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Fake Fingerlings: WowWee granted temporary restraining order against nearly 200 counterfeiters

  • WowWee received a temporary restraining order against makers of counterfeit Fingerlings.
  • The company filed a federal lawsuit in October against 165 sellers of fraudulent merchandise.
  • Customers have continued to alert WowWee and other retailers about third-party sellers hocking fake Fingerlings on legitimate websites, like Walmart.com.
A pink Fingerling from toy maker WowWee
WowWee
A pink Fingerling from toy maker WowWee

Parents scrambling to get their hands on Fingerlings this holiday may want to exercise caution.

WowWee, the maker of these popular interactive plastic monkeys, filed a federal lawsuit against 165 sellers of counterfeit Fingerlings in October.

The judge on the case granted the toymaker's request for a temporary restraining order, which froze the sellers' assets and storefronts.

"Under our Zero Tolerance Policy, WowWee is aggressively pursuing counterfeiters that are manufacturing and/or selling counterfeit products," the company told CNBC Friday.

"As we continue to take steps to protect our consumers, we also encourage them to be diligent when purchasing Fingerlings and look for telltale signs of counterfeits — such as spelling errors on the packaging, the improper use of the Fingerlings brand name (e.g. Happy Monkey, Fun Monkey, Finger Monkey, Baby Monkey, etc.), prices that are unusually low, and other details that seem suspicious, such as products with plastic hair or low-quality packaging and products."

Customers have continued to alert WowWee and other retailers about third-party sellers hocking fake Fingerlings on legitimate websites, like Walmart.com.

WowWee now warns customers that click to access Walmart.com through the Fingerling's website that they should only purchase the toy if it says that it is sold and shipped by Walmart.com. The company's "marketplace" on its website often features third-party sellers.

Representatives from Wal-Mart did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

"We know that some of you have had difficulties identifying authentic Fingerlings merchandise when shopping on Walmart.com marketplace," the Fingerlings website said. "To assure authenticity and fair pricing, we strongly encourage consumers against purchasing from non-authorized third-party resellers on online marketplaces as we do not support these sellers."

Warning featured on Fingerlings website
Warning featured on Fingerlings website

This isn't the first time that a hot toy has caused issues for shoppers. Last year, many parents were scammed while shopping on digital marketplaces and through Facebook while attempting to procure Hatchimals for their children.

So make sure to carefully vet a seller before forking over your hard-earned cash or sharing any of your personal information.

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