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Toys & Collectibles

Banana Bred: WowWee Fingerlings Return

WowWee Toys will launch a new series of the popular Fingerlings baby monkeys in summer of 2023

We’re a Happy Family…

You’ve heard about the monkey’s uncle I’m sure, but at the recent toy industry event The PlayDate (hosted by The Toy Association and The Toy Insider) I was introduced to the monkey’s cousins! Yes, returning to toy shelves soon are WowWee Toys’ beloved baby monkeys, the Fingerlings

The original Fingerlings offered an interactive toy pet experience in a very relatable package. Sized just right to hug kids’ digits they chattered, blinked, and swiveled their heads for a mellow and engaging one on one. “Friendship @ Your Fingertips”

Fingerlings were an instant hit, took Toy of the Year Award (TOTY) top honors in 2018, and could barely be kept in stock.

They also spun off a series of related items ranging from plush toys to smashable piñata cakes filled with miniature monkeys.

They’ll return this summer with a slew of upgrades.

WowWee Toys will launch a new series of the popular Fingerlings baby monkeys in summer of 2023
WowWee’s new Fingerlings baby monkeys sport a spiffy flocked hair-do.

Evolution Revolution…

The new series of perky primates has definitely taken an evolutionary leap since they were last available. They certainly did not skip school during their time away in the jelly jungle. In fact they’ve upped their vocabulary considerably, now offering over 70 responses to stimuli. That’s double their previous skill level. 

The new Fingerlings sport lightly flocked heads, adding a tactile experience that makes it fun for little fingers to pet. Their colors are vibrant but still pleasingly pastel, with a watercolor like blending effect between hues.

Each colorway will exhibit its own personality with a unique set of vocal responses. It’s a great upgrade that encourages series collectibility and sets the stage for exclusive variants.

You can still hang them upside down but a new adjustable tail design allows them to sit upright on their own also. It’s a modification that expands the off-finger playability quotient – they respond differently when seated – and makes them easier to display.

In addition, 2023 Fingerlings know when they’re on your finger and show it lovingly with a glowing multi-colored heartbeat. 

WowWee Toys will launch a new series of the popular Fingerlings baby monkeys in summer of 2023
Fingerlings can now sit up right on their own, making display easier.

SkeletonPete Says…

While I’ll always have a soft spot for the “devil dog” Grimling called Pug, it’s great to see the return of the founding members of the Fingerlings family tree.

WowWee plans to roll out the product with a host of online announcements on “Fingerling Fridays.” Expect surprise characters as part of the launch. Follow their social media accounts to keep on top of the Fingerlings’ return.

WowWee Toys will launch a new series of the popular Fingerlings baby monkeys in summer of 2023
A trio of new Fingerlings practices their moves for the summer ’23 debut.
Film & Television Series Toys & Collectibles

Two Inches of Terror: Diamond Select’s “What If…” Zombie Mini-Mates

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Uh-Oh, Cap is looking hangry and you’re on the menu!
(All photos are courtesy of Diamond Select Toys)

Diamond Select Toys celebrates the 20th anniversary of their Mini-Mates action figure line with a box set that pays tribute to the Marvel animated series What If… as seen on the Disney Plus streaming service.

Mini-Mates are two inch tall, articulated figures that have been designed under a multitude of licenses, from Universal Monsters and Nightmare Before Christmas to Kill Bill characters. I’m always astounded at how the simple body form can be transformed to so accurately convey a character.

Along with their slightly larger siblings called Vini-Mates they’ve become some of my favorite collectibles. Even those of us challenged for space by decades of toy hunting and gathering can find room for a few more. This set’s quirky nature puts it on the top of my want list.

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6 Marvel “What If…” figures make up DST’s 20th Anniversary Mini-Mates box-set.

Zomb-Vengers Resembled…

The exclusive anniversary pack-up pays tribute to What If… episode 5 of season 1, which features a corner of the multiverse where several of the heroic Avengers take on zombie afterlives.

The figures are designed by Barry Bradfield (@bradfieldart) and include undead versions of Iron Man, Scarlett Witch, Captain America and Doctor Strange. Doing battle with them are zombie hunter Spiderman and Scott Laing‘s head-in-a-jar, held aloft by Doc Strange’s magical cape.

They’re available starting on October 12, 2022 at comic and toy shops as well as on Diamond’s website.

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People are strange, when you’re a stranger

Photo Finish…

By the way, those of you toy collectors who are also photographically inclined still have a few days to submit entries into the Mini-Mates 20th Anniversary Toy Photography Competition. October 17th, 2022 is the deadline.

Full contest rules and instructions are on the DST website.

Even if you don’t participate do hit DST’s Instagram (@collectdst) to see what your fellow enthusiasts have concocted.

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Scott Laing, giving a whole new meaning to Jar Head.

Skeleton Pete Says… 

The What If… zombie episode offered my first inkling that Disney/Marvel might be willing to go fearlessly into the fright zone. Although rendered in cartoon form, the characterizations were creepy enough to elicit some real scares.

Sadly, the latest Thor outing Love and Thunder went for more chuckles than chills and missed the opportunity to make Christian Bale‘s portrayal of Gorr The God Killer a truly threatening and brutal adversary.

That said, it’s clear from the special presentation of Werewolf by Night that they are ready to roar into a PG-13 or even R rated territory down the road.

Film & Television Series Photography Toys & Collectibles

Better Run Through the Jungle: Noble Collection Meets Universal Monsters

It’s Monster Monday Again!

noble toys, the noble collection, bendy figs, universal monsters, action figures, hobby crafts, toy photography
The Noble Collection’s Creature From the Black Lagoon Bendy Fig captured in
a paper craft jungle.

“A sleepy lagoon, a tropical moon, and two on an island” is how the lyrics of the 1940 Number 1 hit song imagines a jungle paradise. That’s certainly not what Julie Adams and Richard Carlson encountered when their archeological team traveled down the Amazon in the now classic 1954 monster movie The Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was way more of a creepy lagoon and prehistoric goon experience.  

Toys & Collectibles

Who Was That Masked Fan? Toy Insider’s Gift Guide Event Returns In-Person

It’s Toy Tuesday!

The Toy Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide will help relieve toy shopping uncertainties.

Fall arrived with joy filled promise thanks to the folks at The Toy Insider, who held their first in-person post-lockdown Holiday of Play event this week. Led by Chief Toy Officer Laurie Schacht, these play mavens have admirably virtualized their last few events, but there’s nothing like making a personal connection, even if it’s with a socially distanced wave or an elbow bump.