What do you get when you cross a Furby with a Tamagotchi with a Pokemon? Well if you’re toymaker Tomy, you get the $59.99 Rizmo. Dubbed as the first ever evolving toy, Rizmo combines interactivity, music and fuzzy adorableness for what has a solid shot for one of the best toys of the holiday season.
Rizmo (a portmanteau of rhythm and monster) comes in several colors (Berry, Aqua and Snow) and its 1st form, it resembles a colorful tribble. In fact, because of its fuzzy ovular body, many of my colleagues thought it was a take on the cute Star Trek pest. And while Rizmo is a big ball of fur, that emits a gentle coo when touched, it has a pair of glowing eyes that are a dead giveaway that this ain’t no tribble.
In order to evolve with Rizmo, you need to play with it. Interact with it enough and in between the Rizmoese (the official Rizmo language) and you’ll hear a pleasant tone. That dulcet noise signifies that you’ve earned an evolution point. Earn enough points and Rizmo will evolve.
When I started playing with Rizmo, it was cautious and I had to earn its trust through gentle pats. Once it felt comfortable, I had five play modes to engage that I could switch between by pressing the spot between its eyes. Different play modes are designated by its eye color. Green, Yellow is my favorite mode by far, as it turns the toy into a mimic. I had a blast singing to my Rizmo and having it sing Ralph Tresvant songs back to me in a higher pitch, Orange encourages you to roll the toy around to illicit a silly giggle from the toy while Blue is sort of an instrument mode. Shaking Rizmo will produce different noises to wacky effect. When you (or Rizmo) are tired, you can put it to sleep.
When it’s time for Rizmo to evolve, you’ll hear a quick little tune and its eyes will start to flash different colors. It’s going to evolve, but it’s going to need a little help from you. How? I call it the Tinkerbell effect. That’s right, loud claps and words of encouragement help the little critter evolve from baby Rizmo to kid Rizmo signified by the tuft of colorful fur sticking up to represent its tail. Give Rizmo more love and playtime and eventually you’ll get adult Rizmo, where the toy stands up and reveals its ears, mouth and eyes.
Once Rizmo is fully evolved, you unlock two more games and you get to figure out which musical style (Pop Star, Hip-Hop Star, Rock Star and Electro Star your new buddy has.
Even though some of my more jaded colleagues were put off by the colorful rhythm monster’s looks and overall antics, I fell in love with the fuzzy musical toy. In fact, it’s sitting on my desk right now waiting for some attention. For the price, Rizmo offers loads of entertainment and would make a cool stocking stuffer this holiday.