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Funkeys live in a world of their own 

The funkeys live in a world of their own - literally. One created within the confines of your computer in which they roam around and enjoy themselves, while carefully avoiding the tax-man!

Radica Mattel Family of Funkeys

Internet based game worlds are fairly popular these days. My daughter is often to be found travelling various make believe worlds on the Internet, her favourite being Habbo World where she wanders round, buying 'furni' and chatting with friends.

Funkeys inhabit a slightly different kind of world. For a start it isn't based on the Internet, a big plus if you're worried about just who they are talking to on-line! Instead this make believe world is inhabited by automated Funkeys, strange little people that come in a range of colours and facial designs. Each facial design designates certain characteristics or skills. The colours denote rarity.

Rarity is important because unlike other virtual worlds you can visit, Funkeys have a manifestation in our world in the form of small plastic collectable characters. The characters act as keys (hence Funkeys) that unlock different parts of the Funkey world.

The mother of all Funkeys

To allow the physical Funkeys to unlock areas of the virtual world on your computer, they must first be able to talk to your computer. They do this through a 'mother of all Funkeys' (my name for it) which is much bigger and connects to a spare USB port on your computer. This acts very much like a card reader - where the little Funkeys are the cards. Each baby Funkey has a set of metal contacts on the base. Slide one into a slot in the head of the mother Funkey and it's code is sent to the computer.

Funkeys Mother and USB cradle

To enter the Funkey world you have to buy a starter kit. This contains the mother Funkey, two Funkeys and a CD containing the virtual world software. Install the software and at the appropriate moment plug the mother Funkey into the USB and you should be away.

We had a few problems with installation. On one machine running Windows XP SP2, although the installation said that it had found the Funkey the game itself insisted that it wasn't there. We had to give up on that machine in the end. On another older machine running Windows 2000 everything installed fine and worked, but everything was too slow to be enjoyable, and the software periodically crashed. On a very recent machine we had no problems.

We also have a number of problems with the Funkey not being recognised by the software. Connecting through a separate USB hub often failed to recognise the hardware, and connecting directly gave the message "Something is wrong with your Funkey - can you investigate". Hopefully this will be resolved with later versions of the software drivers, but it was infuriating.

I notice looking at the Funkeys web-site there is a USB hub patch, which I hadn't found at the time, so you may find that helps. The URL to the patch is :

    http://www.ubfunkeys.com/driver/index.html

What's in Funkey World?

When you first start the software you select a user name and password. This allows each member of the family and friends to have their own area.

Funkey world - Grand Funkey Station

Once your account is created you enter Funkey world. You appear on the screen as the Funkey that you've placed into the slot on the mother Funkey. You can remove that one at any time and simple insert a different one, your image within the game changes immediately.

There are many other Funkeys roaming the world, although with the exception of the tax-collectors your interaction with them is limited.

Funkey World is split into a number of sub-worlds that are reached by teleport devices (called portals). Many of these are broken or in a state of repair and so will only work with some Funkeys - if you haven't got the right one then you can't get to that location, not at least by that route.

Each area has it's own character and seem to be predominantly populated by one type of Funkey. Buildings dot the landscape and you can try and get into them. Each building generally contains something interesting, quite often a game or challenge. Once more, to get into a building you have to be able to unlock it by having the right Funkey.

The games I've played so far have been very good - and very addictive (at 2am one day I really had to drag myself away from my 'n'th game of Funk Jongg!).

Each game is scored and you can win gold for your performance. When you get good enough at a game it is added to your Funkey Crib - a special place to call your own. Once the game is there you can play whenever you like without having to go find the room again.

Your Crib

Funkeys crib

Many on-line games give you the ability to create your own space within the virtual world, and while Funkeys is a little different, you also have your home area, called a Crib. You can decorate it how you want, add carpet and pain the walls. You have a living room, games room that gives immediate access to all those games you've mastered and a Trophy Room in which you can store, well, Trophies.

Of course a nicely decorated living room is fine, but what do you put in it? That's where all that gold you won playing games into the small wee hours comes in. Dotted around the Funkeys world are various market stalls from which you can purchase all manner of 'things'. Being a little slow to catch on, I managed to buy some complete junk - including a brain in a bottle, volcano tub and a Pet Gator (my crib is shown in the image to the right)!

Sharing your crib

Once you have your crib looking the way you want it then you can allow your friends to take a peak. Simply 'share' your crib and give it a unique name. Once you've saved your crib tell your friends your cribs name. They go to a special place in Funkey World called "Grand Funkey Station" enter your name and then they'll see your efforts.

