Mighty Toy Bear by VIP Products

Durability Rating: [Rating:1/5]

Soft, but not at all MIGHTY strong!

We’re so disappointed!  Cassie’s birthday was last week, and we celebrated with a trip to the pet supply store for a few toys!  We’ve had such good luck with the VIP Products so far, we bought two of their toys.  I loved the look of this plush “polar bear” from the Mighty Dog Arctic Series.

Unfortunately, the Mighty Dog Polar Bear  didn’t make the cut at all.  In fact, it lasted less than 1/2 hour before I had to take it away from them.

The DuraScale Tag (which we’ve come to trust) rated this toy at 9, meaning “Extremely Strong, Extremely Durable.

The Mighty Dog product tag states: “Multiple layers sewn multiple times. … All material seams are covered with a layer of soft, flexible material and sewn together with another two rows of stitching”.

This is simply not true. After just a few minutes of playing the seam in the belly had torn away, and you can clearly see that the stitching is one row of very wide stitching, using multiple threads.

Mighty Dog Toy Polar Bear

The stitching gave way minutes after giving the toy to the dogs. As you can see, there is only one row of stitches, and they are not at all tight!

An interesting side note, on the VIP website, this toy is listed with a DuraScale rating of 8, or “Long lasting and really durable”.   Unfortunately, the Cassie/Moxie rating is more like a 1: “The Cheap Plush Toy”.  Except these toys aren’t cheap.  At $21.99, I expected a toy that would last.

I will try to repair the belly, but I don’t have high hopes for this toy lasting through Thanksgiving. We’ll have stuffing all over the house (and not the kind we can eat with turkey!)

Tuffy’s Ultimate Tug-Of-War

This toy is awesome… it’s a big toy, about 22″ long, and when we bought it two years ago, we paid about $25 for this toy.  Now you can get it online for $12.50, and we think it’s worth every penny! VIP gives this toy a Tuff Scale rating of 9, meaning “Extremely Stong – Extremely Durable”.  Their website describes the toy’s construction as follows:

Ultimate Construction: Each toy is made with 4 layers. 2 layers are made of industrial grade luggage material, 1 layer of plastic coating, and the other layer is made of soft fleece on the outside. All of these layers are sewn together to make one super strong layer of material.  Each toy is sewn together with 2 layers of cross stitching and then 2 layers of linear stitching.  After the toy is sewn together an additional piece of black trim is added to cover the four rows of stitching. This extra piece of black trim is sewn with 3 linear stitches to give the product a total of 7 seams! These toys are machine washable (air dry) and float.”

Tuffy's Ultimate Tug-Of-War Toy

This might look like it’s in rough shape, but it’s two years old! We definitely got our money’s worth from this toy.

Cassie loved this toy from the start, but did tend to chew on the center section and did some damage there.   However the majority of the toy is still intact, and since we’ve had it now for over two years, we find the Tuff Scale rating to be true.  In fact, this is one of the oldest “stuffed” toys still in the bin plus one of the only toys that is still recognizable!  Even after we got Moxie, who loves to play tug with Cassie and is very enthusiastic and LOUD about her game of tug, the toy is still intact and going strong.

This toy is almost never left in the toy box.  Now that Cassie has the center of the toy nice and floppy, she loves to shake it and toss it in the air.  She actually likes it better now that it’s a bit “worn in”.  Of course all that shaking is too tempting for Moxie, who comes running, and then the game really begins.  They will play with this toy for a good long time and it is definitely a favorite for them both.  After two years, it is getting a bit worn, so this will definitely be a toy we will buy again.  You can’t beat it for durability, price and fun!

The Ultimate Tug-Of-War toy is a keeper and we recommend this toy!

Hugglehounds Skunk

Hugglehounds Skunk

Durability Rating: [Rating:0.5/5]

Hugglehounds has “Tuffut Technology” and their slogan is “Go Ahead… Chew Me… Dare You!”

So they dared me… how could I resist?  The toy tag boasts:

“3 specially bonded layers provide the body armour protecting this toy.

  • Outside Layer Custom designed fabrics provide the great look and feel of the toy.
  • Middle Layer Rugged, tear resistant sport mesh
  • Inside Layer Heavy-duty, dense-fiber material
  • Stitched with Tight Standards Specially developed, heavy duty thread and up to 65% more stitches per inch form a tight seal
  • Reinforced Stress Point Seams Additional binding sewn over all stress points for extra strength”

The Tuffit Techology list was just as impressive:

  • “3-step, patent pending process, developed to deliver the strongest soft toy in the pet industry
  • Tested to withstand over 100 pounds of tugging and pulling
  • No external seams that can be easily opened by aggressive chewers
  • So much extra protection yet toy maintains its light weight and play appeal”

Wow!  All this for $20.99!  I bought one!  Well, guess what?  It lasted less than an hour!



