Didn’t your mother tell you to never pull a dinosaur’s tail? If there’s one thing that’s likely to antagonize a T-Rex, it’s yanking on his derriere. Don’t worry, though. All it takes is a little tender loving care from a thoughtful trainer to transform Zoomer Dino from predator-a-pique to playful pet.

Hot on the heels – or rather the wheels – of Zoomer, the playful robotic puppy that was a big hit in 2013, comes a new breed of cute robotic critter that is a quirky combination of prehistoric and futuristic creature all in one.

Pint-size paleontologists with a passion for all things prehistoric will fall in love with this dinky dino, with its nifty movements and mannerisms that bring a touch of Jurassic Park into your home. He may be unpredictable at first: the fun is trying to tame your teeny T-Rex and teach him tricks!

Zoomer Dino is instantly appealing with his quirky gait. Although we don’t have any experience of real-life dinosaurs, his physique appears realistic and lifelike (well, compared to what we’ve seen on Walking With Dinosaurs) with a jointed neck and tail that gives a sense of fluidity and flexibility to his movements. He’s also super agile on his rolling feet, and can cleverly balance on his own – and even pick himself up if he topples over using the ingenious ‘True Balance Technology’.

Zoomer Dino has two modes of play. When Zoomer Dino is charged (via the supplied USB cable), he will just roam freely in random directions, or you can direct proceedings with your hand movements. Alternatively, use the battery-operated remote control to mastermind his wanderings; the interactive control pad also has a handy ‘angry’ button to ignite his fury when you can’t get close enough to pull his tail.

There’s some pretty sophisticated technology going on with Zoomer Dino, and advances from the original Zoomer puppy allow players greater control via the remote (though admittedly this takes some mastering). You can train your dino to do all sorts of playful antics, from dancing a dinosaur stomp to roaring, chattering or chomping. He will also tilt his head in an affectionate, playful way and utter happy dino sounds when tickled under his chin, which is very endearing and encourages children to engage with him on an emotional level.

Your child can also learn to interpret Zoomer’s emotions – by the colour of his eyes. When his eyes are shining like emeralds, Dino is happy; when his eyes are blue, he’s in curious mode and ready to learn. Purple eyes? That means he’s ready to play, and when they’re red, he’s about to blow his top. Rrrrr-a-a-a-gh!

Other useful colour codes are yellow, which indicates remote control mode is activated, and orange, which means Zoomer is running low on power and needs to be recharged.

As well as the classic green Zoomer Dino Boomer, there are also several exclusive Dino breeds, including Onyx, Snaptail and a limited edition Metallic Gold Finish.

Good For… Dexterity, hand/eye coordination, following instructions, problem solving, comprehension, imaginary play, story telling and role play, responsibility, reading emotional cues.

Keep in Mind… Like any technical toy, Zoomer Dino takes patience and time to ‘train’ – though this adds to its appeal for children who enjoy this type of challenge. It takes about an hour to charge for 20 to 30 minutes play.

What Kids Love This will appeal to techie kids who like remote control toys and enjoy learning how to perform tricks: certain bodily functions, like burps and farts, are also likely to elicit plenty of giggles. Whilst the aim is to train your dino to behave, it’s also very amusing to see him in an angry tizz when his tail is pulled and he becomes angry. Very angry!

What Parents Love Zoomer Dino is a healthy portion of the fun of a family pet without the mess, vaccinations, pet insurance, responsibility and allergies to pet fur. It might also encourage good habits when it comes to owning a real pet – when pulling a tail is definitely not a good idea!

Awards Good Housekeeping Best Toy (2014) | Parents Best Toy (2014) | The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval

Designer Details Three college friends, Ronnen Harary, Anton Rabie and Ben Varadi, founded Spin Master in Toronto in 1994, initially creating a collection of novelty kids products. Two years later, they launched the Air Hogs brand, followed by award-winning launches including Aquadoodle and Tech Deck. In 2008, they launched Bakugan, a combination of an action figure, board game and trading cards. It became an instant success and was awarded three Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards in 2009 for Boy Toy of the Year, Property of the Year and Toy of the Year. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Spin Master has grown into an all-encompassing global entertainment, robotics, toy and digital gaming company. It has launched several entertainment properties, and a Robotics division; sold over 2 million units of its Flutterbye Fairy, a top toy in 2013; won 18 TOTY awards; launched a digital gaming division and entered the construction category through the acquisition of Meccano and the 2013 launch of IONIX, a revolutionary new construction system.