Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When I Thought Hartz Had A Dud, Gollum Proved Me Wrong! The Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy!

The Good: Soft, Bright colors stimulates cat, Easy to clean, Comparatively inexpensive.
The Bad: The play function is hit or miss, A little large for smaller cats.
The Basics: The Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy initially did not grab me or Gollum, but when I wasn’t around, Gollum started playing with it!

When I received a box of products for product testing from Hartz, I was initially glad to see the Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy. Actually, it was a dark sense of joy. The thing is, whenever I start a new relationship with a company wherein they provide me with products for review, I always hope they will send me something I can outright pan. That’s not me being mean; I just like to retain my objectivity and nothing says “I’m not bought!” like a right panning of a freebee. So, when I saw the Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy in the box, I thought that I had my product to pan. Gollum has a similar toy at the bottom of his toy chest that he never plays with. It was my mother’s rabbit’s and then Brillo’s and Gollum has since inherited it. In the last four years, he has played with that toy once, if that. So, I had predictably low expectations for the Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy.

Then, Gollum surprised me. The Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy did not fare well during the initial testing with Gollum. But this morning, when I went to get the toy to bring with me, I discovered it was gone from Gollum’s toy box. Gollum went into his toy box, dragged the Running Bird cat toy out and brought it back to his sleeping area where he only has his coveted Krinkle Mouse (reviewed here!). When I took the Running Bird toy with me this morning, Gollum looked upset. So, despite the initial play experience, Gollum has clearly gotten attached and has been playing with the toy on his own without me!

The Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy is a 4” (beak to tail) long plush yellow Angry Bird. It is2 1/4” wide and 3” tall to the top of its black felt plume. This Angry Bird is the yellow liberating bird and Hartz faithfully recreates the animated hero with a yellow body, bright yellow beak, white belly and black felt tail and plume. This Angry Bird has eyes and furrowed red eyebrows embroidered on and that is nice; the eyes cannot come off and potentially hurt your cat. The Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy is made of polyester fiber, including the felted plume and tail.

The plush Angry Bird has a hard core and that is the selling point for this particular Angry Bird. The play function is very simple. Pulling on the bird’s tail, the toy lets out a 3” nylon cord. When the tail is released, the Angry Bird is supposed to run. On a flat surface, mine went in a circle with a 6” radius for about five seconds before its capacity was exhausted. On the carpeted floor, the Angry Bird pretty much just vibrates, just like the little toy my mom’s rabbit used to have. And while Brillo liked that, Gollum seemed less wowed by it.

Eager to do real product testing with Gollum, I took my newly-fearless cat out to the linoleum floors and set the Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird Cat Toy off. Gollum watched it. He watched it when it moved a few inches across the floor, he watched it when it stopped moving and just vibrated in place, he watched it. I think Gollum likes the bright colors of the little plush. But, the play function – the running function – did not wow Gollum, even though he had been in a play mood (thanks to one of the other toys Hartz sent!).

The fact that I got consistent results when setting the Running Bird toy off for Gollum makes the argument that Hartz has made a quality product. The Running Bird moves a few inches each time it is activated and set on a surface that is smooth. But Gollum was not impressed by that function and he did not play with it while it moved.

However, Gollum has played with the Running Bird toy on his own. He bats it around and wrestles with it, so he is getting use out of it. It is durable and while he has clawed at it once or twice, the plush surface of the Running Bird has not torn. Similarly, it “ran” a bit close to the refrigerator and got dusty, but was very easy to clean off with just a damp cloth.

Hartz does not have a dud on its hands with the Angry Birds Running Bird cat toy. Gollum plays with it, though he is not engaged by the movement function. As a result, this might well be a product that was simply overthought! On the plus side, should whatever mechanics make the Running Bird run or vibrate actually give out, my cat will still play with this little plush! Fans of Angry Birds will enjoy bombarding their cat with this toy, though Hartz has some better ones on the market.

For other pet products by Hartz, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Angry Birds Red Bird Plush Toy With Sound Chip
Angry Birds Wand Cat Toy
Quackers Dog Toy


For other pet products, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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