The ‘novelty desktop accessories’ shelf in the Stuff store room is close to breaking point, but Hasbro won’t be happy until it snaps. It’s already plied us with the i-Fish and i-Dog speakers, and now i-Cat has turned up begging for our attention.
The feline gizmo is a Tamagotchi-style speaker for your MP3 player. This means, once you’ve switched him on via the tail, you have to keep him happy by scratching his ears and pressing his nose button.
For the first couple of hours his satisfied purr and flapping ears make him endearing. Forget to pay him attention, though, he starts meowing like a starving kitten, which may prompt the short-fused among us to throw him out the window.
He also needs to be ‘fed’ one hour of music per day, or his blue LED will start blinking like crazy. You can do this by plugging in your MP3 player in via the 3.5mm jack, and your tunes will play from the single speaker while the your plastic cat shows his approval by turning his head.
The i-Cat claims he can scratch your MP3s, but moving your finger over his face merely adds a scratching sound over your music rather than manipulating the track. Like his ‘copy cat’ game (prod his face in time to beat sequences) and musical personalities, though, it’s all about serving up some novelty value on Boxing Day.
We’d prefer to find the more expensive i-Fish and his wagging tail in our stockings, but the i-Cat is a credible alternative if Firebox is out of stock.