Engages and connects with your child
Teaches empathy and care
Goes to sleep mode very quickly
Can be challenging for toddlers to activate independently
Doesn’t hold children’s attention for long
The furReal Munchin’ Rex by Hasbro is one of the cutest toys I have laid eyes on. But for my 5-year-old son, I want more than just “cute.” I also want toys that are engaging, interactive, and fun. So, I gave the holiday favorite to my son to see if it fit the bill. I specifically looked at its design, value, and entertainment capacity. Here’s what I found out.
Design: Fun, cartoon-esque design that draws kids’ attention
The furReal Munchin’ Rex is a plush toy, but unlike other (regular) plush toys, it’s designed to be played with—not just to display and cuddle. It is around 14 inches tall and has a large head with cartoon-esque eyes; all of these features are perfect to pique toddlers’ curiosity. Both of my children, 2 and 5 years old, were instantly drawn to the furReal pet’s bright and vibrant colors—so much so that it’s often the first toy they reach for in the morning.
My children, 2 and 5 years old, were instantly drawn to the furReal pet—it’s often the first toy they reach for in the morning.
The furReal Munchin’ Rex comes with a bottle, a broccoli treat, and a caveman cookie—each of which can activate the dinosaur’s sensors. When it’s awake, the sounds that it makes are loud enough for the children to hear and enjoy, but quiet enough for adults not to be bothered. The boys bring it with them in the car and on walks, and my husband and I are able to tune it out and keep on chatting, undisturbed.
Overall, the furReal Munchin’ Rex is sturdy and well made. It’s withstood my toddler’s rough handling and many drops; and to this day, it still looks as good as new. Because of the plastic hands and legs and the hard structure underneath the fur, the dinosaur isn’t as soft and cuddly as I had hoped (or as it seemed on the box)—but my son didn’t seem to mind.
Sensors: Can be hard for toddlers to activate independently
If not stimulated, the furReal Munchin’ Rex goes into “sleep” mode within a couple of minutes. This is a nice touch in theory, as it helps conserve battery life; however, for the sake of toddler play, I find it to be a flaw, especially since it can be tricky for tiny toddler hands to turn the dinosaur back on.
When it’s awake, the sounds that it makes are loud enough for the children to hear and enjoy, but quiet enough for adults not to be bothered.
All you have to do is press the very tip of the dino’s tongue—something you have to do every time it goes into “sleep” mode. This seems pretty straightforward, but my son had to practice; and before he figured out where and how strongly to press, he came to me every few minutes to turn the pet back on. It was frustrating for both of us and defeated the purpose of (and hope for) independent play.
Entertainment Value: Belly laughs guaranteed, but the excitement wears off pretty quickly
The furReal Munchin’ Rex has a lot of tricks up its sleeves and, with 35 different sound-and-motion response combinations, engages children in playful and unpredictable ways. With sensors on its tongue and head, the dinosaur responds to being pet, waved at, and fed. My oldest son particularly loves hearing the pet slurp when he feeds it the bottle, and he belly-laughs every time it fusses about the broccoli. And though he loves seeing the dinosaur hopping and moving his head up and down when we wave at it, he originally was disappointed to find out that it didn’t walk, though.
The boost of excitement that comes with the dinosaur’s responses wears off pretty quickly and is just not enough to hold kids’ interest—especially older ones.
It’s hard to discern the different sounds and motions that the dinosaur makes, and yet my son is filled with excitement as he waits for them. He even made a game out of trying to guess whether the dinosaur is cranky or happy—so we all appreciate the fun and interactive unpredictability that it offers.
That said, the boost of excitement that comes with the dinosaur’s responses wears off pretty quickly and is just not enough to hold kids’ interest—especially older ones (6 and up). My oldest son, who’s almost 5 years old, tends to play with it for 20 to 30 minutes.
Educational Value: Teaches empathy and problem-solving
The furReal Munchin’ Rex, which my son dubbed T-Rex, does provide laughter, and it also offers an opportunity to teach the art of problem-solving and empathetic care. When the pet is upset or cranky, my son tries to come up with solutions to make it happy—from hugging to feeding it to waving and being silly. All in all, my son loves caring for this cute baby animal and has even developed a sense of responsibility to keep it content (kind of like how I felt with my Tamagotchi).
Age Range: 4 and up
Hasbro, the manufacturer, asserts that the furReal Munchin’ Rex is suitable for children 4 and up. I would agree. Though my 2-year-old boy was intrigued and did laugh at times, he doesn’t have the skills or attention span to fully appreciate all the interactive fun that the dinosaur provides. My 5-year-old son, on the other hand, usually plays with it for 20 to 30 minutes before moving on to something else or before moving it around manually to include it in other imaginative games. Older kids, however, may lose interest faster.
My son loves caring for this cute baby animal and has even developed a sense of responsibility to keep it content.
Ease of Cleaning: Brush it off
The furReal Munchin’ Rex has fur, so I was worried it would be tricky to clean. But all I had to do was to use a damp cloth to remove any dirt and stain. The best way to care for it is to prevent any stain from settling, which means brushing or wiping off any dirt as soon as possible. The manufacturer cautions not to use detergent or stain remover on the fur. And, since the toy operates with batteries, you shouldn’t wet it or put it in the washing machine.
The furReal Munchin’ Rex retails for about $50. It seems expensive, but it’s actually comparable to other similar toys, and considering the entertainment that it can provide to children, I think it’s worth it.
furReal Munchin’ Rex v. Little Live Pets Snuggles my Dream Puppy
Both the furReal Munchin’ Rex and Little Live Pets Snuggles retail for around $50; and they are both interactive, coming complete with accessories and 35 response combos. That said, the Little Live Pets Snuggles does seem to provide more nuanced and diverse interactions: In addition to responding to sound and feedings, it will react to kisses and tickles. Plus, it also closes its eyes and its belly moves—like a real pet. All in all, the Dream Puppy offers a more realistic experience, which can be a plus for kids who love dogs.
- Product Name furReal Munchin’ Rex
- Product Brand Hasbro
- MPN E0387
- Price $49.99
- Weight 2.2 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6 x 12 x 14 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 4+ years
- Batteries Required 1.5v AA alkaline batteries (4)
- What’s Included Dinosaur, a bottle, broccoli, caveman cookie, manual, demo battery