Monkey see, monkey do: Are Fingerlings the Hatchimals of 2017?

Fingerlings toys

No doubt cashed-up eBay sellers are rubbing their hands together, ready to panic buy as many of these baby monkey robots as they can manage in the name of profiteering. Forewarned is forearmed, parents!

Peak cute

There’s absolutely no doubt that Fingerlings are one of the cutest toys we’ve seen this year. They seem to bundle up a little bit of Teletubbies, a little bit of Furby and some Hatchimal, spinning them with enough pint-sized, finger-cuddling, robot monkey cuteness to render them irresistible!

As Mashable reports, these adorable robotic monkeys are just shy of 14cm in height. They’re designed to slide onto your child’s finger, like a ring, and then respond to movement, sound and touch. Fingerlings come in 6 colours – white, black, blue, purple, pink, and turquoise – and each little critter has its own name. 

Batteries are included, apparently and run for up to four hours of continuous play, which doesn’t seem like a lot actually and now we are panicking too! (Apparently 4 hours is adequate, considering that kids play in small bursts, and the toy will put itself in power-saving ‘sleep’ mode when it’s not being played with.)

Collectable special editions

The standard collection of Fingerlings, are pretty cute already (and retail for $20 AUD), but clever makers WowWee are adding some limited edition monkeys too:

Glitter Fingerling and Unicorn Fingerlings are set to join their chimpy chums. And we very much look forward to meeting Sloth Fingerlings, which are apparently programmed to move 20 percent more slowly than their Fingerling friends. 

Monkey see, monkey do

Fingerlings are built to respond to all kinds of movements and sounds. Actions like clapping your hands, cradling various monkey body-parts or hanging upside down illicit different responses:

Blowing a kiss = kissing sounds
Full body cradling = going to sleep
Hanging upside down = excited response
Clapping hands = singing
Head taps = laughter
Strokes = happy sounds
Head cradle = burp
Long head cradle = farts!

The Fingerlings’ tails are designed to hook onto things, and their little monkey robot arms are designed for gripping and clasping, so they’re made to be portable and adaptable.

Confusingly, while WowWee’s marketing campaign says these toys are due to be released in two days – “Arriving on Fingerlings Friday August 11, 2017” – parents report already snapping them up in stores across the globe.  

That’s good news for monkey-loving kids. Robot monkeys ahoy!


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