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These fish always remind me of Christmas as I once got one of these in my Christmas cracker and was amazed and dumbfounded all at the same time.
I saw these again a few years ago in Hawkins Bizarre and just had to buy one, for old times' sake. It is basically a very thin red cellophane fish that is meant to tell your fortune. You remove it from the thin, tracing paper type packet, rest it in the palm of your hand and depending on how the fish moves, this will reveal your fortune. I never quite worked out why it is a fish (Do fish have fortune telling abilities?) On the back of the packet was a list of results:
Moving head = Jealousy
Moving tail = indifference
Curling sides = fickle
Moving head and tail = In love
Turning over = false
Motionless = Dead fish
Curls up entirely = passionate
These aren't exactly fortunes, more like traits but still good fun for 10 minutes, while waiting for the cracker jokes to finish round the table at Christmas. Once the fish (I know it was meant to be a fish, but it was the weirdest shaped fish I have ever seen) had been passed round a couple of people, the fish stayed at the same temperature and just curled up completely every time. This is generally the point in which they were replaced back into their packet and forgotten about, that said I love these for nostalgic value.
For anyone who is not familiar with the idea (and it is indeed a rather strange idea), Fortune Teller Fish are vaguely fish-shaped pieces of transparent red cellophane. They are really simple to use. All you have to do is place the fish in the palm of your hand or someone else's hand and watch to see what happens. The exact way the fish moves allows you to interpret your "fortune". Each fish comes with a little list of interpretations which are as follows:
Moving head = Jealousy
Moving tail = indifference
Moving head and tail = In love
Curling sides = fickle
Turning over = false
Motionless = Dead fish
Curls up entirely = passionate
Obviously the amount of fish movement depends on how warm or cold your hand is at the time and how well the plastic fish sticks to you. Most people will recognise these fortune telling fish from Christmas Crackers however you can also get them in joke shops and off the internet. The fish is mildly entertaining once a year on Christmas day for about 5 minutes after this has fallen out of a cracker but that is all. I would never actually buy one of these and I actually find it really surprising that it is even possible to do so because even if they were 10p I would still consider it a waste of money.
It is ok as a free cracker toy but even then it is a bit on the disappointing side as the fortunes aren't really fortunes. They are just types of mood that you might currently be in. It would be more fun if the little interpretations predicted something for your future - more like the kind of thing you find inside fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants.
My little cousins find this a bit more entertaining than the adults however they don't really understand what all of the words mean so it isn't really that well suited for children either. It is quite immature but my brother and I usually make our way around the Christmas table, giving all the crackers a good shake, and then sit down somewhere where there is a nice heavy one. I have found this to be an effective way of avoiding the Fortune Teller Fish!
The fortune telling fish has been around as long as I have. Made out of a thin plastic film and shaped like a fish, it is purported to tell you fortune based on the way in which it curls itself up when placed on your hand. They typically turn up in Christmas Crackers but you can also buy them from places like Hawkins Bazaar for the price of 25 pence. The packet has a list of things on it that the fish might do such as curl up at the sides, the tail curling only, head curly only etc. and these are supposed to signify different things such as love, lust, fear etc.
Someone actually bought one for me (rather than falling out of the back of a cracker) and put it in a birthday card - an ideal little gift for someone if you need to post their card and want to put something extra in - they weigh next to nothing so wouldn't affect the postage costs. It was quite good fun to play with and definitely different to the usual "hope you have a great day" greeting. However, they really are a novelty toy and don't serve any great purpose in life other than few minutes of entertainment. For the price, you can't really complain though. Kids love them and we have got it out when my nieces come over but again, it is only a few minutes of entertainment for them. I'm not certain but I think the way the first curls is all to do with how hot your hand it - obviously I'm fully aware that the fish does not tell proper fortunes but equally apart from heat the fish has no other way of curling up. I think the fish are cheap and harmless but ultimately (like many novelty toys) something that will just sit in a cupboard or drawer for a long time and considered to be "tat".
I'd give the fish 2 stars because of price and because it is a classic 'toy'. In terms of entertainment though it is pretty poor and apart from putting one in someone's Christmas/Birthday card or in a child's party bag there are really no occasions where I would think "oh I must buy Nanna a fortune telling fish".
A toy which I loved when I was a kid was the Tobar fortune telling fish, one of the great joys of parenthood is introducing your own kids to old favourites of yours and these funny little fishes make a regular appearance at Christmas time in our family.
The fortune telling fish are really cheap to buy, I remember them costing 6p when I was a nipper but unfortunately they have gone up in price since then. You are still able to find these little fishes for less than 30p if you look around and they even come in christmas crackers sometimes. The best place to buy them is in independent toy or joke shops where they often have a packet on the counter.