Flimsy stitching made this toy fall completely apart

I have to admit, this was a huge disappointment… After less than an hour of average play, the head was dismembered and hanging literally by a thread.  We retrieved the toy, and upon closer inspection, the seams holding the head on are basted on at best… the stitching is really flimsy and not at all what was promised on the tag…

If this was a three dollar toy that had lasted under an hour I would have been a bit annoyed but would expect a short life for the price.  This company, though, BRAGS about how tough their toys are and charge quite a premium for the promise that the toy will last.  That just makes me mad!

Please don’t waste your time or money on this toy brand.  I’m returning the remains to the store today and hopefully they will stop selling it if enough people complain. Talk about being “ripped off!”

Kong Braidz

Durability Rating:[Rating:1/5]
Kong is well known for it’s great rubber products and chew toys, and we’ve used Kongs for our dogs to help keep them occupied when they are teething and during crate training and other times when we want them busy but quiet.  Our original Kong, which is over 15 years old, is still in the toy crate.  Now that’s a durable toy!

The Kong Braidz, however are a totally different story.  To be fair, they are not billed on their tags as being tough, but their website states they are for dogs who “like to tug, shake and squeak their toys.  Their soft but strong material is tightly braided for strength creating the cutest tug toy on the market.

Kong Braidz: Not at all tough!

The sales staff at the pet store recommended this toy as a good choice for dogs that are tough on toys, so I decided to give it a try, although I had my doubts.  The toy has not lasted at all, and within a week of play, it is ready for the trash can.  The toy is in many pieces, some of which have already been tossed, the braiding is unraveling quickly and this toy will very quickly be gone.  For $10.99, I was expecting more!

While we love the original Kong products, the Braidz Toys are not recommended for the tough dogs.  Save your money.

Tuffy SEA Creatures

VIP Products featuring the Tuff Scale Ranking
Durability Rating:[Rating:3.5/5]

VIP Products states they have the “World’s Most Durable Soft Dog Toy”  They put a lot of information on their tags and even more on their website about the durability of their toys.  They even offer a “Tuff Scale” Ranking to help dog owners know what the toy is intended for and how durable it is.  VIP Products offer the following information on their website about the SEA Creatures Shark:

For interactive play with one or multiple dogs. This toy will entertain dogs who like to whip their toys and play fetch for hours! Easy to toss and Floats! — soft edges won’t hurt gums. Each Sea Creature toy is made with 4 layers. 2 layers are made of industrial grade luggage material, 1 layer of plastic coating, and the other layer is made of soft fleece on the outside. All of these layers are sewn together to make one super strong layer of material. Each toy is sewn together with 2 layers of cross stitching and then 2 layers of linear stitching. After the toy is sewn together an additional piece of black trim is added to cover the four rows of stitching. This extra piece of black trim is sewn with 3 linear stitches to give the product a total of 7 seams! These toys are machine washable (air dry) and float.

SEA Creature Shark: Weakest in the Jaws!

The SEA Creature Shark is given a Tuff Scale Ranking of 7, meaning “A really tough toy, but still vulnerable”.  Fair enough.  We thought we’d give a try, based on good luck with other toys from this company.

Both dogs love the toy and we’ve had a great time playing catch and hide and seek with the toy.  The dogs also play tug and keep away with the toy.  It gets a lot of play here!

Funny enough, the Jaws is the weakest link in this toy. After several days, the dogs had torn the mouth, which has 2 layers of material, and pulled out the squeaker and stuffing.  However, the rest of the toy has remained intact for over a month now and still gets play.  Of course it no longer squeaks, but it is still chosen quite often for tugging play.

We really like this brand of dog toys, and appreciate the Tuff Scale Ranking, so we are looking forward to trying out more of their tougher toys.  And on that note, check out a very cool feature of their website — a Toy Tester program! You can sign up to be a toy tester on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and get their toys for 50% off! Once you have signed up, you can add products to your wish list and then select your shipping date.  I’ve signed up for the program and am starting with some Tuff Scale 9 and 10 Ranked toys, and will report back on how we make out.  What a great marketing program and a great bargain as well!