Teddy Tank is marketed as a stuffed animal that’s also a fish tank. Today I offer my observations and concerns about the product.
About Teddy Tank
Teddy Tank is a stuffed animal with an embedded one-gallon plastic fish bowl. It is marketed as a three-way product: fish tank, stuffed animal, and LED nightlight. The product comes in 12 designs: Silly penguin, magical unicorn, cute doggie, playful monkey, fun frog, pretty pig, sweet brown bear, awesome elephant, pearl white bear, honey brown bear, joyful giraffe, and precious panda.
The official website is teddytanks.com, which was registered back in January 2011. The domain buyteddytank.com has also been used for online marketing. That domain was registered in January 2014.
Teddy Tank is marketed by TeleBrands, which is responsible for many popular As Seen on TV products.
Is Teddy Tank Available in Stores?
As of this writing, Teddy Tank is not available in stores. An admin on the product’s Facebook page noted in July 2014 that it would “be available in most major retail stores soon.” The admins later mentioned specific stores which would carry the product: Bed Bath & Beyond, Boscov’s, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Petsmart, and Toys R Us. It was noted that the product would be available in stores “in August.”
If you see Teddy Tank in stores, please let me know in the comments below.
How much does Teddy Tank cost?
Teddy Tank costs $19.99 plus $7.99 shipping for a total of $27.98.
Teddy Tank Review
My initial concern when I first saw the advertisements for Teddy Tank was the same as those for My Fun Fish Tank: Is a small container marketed as a child’s toy a good environment to care for a living creature? My opinion for both products is that the tank is probably too small, but at the very least the tank should be supervised closely by an adult. Even a “low maintenance fish” tank housing a betta still requires proper cleaning and care.
The television ads note that Teddy Tank can also be used for storage, rather than as a fish tank (making it similar to a product like Tummy Stuffers). This may be a better marketing strategy for the product from a public relations perspective, as it would eliminate concerns about fish safety.
The product’s Facebook admins have responded to questions about the tank size and aeration by stating that the tank is suitable for a betta fish. Although the commercial on the official website only shows a betta fish in the tank, a version of the television ad running as of August 8, 2014 still shows a goldfish in the bowl. (See screen capture to the right).
Another concern is that younger children are accustomed to playing with their stuffed animals, and this product is clearly not meant to be played with like a traditional stuffed animal. Carrying or moving a tank containing a live fish should be done so with care, and younger children may not be able to do this with the best interest of the fish in mind.
Currently, many of the reviews online for Teddy Tank are quite harsh, with concerns about fish safety. Those who have used it for storage or as a snack holder have expressed generally positive thoughts on the product.
Teddy Tank response to complaints
A comment was posted to the official Teddy Tank Facebook page regarding concerns about the product. The company issued the following response:
Teddy Tank is a very safe and appropriate environment for a Betta fish. Speaking from personal experience, we have had a Betta Fish in a Teddy Tank for the last two years and the fish is swimming around very happily. We would not invent any product that could be dangerous or harmful to any animal. Our company goals are to provide a fun and interactive product for children to be engaged with, while still ensuring that it is safe for the fish as well. Teddy Tank teaches kids responsibility, which is vital to their development. We recommend adult supervision when caring for any pet. Teddy Tank is a 1-gallon fish bowl, which is the same size fish tank sold in many pet stores. Please visit popular pet stores and websites and you will see Betta Fish Kits that are one quart, 1/2 gallon and up. We appreciate your concerns and we will continue to make sure kids and adults understand that live animals need to be treated with love and care.
Marrying a fish tank and a child’s toy does not sound like a match made in the fish’s favor, and it will be a hard sell in the face of fish safety concerns. Maintaining a fish tank requires work, and describing a fish tank a child’s toy might give children the wrong idea about the delicate nature for which fish must be cared. If, however, you feel you can properly care for a betta fish with the help of your child, Teddy Tank may be a good fit.
The television commercial states that Teddy Tank can also be used for storage or as a snack holder, and it is my opinion that the product would be better marketed for this secondary use, at least from a public relations standpoint.
If you are leery of ordering the product online, it is expected to arrive in stores in August 2014. This will give you a good opportunity to evaluate it closer prior to purchasing.
Your Teddy Tank Reviews
What are your thoughts on Teddy Tank?