Top Christmas toy alternatives 2017 – are they as good as the real deal?

Finger Monkeys instead of sold-out Fingerlings? Worldeez balls instead of LOL Surprise? Our guide to the alternative and purse-friendly versions of 2017's most popular Christmas toys...

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Christmas is fast approaching, and as we all know, it can be a pricey affair ?

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Or it so happens that you’ve saved up the right amount of cash, only to find the toy your child’s asked Santa for is completely out of stock. Everywhere.

Given both those scenarios, we thought we’d take a look at some of the interesting, purse-friendly top toy alternatives we’ve come across lately…

1. Finger Monkeys, price varies

finger monkey

Similar to: WowWee Toys Fingerlings, which are sold out pretty much everywhere, and cost upwards of £14.99. (This is basically a bit of a rip-off, really).

Age: 4 years +

Does it do the same stuff? We tested it out and it does do some of the same things Fingerling does: it’ll fall asleep if you cradle it or hang it by its tail, make kissy noises back at you and coo when you stroke its head.

However, it’s seems to make noise randomly, too. So, it’ll be making ‘ooh ooh ahh ahh’ sounds no matter how you hold it…

It’s definitely a bit bigger than the real deal Fingerlings, and fits well on an adult’s finger. It won’t work with the playsets designed for real Fingerlings.

MFM’s verdict: We should note that these tend to come from eBay, but we came across it in on a shopping centre toy stand (that sells your typical, non-branded baby dolls, race car tracks etc) in London for £13.

We’ve had no problems with the one we’ve tried… and it’s got the European CE mark on the box. It also says on the box it’s been tested to ‘international standards’ (though which ones, who knows?)

However, it’s key to remember that it’s still not a real Fingerling. With this one, we’d say: use your own judgement!

Available from: eBay

2. Worldeez Globe, £2.99

worldeez

Similar to: The LOL Surprise Ball, worth £10. (The hot toy right now is the huuuge £60 version.)

Age: 5 – 10 years

Does it do the same stuff? It’s the same concept: you unwrap the ball to reveal ‘surprises’. In this case, it’s a little card with facts about a country (ours was Brazil), and 2 small figures.

You don’t get as many little treats and trinkets in the much-smaller Worldeez Ball (you get about 7 with the LOL Surprise) but it does require a special key to open and close the box… which is quite exciting!

MFM’s verdict: Our community manager Dani gave this to her daughter, Jamie, who’s a devoted LOL Surprise fan.

“My youngest was so happy with it, as inside is a little key that you use to ping open the lid of the ball. The contents were not nearly as special as a L.O.L. Doll, but the key has impressed!”

Available from: B&M

3. Hatchimals Plush Clip-On, £4.99

hatchimal plush

Similar to: Hatchimals, which cost £49.99, or £74.99 for the Hatchimal Surprise.

Age: 2 years +

Does it do the same stuff? This Hatchimal toy IS from the official Hatchimal makers, Spin Master. It’s a (much smaller) plush toy Hatchimal that comes in a white plastic egg. There are numerous Hatchimals to collect, and each has a little clip – perfect for a school bag.

But it’s shy of £6, so it makes sense that the egg doesn’t hatch (you just pull it apart), and that the Hatchimal is a static toy (it doesn’t make noise or move, or react to being nurtured.)

MFM’s verdict: It’s verrry cute! If you know your child’s keen on a Hatchimal, but also will drop it like it’s hot the minute the egg’s hatched, this might be a winner.

That way, they still get the creature to cart around, at a fraction of the cost. Or, of course, if the regular-sized Hatchimal’s a bit out of your budget!

Available from: B&M

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