Review: Bucky the Turtle Buckle Toy

Photo of Snapper with his buckles latched and a back view of the zipper on his shell.

If your toddler likes buckles, this toy is a must-have. It’s the Turtle Buckle Toy from Buckle Toy LLC.

My 20-month-old is bonkers for buckles. So, I went googling for a buckle toy. Chances are some parent inventor has already made one, right? Right!

Jill Gomez in Tampa, Florida made a square plush mini-pillow with buckles for her son Gavin. That fateful act let to Straight-forward, huh?

I’m going to forgo calling this thing Turtle Buckle Toy though. He is heretofore unofficially named Snapper for the duration of this review. Yahoo! Since writing this review, Jill has opted to call the turtle Bucky, my other suggested name.

Bucky represents the second generation of buckle toys, a bit more cuddly than a buckle pillow. (I’m not knocking the original buckle pillow; apparently it’s sized right for fitting into a diaper bag.)

Anyhow, Bucky is roughly 9 x 5.5 inches, depending on how much you fluff him out. He sports four color-coded buckles that have an easy release, which apparently means they’re not tight enough to pinch little fingers.

Photo of Snapper the turtle buckle toy with his four buckles unleashed.

The four buckles come out from the turtle’s shell and latch across his belly. Two of the buckles have standard side-squeeze latches activated with your thumb and index finger. The other two have buttons along the flat side, opened by pressing down with your thumb.

Bucky has the numbers 1 through 10 sewn on his chest and his shell has a zipper pocket and six colorful geometric shapes sewn on it.

I snapped these photos of my 21-month-old son playing with Bucky for the first time. I’ll disclose that he’s smiling in the photos because I asked him to smile. When he sees unlatched buckles, he’s normally all business… serious face, fast fingers, intense focus.

Photo of my son smiling as he latches a buckle on Snapper's tummy.

When I show him Bucky, he’s like Superman answering the call, going right to work with no fanfare.

Buckles are his passion. He keeps the buckles on his feeding chair engaged at all times. When we leave our car, he buckles his car seat and tries to buckle his 5-year-old sister’s seat as well. Boy, my daughter is annoyed when she sits down and then realizes she has to get up again to unlatch her seat belt. He even buckles himself into his changing table.

Obsessive-compulsive much? He just likes having a task that he can complete on his own. He thinks he’s accomplishing something.

I can’t understate the value of having a buckle toy for a buckle-loving boy. Fussy on the changing table? Put Bucky in his hands. Crying in his car seat? Toss Bucky in his lap.

This toy reboots my toddler, diverting his frustrated or fussy attention toward a poor helpless turtle who really needs his tummy buckled.

And I suppose there’s the whole hand-eye coordination thing going on.

My only criticism is one you’ve already heard. Turtle Buckle Toy needs a friendly name. Maybe Bucky? Or, Snapper! Problem solved, as mentioned above. He’s named Bucky now!

In any case, the double extra secret behind these photos of my son is that I took them during our bedtime routine while his sister wasn’t present. With Christmas a few weeks away, we don’t plan to buy him many toys because he has ample hand-me-downs… but we have to give him some gifts to keep up appearances with my Santa-believing daughter.

Photo of my son connecting buckles on Snapper's tummy.

And so, it is with much regret that Bucky will be spending most of the next few weeks, definitely after-school hours, in cold storage waiting for Christmas morning.

Oh, and never give your toddler Bucky right before bedtime unless you plan to let the two cuddle in bed.

  • Jill’s Buckle Turtle is $25, currently on sale for $20.
  • The Original Buckle Toy (a square with 6 buckles) is just $20.
  • Get $3 off your order by using “Thingamababy” as your coupon code.

Photo of my son smiling as he latches buckles on Snapper's tummy.

Yay! In the image above you’re seeing my son’s first haircut in 21 months. I held him in an immobilizing hug while he was strapped in his feeding chair and my wife ran a hair trimmer over his head. We didn’t dare attempt finer trimming with scissors. I call it The Moe.

If I’m feeling adventurous, next time I’ll see if Bucky will subdue his hair trimming hysteria.


7 Responses to “Review: Bucky the Turtle Buckle Toy”

  1. Can Can (Mom Most Traveled) says:

    I love the “flasher” style pic of Bucky.
    Are there finger pinching dangers w/ the buckles? I teach preschool….

    December 8th, 2009 at 4:55 am

  2. Amanda says:

    Awesome! My daughter has been obsessed with my belt buckle since she could sit up. She plays with her shopping cart cover buckle too, so I think this will be a perfect Christmas present!

    December 8th, 2009 at 6:08 am

  3. AJ says:

    The website states, “Does NOT pinch little fingers like normal buckles do!”

    My son hasn’t pinched his fingers on normal buckles, but yes, these buckles are slightly smaller and have less tension to them.

    December 8th, 2009 at 8:28 am

  4. MoJo says:

    I am ordering one today!! Thanks for the review. I was stuck on what to get my 26 month old, since he has so much to play with from #1 and #2. His siblings are also frustrated at finding their car seat buckles latched after they sit down. He is always re-buckling everything!! This will be a great and unique item just for him.

    December 8th, 2009 at 9:53 am

  5. PAUL says:

    Cool toy! Love Little Mister’s haircut – I strongly feel that the “Moe” is much better than the “Larry.” Duplicating the “Shemp” would require WAY too much greasy product in the little man’s locks.

    December 8th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

  6. gertie says:

    Are the buckles easier to open than regular buckles (can your son open them)? Or does he just close them? Either way it looks like a great toy. I know my oldest would have loved it at that age.

    December 8th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

  7. RookieMom Whitney says:

    What a find! I just tweeted this post.

    December 11th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

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