I've tried this. If you're interested I've shared my crib with the name "redrabbits". Unfortunately attempting to visit that crib from a different account just claims it doesn't exist. If you have better luck then please let me know (leave a comment below!).

The Games

Funkeys Funk-Yongg game

The world is full of games as I've said. These are both fun, addictive and allow you to earn gold coins with which to buy things to decorate your crib.

There are many games in different rooms scattered around the world. Of those I tried they are all of good quality and exercise various skills. A plate shooting game will exercise your eye-mouse coordination, tile matching will exercise mouse skills and your brain. Museum Mask Mayhem you'll love or hate, but that will leave you frustrated and determined to do better next time!

The Funkeys web-site has a summary of some of the games, only a few of which I've managed to find and play!

The Funkeys Family

As I've said there are lots of Funkeys to collect. Forty Two in total. You get two in your starter kit, which will cost your around £25 - Amazon seem the cheapest at £21.99 including shipping You can then buy additional Funkeys for £4.99. Now in theory that's going to cost you £220!

As I've said there are lots of Funkeys to collect. Forty Two in total. You get two in your starter kit, which will cost your around $20 - Amazon have the starter kit for $19.99 including shipping. You can then buy additional Funkeys from around $6 upwards, depending on rarity! Now in theory that's going to cost you over $300!

As I've said there are lots of Funkeys to collect. Forty Two in total. You get two in your starter kit, which will cost your around €30 - Amazon have the starter kit for €29,40 including shipping. You can then buy additional Funkeys from around €8 upwards, depending on rarity! Now in theory that's going to cost you over €400!

In practice I think these could become the next playground collectable with Funkeys being swapped after use. As far as I can tell once you've scored enough in a game to have it added to your crib you no longer need that specific Funkey to play the game - allowing you to swap with a friend to unlock more of the world.

Actually, although there are 42 Funkeys in total, there are actually 14 distinct Funkey designs, each of which come in three levels of rarity : normal; rare or very rare. One assumes Radica will restrict the availability of the rare and very rare designs, which in themselves could create added value for those lucky enough to find one!

Summary

The concept of Funkeys are great and the game itself is very well put together. You literally can spend hours playing the various component games. In my case I have six Funkeys and have spent hours unlocking what must be a very small part of the Funkey world.

I'm a little disappointed with the way the software often fails to recognise the hardware, insisting that a clearly present mother Funkey is in fact not connected to your computer. Windows undoubtedly must take some of the blame for this, but more work could have been done to ensure that everything works together.

The other concern of course is the environmental impact of millions of plastic/metal Funkeys flooding the world. Is this really something we need right now when a lower impact solution could have been constructed? I have some sympathy with the manufacturer in this because of the lack of perceived value people seem to have for things they can't hold.

For those parents that are concerned with their children interacting with real people in on-line worlds this is an ideal replacement - providing hours of entertainment in complete safety. In the case of my children they absolutely loved Funkeys. To write this review I first had to wander around the house to locate all six of mine that had managed to wander to various bedrooms where they were adorning window ledges and mantel pieces.

A lot more information on Funkeys, including biographies of many of the different available Funkeys are available at their very own web-site :

http://www.ubfunkeys.com/

The web-site is not quite complete yet so expect that to improve over time!

Amazon have the best price I could find for the starter pack at £21.99, including shipping :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000RF1PDY

Amazon have the best price I could find for the starter pack at $19.99, including shipping :

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WUUN0A

Amazon have the best price I could find for the starter pack at €29.40, including shipping :

http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B000WUUN0A

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Rating:

Comment by bazile, Aug 31, 2011 21:46

how can I use funkeys (Dream state pack) without the website www.ubfunkeys.com
Rating:

Comment by JohnnyT, Apr 11, 2010 17:37

I have the same problem as Victoria the hub patch wont finish keeps telling me that it cannot find SETUPX.DLL can anyone help me figure out what to do about this I had this running on XP SP2 and it ran fine other than the computer it was on wasn't fast enough to run it enjoyably now i am trying to get it on Windows 7 and I'm very frustrated. please help
Rating:

Comment by Victoria, Apr 5, 2010 19:01

We have used funkeys on our older computer which has windows xp. Recently we tried to install it on a computer with windows 7 but we keep getting an error message. Does anyone know if funkeys is compatible with windows 7 or if there is something different that we need to do to install it on a windows 7 computer?
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Comment by Ilse, Oct 25, 2009 23:45

nice collection of kittens and moodbeams :-)
Rating:

Comment by revvinon, Jan 21, 2009 4:37

carol - you need to get updates to make newer funkeys work.  If you need more assistance please visit http://www.ubfunkeys.com/forums/Default.aspx?g=forum to find some help for your problem.

