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Updated January 2023
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
FurReal Friends Pom Pom My Baby Panda Pet
FurReal Friends
Pom Pom My Baby Panda Pet
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Bottom Line

A highly interactive FurReal Friend that earns praise for being cute and responsive, and appealing to most kids.

Pros

A baby panda friend with more than 45 interactions and responses that include walking, cooing, and drinking sounds. "Talks back" when talked to. Adjustable head and legs; comes with baby bottle and rattle.

Cons

One of the pricier options. Smaller than some owners expected. Reports of it not responding as advertised when the rattle is shaken.

Best Bang for the Buck
FurReal Friends Hoppin’ Topper Interactive Plush Pet Toy
FurReal Friends
Hoppin’ Topper Interactive Plush Pet Toy
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Bottom Line

With numerous responses and a reasonable price, this FurReal Friend is a great choice for boys and girls who love interactive toys.

Pros

Bold colors, bright eyes, and intriguing interactions make kids eager to play with this plushy triceratops. Jumps when hands are waved in front of him, and sits when patted on the head. More than 35 movements and sounds. Comes with toy treats.

Cons

Some dinosaurs arrived with dead batteries. Topper is prone to toppling over during interactions.

FurReal Friends Roarin’ Tyler, the Playful Tiger
FurReal Friends
Roarin’ Tyler, the Playful Tiger
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Bottom Line

One of the most intuitive, interactive FurReal Friends available, thanks to the numerous sounds, motions, and interactions.

Pros

An adorable tiger that interacts with kids by responding to voices with more than 100 motion and sound combinations. Roars and responds when offered the toy that comes with him. Moveable back legs.

Cons

Pricier than other FurReal Friends, but is also more responsive. Larger than expected, but this isn't a negative for all consumers.

FurReal Friends Bootsie
FurReal Friends
Bootsie
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Bottom Line

A nice option for kids who like cats, but it's not ideal for everyone, and may even frighten some youngsters.

Pros

Bootsie the cat stands out for the cute expressions she makes when waved at or offered treats. Purrs when cuddled, also hisses and meows. Comes with her own "treats."

Cons

Random meowing can be somewhat annoying. Several reports of malfunctioning after a few months. Some kids don't like the hissing effect.

FurReal Friends Check-Up Zandi
FurReal Friends
Check-Up Zandi
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Bottom Line

An affordable choice for those who want to try FurReal Friends without spending a lot of money. Cute and has a few entertaining interactions.

Pros

Soft fur and a sweet face make this adorable baby monkey appealing to youngsters. Comes with toy stethoscope and thermometer, and makes cute sounds when being "examined." Even has a heartbeat.

Cons

Not quite as interactive as higher-priced options, and has fewer movements and responses.

HOW WE TESTED

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.

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Buying guide for Best FurReal friends

Does your kid wish their favorite plush buddy could move or talk back? Invest in a FurReal Friend, and their wish can come true.

FurReal friends are delightful interactive toys that giggle, growl, and respond to your voice. They even have facial expressions and body language to match. Best of all, FurReal Friends come in a wide variety of animals, including pandas, dogs, and ponies. Choose your child’s favorite animal or introduce them to a new one through a FurReal Friend.

Not sure which FurReal Friend is right for your little one? Take a look at our buying guide with all the information and shopping tips you need to choose the right interactive buddy.

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FurReal Friends have a series of apps, some of which correspond with various pets. These don’t control the interactive plushes, but they offer extended play options, such as virtual games and music.

Key considerations

Recommended ages

Most FurReal Friends are recommended for kids ages six through nine. However, there are some pets that are suitable for ages four and above; these tend to have larger parts to prevent choking hazards.

Level of interactivity

What makes FurReal Friends so loveable are their interactive features. Generally speaking, the more you spend on FurReal Friends, the more responsive and capable the pets will be.

Some pets make music or animal sounds if you squeeze them. Other pets can speak over 100 phrases, play songs, and move multiple parts of their bodies. Many FurReal Friends are also poseable.

Batteries

FurReal Friends vary in size, so battery requirements are different as well. Smaller pets, such as Walkalots, take multiple AA batteries. Larger premium plushies usually require other types of batteries, namely C or A76 batteries. While they usually come with their first set of batteries, keep spares on hand for speedy replacement.

Accessories

FurReal Friends generally come with at least one accessory, such as a character-specific treat or sunglasses. Certain pets react to the accessory stimuli, responding with expressions, phrases, and movements. Because FurReal Friends are standalone toys, there are only a handful of separate accessories for purchase.

Types of FurReal Friends

Cuties

Cuties are round, palm-sized pets that make cute sounds when squeezed. They don’t have many well-defined features given their round bodies, but many of them have movable ears. Cuties don’t come with any accessories and have fairly limited sound capabilities.

Walkalots

Walkalots are approximately 9 inches tall and come with retractable leashes. They walk on the lead and make a variety of movements and sounds. Walkalots can be connected to fellow Walkalot pets as well, allowing for simultaneous walking with up to three pets.

Premium interactive plushies

Premium interactive plushies include mid-range pets as well as those at the top of the price range with the most features. Unlike Cuties and Walkalots, these plushies don’t have their own distinct category name — though it’s easy to tell them apart by price. As far as size goes, they’re usually bigger than Walkalots.

Mid-range pets typically have between 35 and 50 responses and a broad range of movements. They can interact with select FurReal friends pets as well as their included accessories.

FurReal Friends at the top of the price range have well over 100 sound and motion combinations. These pets often have signature specialized movements, such as dogs who lick your face or unicorns that light up.

FurReal Friends prices

FurReal Friends cost between $10 and $130.

Cuties cost below $15, while Walkalots can range from $10 to $30.

Premium interactive plushies cost between $40 and $130, though pets with over 100 sound and motion features generally run over $100 unless they’re on sale.

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FurReal Friends can make random noises when idle, so expect to hear sneezes, coughs, and laughs. If you find that somewhat unsettling, we recommend turning off the FurReal Friend when playtime is over.

FAQ

Q. Is a FurReal Friend too advanced for a toddler?

A. Yes. It’s best to stick to the age recommendation. Some of the interactive features will be far too advanced for toddlers, especially as they’re developing their language skills. Toddlers may not be aware of what level of care and gentleness is required with FurReal Friends, so they might break one.

Q. How durable are FurReal Friends?

A. They’re constructed well and hold up to a lot of hugs and play. FurReal Friends have mechanical and electronic parts, so it’s best to avoid dropping or throwing them. Provided they’re well cared for by kids, they can last for two or three years.

Q. Can FurReal Friends foster skill development in my child?

A. They can, even though it’s not the main purpose of the toy. Some parents report FurReal Friends help develop nurturing and responsibility skills. They also foster improved communication skills, as they reinforce phases and sentiments with appropriate facial expressions.

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