Product Review: PrideBites Custom Gear

I have a Yorkie (sort of), which means every single t-shirt, Christmas ornament, or blanket with my dog’s “likeness” on it looks nothing like him. It’s frustrating—I mean, I’ve never even met a Yorkie that actually wears a bow in its hair.

Enter PrideBites. A company that takes creates custom illustrations of your dog and puts them on toys, placemats, and blankets. Or they did, until, without telling anyone, they switched to simply Photoshopping a picture of your dog onto their products instead.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. For Christmas, a friend ordered Dipper a custom PrideBites blanket. The results were really cute and speak for themselves.

pridebites compare
PrideBites perfectly captured Dipper’s angelic stare and mischievous grin

A novelty investment

At 30″x50″, the regular size Sherpa blanket is perfect for a dog like Dipper (or a nice length to cover my own legs). It’s great for making a doggie burrito and cuddling him tight during thunderstorms. However, it comes with a pretty lofty price—$50.

Thankfully, PrideBites is very liberal with coupon codes and promotions. Customers can get something like $5 or 15% off their order at virtually any given moment.

I took advantage of one such coupon code and purchased Dipper a custom toy box. I thought it would be a nice little pick-me-up after getting my wisdom teeth removed, and it was! But beware, PrideBites products take a long time to arrive. And I mean a long time—it can take upwards of four weeks to receive your custom item. I felt like I was ready for my other set of wisdom teeth to be removed by the time it came, and its arrival was paired with another ordeal entirely.

Something about this illustration Is it just me?
Something about this illustration seemed, um, off

Worth the wait?

When I received the order, it seemed a little…unfinished. After debating whether or not I should be “that customer,” I decided to contact PrideBites rather than publish a review without asking them what happened.

Good thing I did, because the coloring you see here was apparently an oversight. The representative I spoke to apologized profusely and promised to ship out a new one for no additional charge. Several weeks later, and I received my second toy box in the mail. But it still wasn’t what I expected. Rather than a custom illustration, it seemed as though PrideBites had just transferred Dipper’s photo onto the toy box.

It’s cute (I mean, it’s a picture of Dipper), but I almost prefer the unfinished illustration. His illustration was more personal and much more fun—I didn’t know what Dipper’s rendering would look like until I received the product in the mail! But with the digital photo, that surprise is lost, as is the personal element. Even worse, by using photos, PrideBites lost what set it apart from a custom blanket at the CVS photo center. I know that order wouldn’t take over four weeks.

Dipper PrideBites
The PrideBites toy box makes a great general-use container. I put one on top of Dipper’s crate for storage. This dog has too much stuff…

Buyers beware

At the time of this review, PrideBites’ website still has the custom illustrations online, which is a bit odd. The switch from custom illustration to digital photo must have taken place between the time of my original order and the time I received my replacement toy box, which was months ago.

I wouldn’t have minded the switch had the website been updated to reflect the change in designs. Regardless, if you want your dog’s exact likeness printed on one of their products and are willing to wait several weeks to receive it, PrideBites is worth considering. But so are numerous other websites and pharmacy photo centers.

Have you bought anything from PrideBites? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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