catbay - not EVERYONE experiences problems with funkeys.  What problem are you experiencing?
Rating:

Comment by nathan, Jan 21, 2009 1:21

funkeys are the best game ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

carol duhhhhhhh!!!!!! hello you have to by more funkeys to go in another portal, because certain funkeys go to certain portals/worlds
Rating:

Comment by carol, Jan 6, 2009 13:14

i bought my son a double pack of funkeys for£6 from argos it has 1 normal funkey thingy plus 1 what i believe to be a chat or multiplayer funkey but the 2nd one wont work it keeps saying the portals broken or something i havent got a clue and my son going bonkers pleasr help!
Rating:

Comment by catbay, Dec 27, 2008 22:38

Funkeys? - more like NOFUNKEYS!!!!Endless problems with the software. What a big fat con.
Totally unimpressed.
Rating:

Comment by tom, Oct 12, 2008 17:25

its a grate game but the funkeys ar exspesive
Rating:

Comment by revvinon, Jul 4, 2008 15:28

Here are a couple sites to look for more information on UB Funkeys:
www.ubfunkeys.com/forums
http://ubfunkeys.thespeakeasy.com/files/phpBB3/index.php?sid=5d4cbfaf5fc1801fac8d893062b37a63
They both have lots of helpful information and I KNOW there are other "fansites" out there on this fun game!

Keep'n it Funkey!
Rating:

Comment by caz, Jul 3, 2008 20:43

Hi my husband and I are sado's as we have got into this funkey world. But hey its great. even our 16 yr old is hooked now and has found help and advice on what to do, he just looks it up on google. You do have to continue to play the games to access more sites and to win things like a mask to go in the dark cave or to reach the orbs in the volcanic part. Keep playing it's fun. caz.
Rating:

Comment by Julia, June 15, 2008 13:40

there's a new world now the dream state its great there are thess new funkeys waggs (dog), berger (cow), tank (a fish tank I think), rom (lol chat guy) you can chat with these that im gonna tell you, gabby (lipstick girl), holler (he talks loud), rewind (the cute little parrot.  
Rating:

Comment by revvinon, May 3, 2008 17:57

"Comment by no, Mar 18, 2008 20:54
i have a brown tiki i cant find anything on it! i searched and nothn not on the regular website for u.b. funkeys either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I think the tiki you are referring to is the yellow one in the game.  That means you have a rare tiki!  I think that osme of the colors that were chosen for the real-life funkeys and the computer funkeys varies on some because maybe they were unable to get that color on either the real or the computer ones.  There actually seems to be a couple like that but right off hand I do not remember which ones.

Rating:

Comment by CBeebies, May 3, 2008 13:52

Hi Tom,

We're really looking forward to the Speed Racer Funkeys too - have you seen that you can get the starter set on play.com for £17.99?  It comes with the U.B. Hub with a racing stripe up it and two of the Speed Racer Funkeys.

It's on my birthday list!

CBeebies
Rating:

Comment by thomas funkguy, May 2, 2008 18:20

I love ub funkeys ive got
tonnes i want speed racer funkey with the return
tom jordan
xxxxxxxxxxx
Rating:

Comment by CBeebies, Apr 1, 2008 10:10

Hi all, the best place to get help and find out anyhting to do with Funkeys is the Funkey Forum at the following:  

http://ubfunkeys.thespeakeasy.com/files/phpBB3/index.php

I've been playing with my 7 year old son since Christmas and this site has been invaluable in helping us work out what we're supposed to do.  Many people seem to have had problems with downloads so there are lots of threads discussing what you can try to sort them out.

There's a list of the original and Funkiki Funkeys on this link:

http://ubfunkeys.thespeakeasy.com/characters  but a few on the list (Bandit, Dot, Drift and Sprocket) haven't yet been released.

In the U.S. they've just released a further set of Funkeys to tie in with a new film called Speed Racer.  These aren't available in the U.K. yet but I noticed a couple arriving on e-bay yesterday.

The Tiki question is strange as the three colours available are purple (normal), olive green (rare) and grey (very rare).  Some pictures show the rare Tiki as yellow but it isn't!  We have the grey & purple but not the green one yet...

Hope this helps, we love the game and collecting the different Funkeys but it is quite addictive!

