Some parents in the Ottawa area say they’ve been searching long and hard to find Fingerlings ahead of Christmas this year, dealing with empty shelves at many retailers and huge online markups.
Fingerlings are small, plastic animals that wrap around children’s fingers. The interactive toys include more than 50 animations, according to a description on the Toys “R” Us website.
Kelly Anne Hunt, a mother of three from Arnprior, Ont., said that when she saw three of the toys for sale on Amazon, she scooped them up immediately.
The family ended up with three extra toys after her sister-in-law had the same idea, Hunt said. Instead of returning them, she said she decided to see if she could sell them online.
She posted a simple message on a local Arnprior yardsale Facebook page — and within five minutes, she said, all three toys had buyers.
“I was quite surprised,” Hunt said. “I knew that they were a hot item, but I didn’t know they were that hot.”
High online prices
The popularity of the toys has led to wildly inflated prices on selling platforms like Amazon and Kijiji.
‘It’s like a mad craze, it’s ridiculous.’
– Erin Field, Barrhaven parent
On Amazon, authentic Finglerlings are listed for as much as $97. The normal retail price is around $20.
Erin Field, who lives in Barrhaven, said she’s been searching for the toys for three weeks — with little luck.
When she finally found them in stock at a local Toys “R” Us, she posted a Facebook message on a Barrhaven area page, alerting other parents.
“I’ve gone to every measure you could possibly do,” she said. “I’ve signed up for email notifications, gone around to Toys “R” Us, Mastermind Toys … It’s like a mad craze, it’s ridiculous.”
Field said that despite the frustration, her community has really pulled together to help other parents find the toys.
“Nobody wants anyone else’s kid to be disappointed,” she said.
Fingerlings scarce in Ottawa
Calls to Walmart, Toys “R” Us and Mastermind Toys locations in the Ottawa-Gatineau area on Dec. 2 proved nearly fruitless, with only two stores — the Walmart in Billings Bridge Shopping Centre and Toys “R” Us in Orléans — reporting they had the toys in stock.
A spokesperson for Mastermind Toys wrote in an email that Fingerlings “have been a huge hit” and are “selling quickly as soon as they hit the shelves.”
Customer service employees at several Toys “R” Us locations said any toys…