mess or responsibility of a real animal. Of course, electronic pets aren't just for people who can't have flesh-and-blood pets. They're fun toys in their own right.
You'll need to think about the child you're buying for and figure out which electronic pet they'd like best. Consider what type of animal they'd prefer and what level of interactivity they'd enjoy. There are other factors to think about, too, such as whether they'd like a plush pet or if they’d be satisfied with a plastic one.
We've done our research on electronic pets, and all the information you need to make an informed purchase is presented here. In fact, we've also listed our five favorite electronic pets for you to consider.
Perhaps the first factor to consider is what type of animal you'd like the electronic pet to be. Some children might be happy with any species of electronic pet, whereas others might have a specific animal in mind. You don't want to disappoint your dog-loving child by gifting her with an electronic cat, for instance.
Dogs are perhaps the most common electronic pets, possibly because they're the animal most associated with following commands and performing tricks (which many electronic pets can do). Cats are another popular option, which makes sense since dogs and cats are the most common household pets. You can also get more unusual animals, some of which wouldn't be suitable as pets in real life. This is a great option for children who fantasize about owning a monkey or hippo, or even a dinosaur.
Ultimately, you know the child you're buying for best, so you should be able to figure out which animal they'd like the most (or you can just ask, if it isn't a surprise gift).
Electronic pets range in size from compact pets small enough to cling to your finger to cats and small dogs of a realistic size. It's easy to imagine that an electronic pet is bigger than it really is when looking at a photo because there's often no frame of reference. As such, you should always double-check the dimensions listed, since the recipient would likely be disappointed if they were expecting a relatively large electronic pet but received a tiny one. Of course, larger isn’t always better. You'll find some large electronic pets that are as well as some excellent small ones.
Some electronic pets, especially those designed for younger kids, are limited in terms of interactivity. They might perform a sound or movement when you press a button or clap your hands, but they don't seem to really interact with the user. More complex electronic pets can mimic sounds or motions. Some can "learn" voice commands and hand signals, which makes them more interesting for older children. To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you investigate the level of interactivity provided by an electronic pet before buying it.
Many new models of electronic pets have built-in rechargeable batteries, which you can charge using a standard micro USB cable. Older and more basic models use standard batteries, such as AA or C. There are pros and cons to each.
Rechargeable models save you money in the long run, as you never need to buy batteries. These pets are also more eco-friendly since you won't have any old batteries to throw out. However, they generally need to be recharged regularly, which can interrupt play.
Standard batteries tend to last for months and can be switched out as soon as they run down, so there's no need to stop playing. Don’t forget to factor in the added expense and remember to buy batteries in the first place if they're not included.
Some electronic pets have plush exteriors that make them cuddly and more realistic. However, plush does pose a problem in terms of keeping it clean. If the fluffy outer layer isn't removable from the internal electronics of the pet, you won't be able to wash it effectively. Electronic pets with hard plastic exteriors don't look like real animals, but they can easily be wiped clean.
Using an infrared sensor or similar technology, some electronic pets actually follow their owners around, adding to the fun. In follow mode, kids can feel like they have their own loyal pet. Of course, there are limits to where these pets can follow. For instance, electronic pets can't go up or down stairs, and they may not perform well on some outdoor surfaces.
Basic electronic pets cost $20 to $40. These are generally designed for younger children and don't do all that much. They may talk or make noises and move around a little, but they don't usually have many interactive features.
Electronic pets in this price tier cost roughly $50 to $100. You can find some excellent options that are either extremely lifelike or have many more interactive features, such as the ability to learn commands or follow their owners.
High-end electronic pets can cost as much as $100 or $200. These are the most advanced options on the market. They can perform a wide range of sounds and movements, and most can learn commands or be programmed via an app.
A. All toys have a minimum age limit on them, making it easy to check whether a toy would be safe for your child. If an electronic toy is marked for ages eight and up, you'll know it isn't suitable for a child of five.
Perhaps a larger issue is making sure the toy isn't too simple for your child to enjoy. Some toy makers list a recommended age range on their products. An electronic pet recommended for ages three to six would probably be too babyish for a nine-year-old.
A. As with all products, there are some dodgy electronic pets on the market that aren't safe and shouldn't be sold. However, the vast majority are completely safe for kids. If you're concerned about safety, choose a toy made by a well-known manufacturer, as you can be fairly certain of its safety. (Of course, product recalls do happen, so if something seems unsafe, double-check it.) All toys for sale in the U.S. should comply with ASTM International and CPSIA safety standards.
A. This depends on your chosen pet. Some can only wriggle or shake, which might be funny to little kids but can quickly become tiresome for older children. Others have a much wider range of motions, such as being able to walk or roll on wheels, wag their tails, move their heads, and jump. It's a wise idea to carefully check what kinds of motions an electronic pet can make before buying it.