CBeebies
Rating:

Comment by no, Mar 18, 2008 20:54

i have a brown tiki i cant find anything on it! i searched and nothn not on the regular website for u.b. funkeys either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rating:

Comment by revvinon, Mar 12, 2008 3:14

They have their forums now open at UB Funkeys!  I think this is a cool game - good for any age!  I've had problems with downloading and found out my filtering program was causing me grief (had to disable during downloads).  Rare and very rare funkeys allow you to get different items and higher points in the games.  Get into an area (or access the game in your crib) then switch to a rare or very rare to get the most points (and coins) you can from the game.
Rating:

Comment by Wendy, Mar 11, 2008 18:48

Pete, I just tried to look at redrabbits, don't know if it's yours or not, but shows red, white and blue waterfalls to far left side, also has  green, blue and brown ones, star table, dino skeleton, etc... lots of stuff... is this one yours? Mine is Mama1234... should be a beach scene (at least for now, until my kids play on it again!)

Very versatile game, we all love to play it, including my 4y/o twins, who decorate the cribs and play a few games (one of them is already quite good at Funk Jongg, actually... scores up to 4K, which is good for her age and by herself, I think  lol)

I'm not a member on GadgetSpeak, but if anyone would like to talk about funkeys, i'm all for it! Fantine1975@yahoo.com
Rating:

Comment by dave, Mar 4, 2008 18:17

Purchased several for the island and none will download.  I have my system uninstalled, plugged into the internet via cat 5 with no firewall, no antivirus, no antispam software, no pop up blocker (which Mattel techs said was the issues) and reinstalled everything.  Anything that is not an island caracter works 100% but it won't download the island and they don't make it a file you can go to their site and manually download.

(Tried this on 3 different computers all with the same result)
Rating:

Comment by Lawrence, Feb 21, 2008 18:12

Re Cathy Lawson's problem:
If you are calling from England you need to call 0162 8500 303.
If you need to download the new portals RIGHT cliclk on the Funkey icon & log on as Administrator. The screen will ask you for your name & password & should then download Funkiki Island etc.. Once this is done (not long, depending on your download speeds)you shoulf find everything ok.
Rating:

Comment by cathy lawson, Feb 14, 2008 22:46

I just got 3 of the new funkeys but it says there is a problem with them and to call the 1 800 number...which I have only to be on hold for hours with noone ever answering.  Does anyone know ho wto fix the problem?  It says it can not open the new portals...the are the one with sun on his face, one with the snow and another wierd one with 2 big eyes.....help I got these for my son and now he can't play with them
Rating:

Comment by rose, Feb 14, 2008 19:40

target and toysrus carry the funkeys, best price is on ebay, but watch the shipping some people over charge.  flurry funkeys are snowflaked faced, red-green, and  blue you learn to ski and do tricks. also  a big hint  use a rare funkey when you go to the stores, you get different items to buy. you first have to be in the game area and then switch funkeys to get different items.
in the area underwater you can get a free pearl item go to the clam. some of the neat items we have bought are a cute big white spider, windows in twinx area, its not a game just a free place to buy items. in the panda bear you can get a hot tub . also if you can defeat the golf game---sol's area you will get a mask that you will be able to use and go into the places that say its too dark for you to go in here by the volcano, also get a high score in webleys  game and you will get a web shooter that you can use in cross the brideges also on funkey island.  if you get a high score in the island games you can get a beach scene to decorate your room. my crib is called wafflehouse, and lifes a beach
Rating:

Comment by pepeg, Feb 1, 2008 16:12

I ordered the Twinx/Scratch starter pack from play.com for £5!!!. That offer has gone, but they currently have the Deuce/lotus pack for £10. Some places are charging £22.
Rating:

Comment by amy sarah morphey, Jan 12, 2008 15:46

i was just looking on ebay and they have some new ones on there webley nibble sol and flurry
Rating:

Comment by amy sarah morphey, Jan 12, 2008 15:45

hi right click them they should turn around<br>
Rating:

Comment by paulaj, Jan 11, 2008 16:02

hi there, massive fan of funkeys. totally addicted. trying 2 get more 2 add 2 my collection. at the moment play.com have a sale on and their starter packs are £6.99 and £8.99.
could someone please tell me how u turn items round in ur crib b4 placing them? i can only place mine one way: facing the bottom left-hand corner. thanks!
Rating:

Comment by charles bostian, Dec 30, 2007 23:23

ok when i tried to install funkeys for my daughter i followed the instructions  to ingnore this ignore that and itl automatically install !that didnt work so after a dozen and a half tries after installing and unisntalling the program i was furious after allways geting the message about making sure the usb hub is plugged in well anyway i thought id ignore the installment instructions and just go ahead and click away and install it manually and bingo it installed properly so maybe if we just ignore the instructions and instsll it the easy way itll work try that it worked for me
Rating:

Comment by Beevans33, Dec 27, 2007 13:48

I gettin on OK. But i'm stuck. Which funkeys can visit funkiki island?
Rating:

Comment by petew, Dec 27, 2007 13:26

So Beevans33 - how are you getting on with your Funkeys :-)

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