When House of Fraser asked if we’d like to review a toy that reminded me of my childhood I was slightly stumped. Hmm….My childhood wasn’t that long ago but what could I pick for Little Z that would remind me of my own childhood? Then I came across a toy that brought back instant memories. It was Zoomer the interactive robot dog.
When I was little I had a plastic dog toy which had very colourful wheels for feet and I would happily pull it along on a string. It didn’t do very much except have a permanent smile of its face but it did look very very happy all the time. I used to love it and that, along with a scary looking life-sized doll with Maggie Thatcher hair, were my favourite toys ever.
Fast forward 30 something years as we browsed the House of Fraser toy section online and the Other Half came across a super cute looking robot dalmatian known as Zoomer. It had to be that! He arrived in his little box with a handle and we were so eager to get going bed time went out the window and we decided to let Zoomer free for a bit.
Zoomer the Interactive robot dog.
Zoomer is a small Dalmation with floppy ears and wheels as feet. It reminded me of an ultra modern version of the dog I had many years ago. Zoomer has a highly electronic look about him and the best thing ever is that he doesn’t take batteries. Hurrah! You charge him with a USB cable so we didn’t have to run about taking batteries out of other noisy toys to make him work. The recommendation is to charge for 2 hours for the first time. Of course, with two very eager boys in the house they managed to patiently sit for about half an hour before switching him on. And luckily for them Zoomer kicked into action. At first Zoomer is very much like an excited puppy and will zoom about on the floor. He’s very nippy on our floorboards and equally as quick on my mum’s carpeted floor. I find it really cute when he wags his tail which must mean he’s really happy. We sat about watching him glide about for a bit and he’s quite fast for a little robot dog. Mind you, puppies are hyper little things aren’t they?
Training zoomer the interactive robot dog
I can see why the toy is suitable for Age 5+ as he comes with a set of commands you can use to train him with. You tap on his head gently until a pair of question marks come up in his eyes and give him commands like “Roll over”, “Shake a paw”, “Sit” and many many more. We have so far managed “Sit”. He’s also not house trained as yet so he will randomly cock his leg up to have a wee somewhere (Wee is not included). I laughed my head off the first time he did it. Little Z was absolutely shocked as he was expecting them to be just as trained as our neighbours corgis that live opposite us. There was a lot of “No Zoomer No! You can’t wee like that. You have to sit down”. He then proceeded to demonstrate how to wee by parking his bum on the sofa and pretending to flush the loo. So far Zoomer hasn’t made it to the toilet yet as keen as Little Z is, and continues to have a wee wherever he fancies, most recently against the Other Halfs leg.
The Auto Function
Little Z’s most favourite function is the little button on Zoomer on his back towards his tail. Once pressed Zoomer will go into super trained auto mode and scoot about doing all the things he is excellent at once trained, including rolling over and sitting down. It’s nice to watch him nip about sometimes letting off steam. He does this one thing where he glides backwards with one leg outstretched in a perfect cycle and it always reminds me of Torvill and Deans Bolero. We may possibly have a Dalmation skater wannabe that will one day enter the Olympics. Once we get him toilet trained of course.
Being as fast as he is, Zoomer does get under our feet on occasion and we’ve tripped over him once or twice. Thankfully he’s quite sturdy and has remained intact. He’s definitely not a toy you get bored with quickly and does much more than my little plastic dog did all those many years ago. I think he’d make an excellent toy for any child wanting a pet toy without having to have the responsibilities of taking it for a walk or cleaning up after it. Of course it can’t jump up and lick anyone in the face just yet but I’m not sure any kind of drool near an electronic device would be a good idea anyway. The target age range is 5+ but I’ve found that it suits my almost 4 year old just fine as we can tell him what instructions to give Zoomer. We are currently
working on shaking a paw and rolling over. Little Z, having not that much patience, still prefers the auto function but that’s fine by me as I get to watch Zoomer doing a bit of Bolero, without the music.
This is a review. We received Zoomer the interactive dog to trial. All words and opinions my own.