2017’s must-have toy Fingerlings hit by counterfeiters

Toy company WowWee has been forced to file lawsuits against hundreds of producers of counterfeit Fingerlings toys, some being sold on legitimate retail sites.

The interactive monkey, sloth and unicorn animatronic toys are shaping up to be the product that parents struggle to find for their kids in the build-up to the gift-giving season, with the manufacturer struggling to keep up with demand as they fly off the shelves. Fingerlings have also been selected as finalists for the TOTY 2018 “Collectible Toy of the Year” award.

As ever, counterfeiters have spotted the opportunity and are selling their knock-offs to increasingly desperate consumers. That has forced WowWee to seek – and win – a temporary restraining order against 165 vendors selling fake Fingerlings, including orders for the sellers’ assets and storefronts to be frozen, says CNBC.

The genuine toys retail for around $14.95 apiece but have been considerably above that level on auction sites. And some of the products sold on big retail sites such as Walmart also seem to be fake, says the report.

WowWee filed a lawsuit in the US in October after demand for the toy led to a glut of fake Fingerlings entering the market. The company is urging consumers not to purchase the toy from unauthorised third-party resellers.

According to the company’s website, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Gamestop and Toys ‘R Us are authorized Fingerlings distributors in the US.

“As we continue to take steps to protect our consumers, we also encourage them to be diligent when purchasing Fingerlings,” the company told CNBC.

Purchasers should “look for telltale signs of counterfeits – such as spelling errors on the packaging, the improper use of the Fingerlings brand name (e.g. Happy Monkey, Fun Monkey, Finger Monkey, Baby Monkey, etc.), prices that are unusually low, and other details that seem suspicious, such as products with plastic hair or low-quality packaging and products."

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