Sunday, March 8, 2015

Puzzle Toy Review: Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Bulb

The Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Bulb is a durable, stuffable rubber chew toy shaped like a bulb from a string of vintage Christmas lights. It is available in two colors and two sizes for largish and smallish dogs. The Orbee Tuff Bulb is made in the USA and comes with a 100% guarantee that I have not yet put to the test.
Photo by Erin Koski

I had been wanting one of these for years, and this one happily arrived in our December BarkBox. This is probably my favorite thing we've gotten in a BarkBox so far. It's basically made of nostalgia (and rubber) because it is shaped like the Christmas lights of my childhood.

Back in the 1980's, we didn't have all those fancy strands of mini lights. There were no animated three-dimensional lighted sculptures of reindeer and snowmen. Nope, back when I was a kid we all just had a single strand of these big fat bulbs adorning our houses every December. They weren't as big as the Orbee Tuff Bulb, but they were a heck of a lot bigger than the ones on all Christmas lights today. Even when I see "retro" Christmas lights now, they still aren't as big as the ones of my childhood, which are still sitting in a box in my parents' garage. Given that "things shaped like Christmas lights" are invariably shaped like those old bulbs, I'm certain this nostalgia is widespread.

Puzzle Toy Rating

Capacity: 4/5
I can fit nearly a cup of kibble in here, which is amazing for this type of toy.

Loading Speed: 4/5
A soda funnel speeds up the process quite a bit.

Unloading Speed (standard dog): 4/5
The foster puppies spent close to an hour emptying the bulb.

Unloading Speed (superdog): 2/5
This puzzle is pretty easy for Brisbane to solve, but he still enjoys it.

Size: 5/5
The smaller size is small enough for Ru-sized dogs to use, and the larger one is big enough for a really big dog. The flexibility makes it easy for dogs on the smaller end of the spectrum to carry the bulb.

Durability: 3/5
Planet Dog gives the Orbee Tuff Bulb a three out of five rating for durability. It will stand up to an infinite amount of tossing and chomping, but a determined chewer can probably demolish it with little effort.

Noise: 5/5
Soft rubber means this toy is silent on my hard floors.

Locatability: 3/5
The non-spherical and non-cylindrical shape means the bulb doesn't roll freely. This mostly keeps it from disappearing under the furniture. Mostly. It's still small enough for Briz to pick up and carry though, so it ends up in his lair once in a while.

Washability: 2/5
The skinny neck of the bulb makes it pretty tough to get the inside clean, so I only put in dry treats like kibble. Occasionally I'll fill it with soapy water and shake it up before rinsing and drying. I haven't found anything on the Planet Dog website about their toys being dishwasher safe, and I have my concerns. I know one of our previous Orbee toys melted in the dishwasher, back when we lived in a house with a dishwasher.

Versatility: 4/5
The relatively long neck and flexibility of the bulb make it a challenging toy for various animals. We haven't tried giving it to Xhuuya the raven yet, though.

Total: 36/50

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