They are cheap for a reason, essentially all you are getting for your money is a flimsy piece of red cellophane which is cut into the shape of a fish. They are only around 3 or 4 cm long and can fit easily into the palm of your hand.
You place the fish into the palm of your hand and it reads your character and behaves accordingly and labels you either jealous, indifferent, in love, passionate, fickle or false. It is really funny when it tells an embarrassed teenager they are in love and provokes a lot of blushing, likewise nobody likes to be labeled false.
The problem with the fish is that they are very delicate and easily damaged leading to the dead fish which is useless. Each fish should give a few readings before it gives up providing you are not too rough with it.
The fish are great fun, despite their delicate disposition they provide a few minutes of harmless fun and a couple of laughs, ideal for sleepovers with groups of girls or over Christmas dinner with the family.
We all have them in our christmas cracker, they provide at least 5 minutes of entertainment and could even tell your fortune. The label has a nice old fashioned label with a fish and the Fortune Teller logo.
Basically you open the plastic packet, and this very slim see through fish shaped bit of shiny material comes out. The fish could be any colour but I have every year had a red one. To use all you need to do is put your palm flat, drop the fish onto your palm and then wait for it to do something.
It may curl at the edges, scrunch up completely, crinkle on one side or just lay flat. It is to do with the heat or moisture on your hand, and this affects what happens to the fish. On the packet it tells you what each action means. You could be jealous, in love, fickle, or feeling passionate, angry and you can then interpret this as you wish.
I would not take this seriously, it is a very cheap bit of fun, although it still gets passed around the table in my house and everyone tries to relate it to their life believe it or not. It is quite small in size so its not suitable for small children.
Once everyone has had a go it doesnt work as well, as it should do the action immediately it is placed on your hand. If it doesnt move at all its a 'dead fish'.
If you actually want to buy this to add to a party bag or make your own crackers then I have seen it for 25p on the internet.
I like to have my fortune read and think these fish are brilliant at foreseeing your fortune, when I need advice I always ask the fish for a reading- joking. Again thanks Hawkins Bazaar for your hours of fun and entertainment. We've had loads of these over the years and I've just double checked the price on the Hawkins web-site and they're 25p- alot cheaper than most Fortune Tellers. These are the Christmas cracker toy we're all hoping for at Christmas as most cracker boxes have them in.
The fish comes in a white packet with 'Fortune Teller Miracle Fish' in red writing on it. It's a red fish shape that looks like it's been cut out of a Quality Street strawberry cellophane wrapper (this doesn't work aswell by the way and neither do sweet wrapper 3D glasses). Quite alot bigger than a cracker one, this one is 6cm long.
You compare his shape to the ones on the wrapper to tell you your fortune. The fish will let you know what you're feeling by how it curls. Indifference, jealousy, love, fickle, false, dead one or if your feeling passionate will all exposed by this fish.
The fish itself is made from sodium polyacrylate. Sodium polyacrylate grabs water molecules and changes the shape of the molecule thus changing the shape of the fish. I suppose the hotter your hand the more you sweat, the more it curls- my daughter is always 'freezing' and her fish plays dead.
We take it in turns to place it on our palms, then wait expectantly for the fish to move. It has been known to curl so dramatically that it flips off. I have to be wary I mean I don't want the kids to know if I'm feeling passionate!! We like these fish, we crowd around to see what mood the person holding it is in- I mean why ask them when the fish can tell us.
Do they work:
In a word no, not really. I don't think it accurately describes my mood when I'm holding it- it depends on how hot I am at the time. But I don't care because the kids love them. After everyone has had a go that's it- fun's over. I'm giving it three stars because everyone likes them, they lose stars because they're rubbish at telling fortunes and that's what they're for (you know what I mean).
Okay for 25p but wouldn't pay anymore than that- they're dearer on the internet.
I purchased this item after reading some reviews on it, and thought this looks like a bit of fun. As I also had a teeny bit of amazon gift cash left, I decided to use it up on a couple of these items.
The product comes in a thin white slip cover/pocket. Both the fish and the cover are plastic. The fish is extremely thin, that unless you've seen the picture of it, you probably wouldn't think to open the cover to take the fish out. I had expected it to be a bit thicker, and I'd assumed the fish would be made out of a rubbery material, which is the impression I get from the picture. However the plastic material it is made out of, is so thin, that it feels very flimsy... but it has not torn yet. As such, it looks almost like something that can be made at home, so minus points for the look/material of the fish.
The fish works in a similar way to items like mood rings, working off the heat of your palm, it is supposed to curl up in a number of different ways, and the back of the cover even claims that it could flip over...this is yet to happen. In terms of how well it has worked on myself and a couple of other people, the fish seems to do one thing, and that is curl up completely...perhaps all our hands had been extremely hot...I shall have to experiment with putting my hand in the freezer and then seeing how the fish reacts.
