The hottest toy this holiday season might just be a five-inch robotic monkey that grabs onto your fingers, passes gas, and sings a tune. The Fingerling is this year's Beanie Baby or Cabbage Patch Doll. The $15 creature that blinks and snores is coveted by millions of kids, and their parents are scrambling to find them on store shelves and waiting for months for online orders to be filled, the New York Times reports. WowWee, the Canadian company that is responsible for the Fingerling, says that it has increased production after the robotic animals were out of stock on Walmart's Web site. The company has hired a third factory in China to produce the toys and is now shipping them via airplane, after deciding that container ships were moving too slowly to meet consumer demand.
To create the Fingerling phenomenon, WowWee turned to the Internet, sending the toys to YouTube "influencers," many of whom shot videos with the toys, videos that were seen by millions of followers. Soon, the Fingerlings were selling out everywhere. But the Internet can take away just as it gives. Today reports that third-party sellers on Amazon have been issuing refunds to customers after failing to send them their toys. And WowWee has filed a lawsuit against 165 companies for selling fake Fingerlings.