They’re cute, fuzzy, purr, and wiggle…and don’t crap, scratch the furniture, or need to be fed. They’re Hasbro’s “Joy For All” robotic cats and dogs, specifically marketed to senior citizens as “companion pets.” They are not toys (though in theory, they could be).
The cats come in three shades of “Orange Tabby Cat,” “Creamy White Cat,” and “Silver Cat with White Mitts.” Hasbro’s newest companion pet, “Golden Pup,” will nuzzle your cheek, give you a “heartbeat,” and employ hi-tech “Bark-Back” technology.
I’m sure the concept of the robotic “pet” or “pal” is not a new one to you…after all, you might have grown up with a Tamagotchi dangling from your keychain, or at least those simple battery-operated cats and dogs made from some nameless toy company.
The “Joy For All” line is very significant, however, for several reasons. First of all, they’re being sold by Hasbro, a highly visible toy company. They’re priced to sell at $99.99-119.99—not that expensive, in comparison with other “robotic” toys out there.
And while they are described on the Hasbro site as being made for “loved ones ages 5 to 105,” it’s clear by the photos on the site and packaging that the company are targeting the far right end of that spectrum.
Will this all catch on? My guess is…if not with these furry guys, with something similar. It’s only a matter of time.