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Bella (Pink)


£8.15

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£11.63

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£14.99

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£14.99

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Boris (Blue)


£5.55

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£8.15

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£14.99

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Finn (Black)


£3.99

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£8.10

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£14.99

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Mia (Purple)


£3.50

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£7.18

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£14.99

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Sophie (White)


£5.59

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£9.69

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£14.99

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Zoe (Turquoise)


£3.50

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£8.06

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£14.99

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Monkey Bars Playset


£21.99

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£25.80

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£34.99

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See Saw Playset


£44.60

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Part robot, part monkey, the WowWee Fingerlings don’t appear to be a massive household name just yet, but there’s a good chance they could be. While I’d feel comfortable and confident putting money on them never quite having the same insane rush to buy as Furbys or Hatchimals, or result in parents fighting over the last one in the store, these miniature finger-hugging toys definitely have potential.

Why? For starters, they’re affordable. Like, double-take affordable. Prices vary between shops, but you shouldn’t be looking at more than 20 quid per monkey here, which is a huge breath of fresh air in the toy world right now. At a time when the ‘must have’ toys are all £60 upwards, it’s easy to see why the Fingerlings will become such a hit with parents who will marvel at buying a toy with just a single note.

Secondly, these things are beyond simple, and that’s something that’s going to appeal to parents massively at the moment. Seriously, universities are going to have to start offering degrees in instruction comprehension and toy construction. The Fingerlings do come with instructions, but generally you can just pick up and play. It seems we’re getting back to basics here, without resorting to the mundane.

 

A Hint of STEM?

The big question is: does the low price reflect a boring, dull, or badly designed toy? Not especially. Let’s get one thing straight; the WowWee Fingerlings are no incredible feat of engineering. They’re not jam-packed with infrared sensors or voice-activated responses or any of the latest groundbreaking technologies. Toys like this can simply be a bit of fun for youngsters, and sometimes that’s all you need.

But the WowWee Fingerlings aren’t just fun. In fact, I detect a little hint of STEM buried here. While they don’t ‘do’ much, they can be an excellent introduction to robotics for little ones. They contain multiple sensors (there’s one somewhere around the face, and a couple of touch sensors nestled into the tuft of hair) that demonstrate a cause-effect relationship. For while these brightly-coloured pieces of plastic don’t exactly look educational, they can be. Blow it a kiss, it blows one back; stroke its head, it babbles.

 

Keeping it Fresh

Back when the Fingerlings were first introduced, longevity was definitely one of the main issues. Although there’s 6 different coloured monkeys to collect, on their own they don’t quite have what it takes to form their own little niche section of the market. The good news is that the brand – WowWee – has come up with a redeeming feature: playsets. The monkey bars playset seems to be one of the most popular right now and adds an extra layer of depth to these toys, expanding play options.

This playset, which is sold separately, includes a ladder, monkey bars, and a swing, with an option to hang the monkeys using their hands, or their tail which is curved to create a hook. The only downside of the playsets is that they will likely increase the amount of time kids are interacting with their toys, and with the required LR44 batteries not coming in rechargeable formats, it could get costly! But at the end of the day, kids are supposed to be interacting with their toys, not leaving them in the back of cupboard.

 

Final Thoughts

WowWee Fingerlings are probably never going to be anything to write home about, but that’s not to say they’re not something worth celebrating. For less than the cost of a lot of stuffed toys you get a remarkably cute little grippy monkey that’s actually a pretty decent representation of simple robotics. It talks, moves, and interacts as well as being simple, fun, and affordable. You don’t get a combination like that much these days, so this is an opportunity to grab and never let go (much like the Fingerlings!)

What’s in the Box

1 x WowWee Fingerling (Choose from 6: Mia (Purple), Sophie (White), Boris (Blue), Finn (Black), Bella (Pink) or Zoe (Turquoise))

WowWee Fingerlings
Design65%
Usability95%
Fun67%
Addictability55%
71%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
100%