The instructions on how to use the fish are written on the fish itself, as it says 'the movements will indicate your fortune'. On the back of the white cover are what the different movements indicate, as follows:
Moving Head and Tail...In Love
Curls up Entirely...Passionate
I would think that this would be perfect as a party bag treat, of course parents will have to make a judgement as to what age group this will be suitable for depending on whether they feel the movements of the fish indicate are appropriate for whichever age group their child falls into.
Excitement factor has to rate 10 out 10...for the first two minutes, after which little fishy is stuffed to the back of the wardrobe, awaiting its inevitable move to the box in the attic. Bare in mind I am in my twenties, and the others this was tried out on were in their late teens, excitement factor may last slightly longer for little kids.
I purchased this from amazon at a price of 75p for the first one, and then 45p for the second one, and free postage. I don't think that either 75p or 45p is the right price, it really only looks worth about 5p. Due to its flimsy look and short useful life, I rate this product two stars.
Tobar CEO - Sid Templer
Est - 1973
I cannot imagine anything so pointlessly irksome than a piece of flimsy cellophane material in a shape of a fish that supposedly can tell you personal fortuity facts; whilst in the hollow of you're palm. It could easily be in a shape of an owl or a jelly baby. An owl, partly because we all know that all owls' are wise feathered creatures, so a fortune telling owl is believable. A jelly baby would be for novelty reasons; they're cute and the florescent red material reminds me of translucent jelly; although beyond thin in width and is nauseating when it flies off even at the hint of air passing by. A fish only represents a 'fishy tail' an anecdote with no plausibility. Yet, there are instructions with the serious matchbox packaging, telling you in meticulous detail of you're future.
In a four point text font, tiny script gives out the instructions as if you are just about to go in a flight simulator without an instructor. By holding you're palm out and slowly resting the two centimeter fish onto the centre of the palm, for up to two minutes - is just about enough time for the wafer thin fish shape to know all about you. And after this time period the fish diagnosis will have made movements of some sorts to relay its laborious findings. This usually comes with many heads closing in glaring at you're palm with great intrigue waiting for the fortune outcome, they all are barely breathing just incase it disturbs the thought process of the translucent red cellophane. Highly sensitive to bursts of exhaled air; any mere gasps of excitement has to be held back somewhat, until the red fishy comes up with a verdict.
An average fish has a memory of two seconds - so waiting for two minutes for the fortune telling results makes feel it is a load of baloney; or that the information had been recycled sixty times for the fish to come up with such wisdom. Apparently, there is only three areas the fish is expert in, either you are, 'jealous,' 'passionate,' or 'dead.' Of course, the variation of how much of these three main areas you are prone to being, also has been thought of by the bit of cellophane plastic.
'Jealous': when the fish rolls up inwards to a near 380 degree rotation or over! This could be via the head or tail, so watch for both ends.
'Passionate': Usually when the head and tail curls up and touches each other and then flips over; if the flip over doesn't occur within the two minute thinking process - refrain from pouring wine over the head of the owner of the palm.
'Dead Fish': Yes, this fish does have some humouristic tendencies - this means if the fish doesn't move or is motionless - perhaps it just looks as if it is doing a lethargic crab position exercise, simulating being shot or stabbed in the back.
These are the main key areas of expertise for the fortune telling fish. The fish's verdict however, doesn't take in consideration the temperature of the palm or how much static electricity maybe bouncing around at the time; or what part of the palm the fish has rested on, to come up with such earth shattering results. Claiming death is a plausible verdict. The fact that you may've just popped in from outside and didn't wear mittens or gloves can determine your fate.
Noticeably the matchbox aesthetics look surprisingly serious for a novelty toy. 'Miracle Fish' is displayed in a red block below the main William Hogarth style etching, of an over sized red fish in the red sea. Excruciatingly detailed, considering what is in the packet; perhaps a ploy to get the adults involved; seeing who is a 'dead fish.'
What is behind the fishy tale?
Hardly surprising that the same chemical used in the plastic fish is used in making disposable diapers - I thought I spelt something fishy. The fish is made of Sodium polyacrylate so it will react differently with water due to its chemical construction H2O changing the shape and behaviour of the molecules *evidently* that create the fish. The introduction of H2O stops any heat reactions from the palm, therefore stopping any movements. By drying off the water droplets, the fish will then react as per normal.
This product can be purchased on Amazon, for £4.00 - but you do get twenty five of the little blighters. They can be purchased for 25 pence each. I sadly found mine in a cracker. It amused me for two and a half minutes tops. Triple that time span and you'll get reasonable quiet from the children for that length of time on average.
Please note: Choking warning is also on the packet - Visually for young children the little fish resembles a sweet and is translucent like jelly.©1st2thebar 2011
Thank you for reading.