There’s nothing more fun than annoying your mother by bringing her toddler granddaughter an admittedly cute but noisy animatronic plush toy. They’re cute little electronic pets like puppies, kittens, guinea pigs, calves, giraffes, and other imaginative creations. They sit up and bark, mew, tell stories, sing, and dance. There’s even a mama chicken who delivers a plastic egg as she sings and waddles (my granddaughters and I got a chuckle out of that one.)
Animatronic plush toys aren’t a new thing; remember Teddy Ruxpin? Ah, well, he was among the first talking teddy bears, so it was a while ago. As a result, there are dozens of toys like FurReal Friends, as of today’s biggest gotta-have toy for kids is called. Today’s animatronic plush toys are full of imagination and can do the greatest things.
Are there animatronic toys like FurReal Friends? What are they, what do they do, and where can they be found? We’re glad you asked.
Star Wars The Child Animatronic Toy By Hasbro
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I love the memes on Facebook along with any other mention of Baby Yoda. He’s just so cute, you can’t resist him. Hasbro has a contract to reproduce Star Wars toys, and they can be found at any toy store or department stores like Walmart or Target.
This little guy is fully animated with movements of his eyes, mouth, head, ears, and arms. Touch the top of his head to watch him giggle, babble like a baby, make excited sounds, and more. Feel The Force as Baby Yoda gets excited enough to use it. Protect him from harm, and, oh, yes, don’t forget the chickie nuggies and other snacks!
Animatronic Plush Toys From Hasbro
Want an animatronic Wookie complete with Wookie sounds? How about Simba from The Lion King making a “mighty roar?” Is a singing and talking My Little Pony more your style? Hasbro makes an assortment of plush figures whose animatronics make them sing, talk, dance, and make other sounds peculiar to the figure, such as the Sesame Street Rock and Rhyme Elmo. He talks, sings, and his nose honks.
Animatronic Plush Toys From Mattel
The Mattel umbrella covers some of the biggest names in toys, like Barbie, Fisher-Price, Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Power Wheels, anything Disney, and much more. Thus, you’ll find animatronic plushies such as the Disney Pixar Up Dug. The golden retriever from the movie Up makes sounds peculiar to the movie character whenever a child snuggles, rubs, or plays with him. Dug can be found wherever toys are sold.
Animatronic Plush Toys From Mindscope
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This toy company out of California offers kids the Babble Budz line of plush toys. These little guys repeat what is said to them when their arm is pressed. They walk toward a child, too.
I’ve always wanted my own dragon. Perhaps I’ll head over to Amazon to pick up one of these little fellas. Just press his arm, and he’ll repeat what you say to him as well as walk toward you.
Also on offer is a magical unicorn, a shark, several types of bear, a few varieties of dog, a duck, and a cat. They all do the same things and can be found wherever toys are sold.
Animatronic Plush Toys From Gund
Gund makes some of the most adorable, soft plush toys. Everyone loves them, from children to their parents down to the dog and cat. Check out their My Pet Puddles. As a child holds him, he wiggles wags his head and tail and gives yips like a real puppy. Tap his nose. You’ll love the sound he makes.
For more cuddles, smiles, and snuggles, you absolutely must have the kissy penguin, the lamb, the peek-a-boo bear, the baby elephant with floppy ears, and the little bunny. They all make the cutest little sounds, and any little one will love cuddling with them.
Fun fact: Did you know that Gund is the oldest plush toymaker in the United States? They have 120 years of experience, so there’s a reason they’re the top plush toymaker in the country.
Animatronic Plush Toys From Marsjoy
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Would you like to give your child a bulldog, a husky, or a cat? Would you rather these were animated plush animals, so you wouldn’t have a mess to clean? They walk, pounce, bark, and meow, do handstands, roll over and play dead, bow down with their hind ends up in the air like a real dog or cat, and all this at a touch. Your child can even clap his/her hands near the stuffed animal to activate its amazing range of actions.
Animatronic Plush Toys From Meva Kids
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When you take your dog for a walk, your child can take his/her, too. The “leash” is a remote control. The dog, Toby, walks, wags his tail, and yaps like any puppy. The puppy dogs come in a variety of colors and breeds and can be found wherever toys are sold.
Animatronic Plush Toys Online
Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and dozens of other sites online sell animatronic plush toys. Makers like Cuddle Barn, Liberty Imports, Houwsbaby, and many other makers might only have one or two products, but they sell all over the Internet. It’s a simple matter of typing in the type of animatronic toys you want, such as an animatronic chihuahua, pug, or Yorkie puppy.
After Amazon, eBay, and Etsy come up, you’ll find sites like robot toys, electronic toys, and even Good Housekeeping. You might be surprised to find sites describing the helpfulness of animatronic pets for seniors and those with dementia. After all, loneliness is the number one reason behind senior suicides. A fluffy, soft “dog” or “cat” to cuddle and giggle at the noises they make seems like a winner to us, if it keeps our seniors around a little longer.
