When it comes to four-legged creatures, children can have as much fun with toy trucks as they can with dogs, both of which are great for pulling kids away from their devices for some fun, active playtime. Jakks Pacific has combined the fun of dogs and trucks together with Street Dogs, an adorable line of dogs on wheels.
Designed for kids ages 3 and up, Street Dogs are mechanized canines available in multiple styles, including Buster, Bumper, and Roxie. I spent some quality time with Bumper, who comes with a remote control bone and is pre-loaded with four AA batteries, just like his puppy pals.
Each dog can bark, chase its tail in circles, wiggle and wag, and take a nap just like a real dog. But, when it comes time to get moving, this dog will leave Fido in the dust. Street Dogs utter 50 fun sounds and phrases, and can perform 11 exciting tricks, giving kids an interactive experience.
Simply switch on the button right next to the tail to get started, and follow the illustrated manual to begin training your new best friend. Pulling Buster’s tongue engages him in a rousing game of tug-o-war, and kids can place him on his hindquarters to activate begging mode, making him instantly start whining. Once kids press the button on his bone, Buster will spin 360 degrees with his paws facing up, ready for a treat! A stroke on the back of his neck makes him calm again, and he’ll yap in approval. Get him back on all fours, press the remote control within a range of four feet, and walk ahead to take Bumper on a walk. Pressing the collar button can also activate five tricks including chase, race, and more.
As friendly as he is, Bumper is ready for some defense as well. Kids can activate the guard dog mode by placing Bumper 6 to 7 feet away from any object, then press and hold the collar button for three seconds and listen for the activation audio prompt. Now, any moving object within a two feet range will convert Bumper into a guard dog, causing him to move to-and-fro with excitement.
When left idle for 10 seconds or more, Bumper will produce pleading barks and sounds to engage kids to keep playing—and to remind parents that the battery is still on. If left idle for more than a minute he’ll go into battery saving mode, or just go off to sleep like a regular dog.
Street Dogs’ interactive features catch the attention of preschoolers easily, keeping them on their toes with an entertaining variety of tricks. And even though Bumper is all fun and games, kids will still learn a thing or two, including how to process instructions, the basics of animal training, and even some mild vocabulary lessons, since this dog has a lot to say.