June 20, 2013

Testing Toys

SI and DD investigating their new car toys
Recently, I had the very cool opportunity to play test a few new toys. SeatPets, and Tummy Stuffers. (This is pretty much the best perk of being a mommy blogger.)

After watching the promotional material that came with the offer, I was guessing that the kids would have a pretty strong preference for one over the other, so we were fortunate to get TWO SeatPets just in the nick of time to test them out under rather intense circumstances.

The SeatPets arrived in the mail on Friday afternoon.

We installed them into the car, loaded the trunk, and went to sleep.

By 7am the next day, we were off to Michigan for a wedding- a four and a half hour drive. We partied until 11:30pm, local time, and then loaded BACK into the car and drove to Chicago again.

When it works, it's great.
It was a wild 24 hours, and over a third of it was in the car.

The kids play-tested the crap out of their SeatPets.

And I can tell you, with absolute certainty, the benefits and flaws of these toys.

On the one hand, they're incredibly soft and cuddly. They fit easily onto the seat belts, and provide a pillow and pockets for other toys. This is all true, and it's all accurate, and fundamentally, it works.

Until it doesn't.

You see, the SeatPets attach with velcro, but only one side of the velcro. That means that it's pretty easy
to tear the SeatPets off, which I imagine you want to do in the event of an emergency or something. However, it also means that the kid on the driver's side of the car is kind of in trouble.

The act of resting their head on the SeatPet breaks the connection of the velcro, meaning the SeatPet just... well... falls off. One ONE side of the car. Which means if you have kids on BOTH sides of the car, you have one happy, sleepy, snuggly, somewhat gloat-y kid, and one screaming, crying, wailing, disappointed kid who can't figure out why their awesome pink pillow kitty cat car toy doesn't want to snuggle with her.

...which has the opposite effect of what you had hoped on the peacefulness and tranquility of your car ride.

There are a few design flaws in the toy that make it very much a passenger-side-only device. The zipper pocket is inaccessible on the driver's side orientation. But the front pockets are pretty much universal (although small enough that I'm not quite sure what we were supposed to keep in there).

Peacefulness is instantly restored with a box of chocolate moo juice
However, with a little bit of playing around, the kids discovered a wild array of other uses for the

They velcro straps along the back turn them into very sturdy, tall puppets, which provided a TON of entertainment.

And, of course, they enabled the children to have pillow fights, while in belted into their seats, from across the car.

They play tested the crap out of those SeatPets
The SeatPets do (or can) come with straps, so you can turn them into kiddie messenger bags. THIS is a huge hit with the kids. I have no idea why- the zipper pocket is basically large enough for my wallet, but not much else. And I don't trust the kids with my wallet.

This brings me to toy #2, the Tummy Stuffer.

I thought this was pretty silly. It's not really a toy, it's a household storage device, disguised as a toy. There are dozens of that sort of thing, and let's face it, I've never seen a kid actually playing with any of them.

I thought, wow, this is a goofy thing. And then I thought... but yes, my kids live in a den of clutter and filth. This might help. I'll just give the Tummy Stuffer the benefit of the doubt, and see what happens.

And so I stood in their room, and looked around for what to stuff into the tummy stuffers.

Books? No, that's a terrible idea.

The felt pictures for their felt farm wall thing? No, you need to really see what you're looking for when you go looking for it.

Socks? Come on, they have a drawer for that. And two drawers sitting empty already for when RH moves into their room in the fall.

So I left the room and immediately spotted it.

The freakin' shoes.

My kids have inherited my love of shoes. Oh, how I love shoes. And oh, how they do as well. Which means they've got about a million shoes, half of which are "inside" shoes, or "princess" shoes, and the rest of which are "outside" shoes. now, they know where their shoes go... but I could really take care of an enormous eyesore.

And so, I called the children.

"DD! SI! Look what I have! A monkey who EATS SHOES!!!!!"

They've been utterly delighted for days, feeding the monkey all the shoes he can eat. They know he only wants to eat inside and princess shoes, or he'll get a tummy ache.

And so, much to my surprise, the shoe-eating monkey has become a part of their everyday play. And I have no complaints.

This monkey is full of princess shoes.
So my final review?

If you've got one kid, and they sit on the passenger side of the car, the SeatPet is awesome. If you have two... well... you might want to DIY yourself some snaps or something a little sturdier to keep it on the seat.

And if you have kids who think that animals eating their footwear is hilarious, go for the Tummy Stuffer. It's actually way cuter and more fun than it looks.


  1. of course Lovie wants both of these. :)

  2. My 2 girls want both of these too... Good to know about the driver's side problems.



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