Shop around to find the exact toy you want. We’re sure your little one or senior will love them.
A Short History Of Animatronic Plush Toys
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Although animated creatures might seem modern, they were mentioned in Greek mythology and by the ancients of China. The 16th century saw the earliest samplings.
Also called animated and robotic, Americans were treated to the first animatronic critters at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Sparko the robotic dog and a horse hitherto unnamed performed for the attendees. The robotic horse even galloped around.
Walt Disney is given credit for discovering animatronics. The first project he commissioned was called Project Little Man. It was a nine-foot-tall man who could imitate Buddy Ebsen’s dance moves. Although it was not finished, Disney included an animatronic bird in the Mary Poppins film, the first animatronics to be used in entertainment.
Animatronics were then used in Disney’s Walt Disney World rides, the first being the Jungle Cruise. In 1964, for the New York World’s Fair, Disney created a fully animated Abraham Lincoln. While the president performed in New York, a second president did five shows an hour in Disneyland. Actor Royal Dano was the president’s voice.
Disney then turned his sights to the Muppets. He and his Imagineering professionals thought up the Muppet Mobile Lab, a vehicle that travels through the park. It features Dr. Bunsen Honeydew along with his side-kick Beaker. They interact with the park-goers and use special effects like foggers, confetti canons, spray jets, flashing lights, and moving signs.
Since childhood, Americans have seen one of the animatronic wonders at any fair or carnival. It’s the laughing old man or old woman who often tells fortunes or fronts the funhouse or rides through dark tunnels.
In films and TV, all you have to do is look for Jim Henson’s Muppets, Barney the purple dinosaur, the creatures of Jurassic Park, and we mustn’t forget Goeff, the animatronic human skeleton who’s the side-kick of Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show.
Now we come to the toys in the history of animatronics. Teddy Ruxpin was the first, and who could forget Big Mouth Billy Bass? Furbies, Tickle Me Elmo, and WowWee Alive Chimpanzee are only a few examples of animatronic toys for kids.
For What Age Group Are Animatronic Plush Toys Appropriate?
As children grow in age and development, they learn new skills. Toys should be amenable to their age, development, new interests, and new skills. Safety is of the utmost importance, lest a baby or toddler swallows a small part of a toy and choke. Thus, toddlers aged one to three enjoy toys incorporating music and sounds. Toys that move, like animatronic plush toys, inspire babies and toddlers to move as well.
How Are Animatronic Plush Toys Cleaned?
The container with batteries can sometimes be removed from the plush toy. If not, you’ll have to work around it. Gather your supplies. You’ll need a bowl, Dreft, Woollite or a very mild detergent, washcloths, water, baking soda, and a vacuum.
Remove the batteries from the toy. If the plastic container comes out, then take it out. Mix warm water with a small amount of the very mild detergent and swish it to mix. Dip the washcloth in soapy water. Gently rub the washcloth over the toy. Dip a second washcloth in clear water to rinse the toy. Air dry for one to two days.
Note: If the toy is heavily soiled or smelly, rubbing a little baking soda on the toy or using vinegar in the soapy water will take care of the smell. For heavy soil, rub the toy several times with the soapy mixture until it all comes out.
Don’t use too much detergent in the water. If you don’t get it all out in the rinse, it will attract more dirt. When you’re sure you’ve gotten all the soap out of the toy, air dry it for one to two days. Vacuum out the baking soda and odors.
Which Interactive Pet Should You Buy?
You’ll want something small, so that tiny little hands can pick it up and cuddle it. You’ll want something with mild sounds, because you don’t want to frighten the baby or toddler into crying. Since what small children see usually goes into their mouths, you’ll want to check the box to make sure the fur, the coloring ingredients, the eyes and nose, and any other parts of the animal won’t get chewed off.
The child could choke. You’ll also want an animal with sounds, songs, and sentences that will entice the child to imitate them, thus teaching them to speak clear words.
How Do Animatronic Plush Toys Work?
Such toys usually take two to four AA batteries. Some take AAA. Put them in. Press the paw, ear, nose, or pat the head of the plush animal. It should then do its backflips, walk, wag its tail and head, bark or mew, sit up, roll over, among other behaviors. When the child tires of the toy, turn it off or take out the batteries. Put the toy out of the child’s reach to prevent choking hazards.
What Types Of Plush Toy Animals Are Animatronic?
If you can imagine it, someone will make a toy of it. For instance, there are animatronic plush toy elephants, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, bears, ducks, tigers, pandas, owls, turtles, piglets, horses and donkeys, koala bears, bunnies, monkeys, unicorns, foxes, dragons, and I could go on all day with this list. Trust me, if it exists, it could become a beloved stuffed animal.