Counterfeit Fingerlings toys are being sold in Norwich city centre - despite safety warning

Fingerlings are one of the most popular toys this Christmas but that has prompted scammers to cash i

Fingerlings are one of the most popular toys this Christmas but that has prompted scammers to cash in with fake versions of the toy. The real version is on the right and fake one is on the left. Photo: Norfolk Trading Standards - Credit: Norfolk Trading Standards

Counterfeit versions of this year's must-have Christmas toy are being sold in Norwich city centre, despite a safety warning from watchdogs about them.

Journalist Tom Bristow buys one of the counterfeit Fingerlings toys at a stall on Haymarket in Norwi

Journalist Tom Bristow buys one of the counterfeit Fingerlings toys at a stall on Haymarket in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Demand for the toy, called Fingerlings, has been so great that shops have run out of supplies and parents are being driven into the arms of those selling fake versions.

The robotic monkeys make noises and interact with users when they are put on fingers.

But Norfolk Trading Standards said last week the counterfeit versions 'could have safety issues' because they do not have to go through the same safety tests as the genuine toys.

They warned parents what to look out for when buying them, saying common fake names included 'Baby Monkey', 'Happy Monkey' and 'Finger Monkey'.

Finger Monkey, one of the fake Fingerlings toys being sold on the streets of Norwich. Picture: DENIS

Finger Monkey, one of the fake Fingerlings toys being sold on the streets of Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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But on Friday this newspaper found dozens of counterfeit Fingerlings for sale at a stand on Haymarket in Norwich city centre opposite Primark.

They were called 'Finger Monkey' and cost £13 each.

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The one we bought said 'KL Original' on it and the packaging said it was 'tested according to international standards'.

But Trading Standards said genuine Fingerlings, which cost £14.99 each, will say 'by WowWee' and have a Canadian address on the packaging. Our packaging had an address in Prague on it and the toy was made in China.

Journalist Tom Bristow buys one of the fake Fingerlings toys at a stall on Haymarket in Norwich. Pic

Journalist Tom Bristow buys one of the fake Fingerlings toys at a stall on Haymarket in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Several parents on the Norfolk Trading Standards Facebook page said they had been caught out online.

Alison Totten wrote: 'I bought two, didn't realise they were fakes. My two-year-old grandson picked one up and head fell off. I paid £14 each for them.'

Natasha Winning added: 'Mine is fake too. Seller is advertising it as WooWee but it's 'fun monkey' and is faulty.'

Janet Williamson wrote: 'I bought one on eBay which was advertised as WooWee fingerling but when it arrived it wasn't.'

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute estimates counterfeit goods cost the UK economy around £1.3 billion a year in lost profits and taxes.

They warned: 'Such products will generally not meet required safety standards, putting you and your families at significant risk.'

We have passed on details of the fake Fingerlings we bought to Norfolk Trading Standards.

•If you see counterfeit versions of Fingerlings contact Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.

Langleys toy shop in Norwich sells real Fingerlings. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Langleys toy shop in Norwich sells real Fingerlings. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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