Tuesday, December 13th, 2005
Review: Rockin’ Puppy by Little Tikes
The Rockin’ Puppy by Little Tikes is the first purchase off our 2005 Toy Wish List. The puppy is a blue plastic rocking horse, our second in fact. The first was a wooden build-it-yourself kit from Michaels, but at 18 months Little Miss rocks so hard she almost tips it over. The Little Tikes horses are much lower to the ground and I can’t imagine them tipping. They are rated for 50lbs, up to 36 months of age.
Every toddler play center we’ve visited has the Little Tikes Rockin’ Puppy or Rocking Horse. They are simply awesome and, at under $30, an affordable solution if you are looking for a sturdy rocking ride-on toy.
One caution: buy this toy from a local store where you can exchange it if necessary. We first purchased the Little Tikes Rocking Horse, but once home discovered that the horse’s body is two pieces of hard plastic bonded together, with a seam running lengthwise down the middle of the horse. Except, on our horse they did a poor job matching up the edges, so there was a rough ridge where the edges didn’t line up, running over the seat and the horse’s head. In other areas of the horse there were obvious signs that the misalignment had been smoothed out by cutting away the protruding plastic.
We returned to the store and exchanged the horse for the Rockin’ Puppy (the only other in-stock option at the store that day). The puppy has the same lengthwise seam, but was smooth. I’m sure our specific horse was just a fluke.
Mom prefers the attractive appearance of the dog, while I prefer the horse’s design. The puppy is obviously friendlier with a big smile, floppy ears and blue color. The horse is an ugly shade of green, or perhaps teal, and has no facial features except zombie-like eyes. Mom wins on the aesthetics argument.
However, the puppy has legs which project into the area where the toddler’s feet sit, while the horse has no such legs. A toddler riding the horse can more easily position her feet forward, and (I’m guessing), extend the lifetime use of the product as the toddler’s legs grow. Secondly, I don’t care for the puppy’s ears. Its eyes and nose are plastic, while its ears are fabric â€“ and all of these components are not designed to be removable after insertion into the puppy by you. I’d like the ears to be machine washable.
Quibbles aside, we love it. We gave Little Miss this Christmas present a few weeks early to squeeze every last ounce of play from it before she outgrows it in a year.