The concept of a robot dog has been around for many years, but usually, they’ve been too expensive, too complicated, or both.

Now, one toy company thinks they have the answer with a one-of-a-kind dog at an affordable price point.

It’s called the Dog-E by WowWee, and it’s inspired by those popular blind boxes, where kids love the surprise of not knowing what they’re getting.

“When you turn him on, this is when the magic really starts,” said Sydney Wiseman, Dog-E’s creator. She has high hopes for the robotic pup this holiday season.

“Honestly, I think I love toys more than kids,” she quipped.

Wiseman comes from a family of toy makers and one of her earliest inventions, called Fingerlings, was a massive hit.

“I think we really achieved in creating a character and a movie on your finger at a $14.99 price point, and no one had ever seen anything like that before,” explained Wiseman.

Dog-E is being marketed as one in a million. The first time you power it on, it goes through a “minting” process, where you find out the dog’s combination of physical and personality traits.

“He has red eyes, purple paws, a pink chest, a yellow-green tail and a really deep bark,” described Wiseman as she powered on one of the toys.

Sensors respond to touch, motion and voice.

“He’s listening at all times, he has sensors on his sides over here… he has a button on his ear that activates game mode,” said Wiseman, who also explained that what the dog hears is on a closed system not connected to the internet for privacy reasons.

The dog has built-in games and activities you can access with or without a mobile device, plus a unique “wagging” tail that displays simple pictures and text.

“The kids who are more on the robotics stem aspect, like real robots we cover that, and also for a child who wants to nurture and take care I think we have those aspects too,” said Wiseman.

I gave a Dog-E to my 9-year-old, and not only did he enjoy setting it up and playing with it, but he also liked discovering its capabilities and coding aspects. Plus, he came back to play with it the next day.

At $80 dollars, Dog-E is an affordable, surprisingly fun and interactive companion.

“I think we have really big hopes for this guy,” concluded Wiseman.