It’s inevitable that once Christmas rolls around, a new must-have children’s toy starts flying off the shelves and stirring desperate parents into a frenzy. This year, the toys go by the name of Fingerlings, and since selling out across the UK they’re being sold on eBay for all kinds of seemingly extortionate prices.
What exactly is a Fingerling, you ask? It’s a small, relatively cute little animal which is designed to cling to your finger as though it were a branch. They have motion detectors, with designs ranging from monkeys, sloths, and unicorns. And on the shelves, they sell for just £14.99.
But people will apparently do anything to get their hands on them, shown by the fact that some eBay listings display the toys being sold for staggering prices – one listing hoped to sell for a whopping £675.83. The owner of the listing is from Arkansas in the US, and describes the toys as “100% authentic WowWee Fingerlings.”
While this is an extreme example, other listings of the toys show that they are being offered for somewhere around £100.
And, as with every popular toy, knock off versions have started to appear. Similar looking toys in familiar packaging with names like “Finger Monkey” and “Baby Monkey” are popping up, in the hopes that parents will be fooled into forking wads of cash from their wallets for an original.
Last week, over 2,600 counterfeit Fingerlings were seized at Heathrow Airport after there was no documented proof that the items met safety standards.
The country’s watchdogs have had no choice but to issue safety alerts regarding the fake versions of Fingerlings, though many people have already been hoodwinked into buying them.
In a Facebook post, Norfolk Trading Standards commented:
“Fingerlings are looking to be this years ‘must have toy’.
“With demand outstripping supply this will lead to copy versions appearing in shops, markets, online stores and auction sites.
“These copies could be near copies, common names appearing include ‘Baby Monkey’, ‘Happy Monkey’ and ‘Finger Monkey’ or counterfeit versions presented as Fingerlings.
“These copy and counterfeit versions could have issues with the safety of the product and its use.”
Parents are being advised to research what they are buying and look out for signs that one of the toys may be a fake.
To avoid being duped, you should look out for things such as: the wrong name of the toy being used on the packaging (e.g. “Fun Monkey” or “Baby Monkey”), the name of the toy being spelled wrongly on the packaging, and grammar mistakes found on the print.