Dozens of fake Fingerlings toys have been seized by trading standards from a shop in Bury town centre.
Officers visited a number of retail outlets including off-licences, newsagents and corner shops across the borough as part of an anti-fraud initiative with partners including Greater Manchester Police, the Immigration service and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
Fingerlings are robotic monkeys that make noises and interact with users when they are put on fingers. This year’s Christmas must-have toy, they made national news last week as stock shortages sent desperate parents into the arms of traders selling cheap, potentially dangerous fakes.
Trading standards say genuine Fingerlings, which cost around £15 each, will say “by WowWee” and have a Canadian address on the packaging. The packaging on the fake Bury goods had no address and the toys say ‘made in China’. The name of the store is not being disclosed at the moment due to ongoing investigations and possible legal action.
Angela Lomax, head of trading standards and licensing at Bury Council, said: “The copy versions could have safety issues because they do not have to go through the same safety tests as the genuine toys.
“The cost-cutting approach of most illicit operations means products are likely to be poor quality, with a significantly shorter lifespan than that of a legitimate product. Such products will generally not meet required safety standards, putting you and your families at significant risk.”
She warned parents to look out for common fake names including ‘Baby Monkey’, ‘Happy Monkey’ and ‘Finger Monkey’. “If a price seems too good to be true then it probably is; don’t get sucked in by crazy deals.”
If you have unwittingly bought fake goods or know of anyone who sells them, report it to the Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506. They will refer your case to the relevant trading standards authority.