Alternatives to live Easter bunnies that are not hare today, gone tomorrow
The Mechanical Rabbit from Tamiya ($18) has plenty of bounce in its step, and its transparency lets young builders watch their mechanical handiwork in motion. The contraption resembles what a Transformer rabbit could look like, without the evil alien baggage. Eight-year-olds can tackle the screwdriver assembly. Smaller kids can play with it as long as a guardian is supervising.
It fits in your Easter basket, too. "Basically it's intended to showcase how to put a basic item together and show basic motion of a little motor," Tamiya spokesman Fred Medel told WalletPop. On the downside, the company Web site says the robot's running time is a mere 40 minutes per alkaline battery.
Go retro with Mr. Potato Head Spud Bunny ($5.99 at Target and other venues). This doesn't have to be a seasonal one-off. The ears, feet, eyes, teeth and darn cute shoes are interchangeable with other Mr. Potato Head gear. The parts are big enough for ages 2 and up. We always liked using the real Russets, then making hash browns out of 'em if they got out of line.
Sneaky Bunnies ($12-$15) combines roll-of-the-dice luck and memory, as the critters bounce on a path to collect carrots in this preschooler-on-up board game. The first to gather three carrots while escaping the farmer wins. Sounds pretty "Peter Rabbit"-ish to me.
Fur Real Friends Newborn Grey and White Bunny ($13.99) Hasbro gives nurturing 4 year olds and up their own helpless, adorable thing to take care of. The cuddly critter lifts its head and sniffs, thanks to three AAA batteries. It also has a bottle.
Act out your own "Night of the Lepus" fantasy or, better yet, entertain your children during the egg hunt in this bunny costume available at the Oriental Trading Company ($39.99). Or, for a mere $2.49, you can buy a Plush Bunny Set with ears, bow tie and cottontail. Silly rabbit.