A Cheeky Chimp 

While you might think I had a chip on my shoulder, it is more likely to be a chimp.

click image to enlarge

This particular shoulder-sitting primate or, to be more precise, a member of the Hominidae family, has been keeping me company recently.  This partnership, much to the obvious disgust of my cat who is both territorial and extremely possessive when it comes to demanding attention from yours truly, was brought about following a visit to an event organised by Menkind.

For those not familiar with the company, I should explain that Menkind was founded in 2001 and currently has 27 bricks and mortar stores plus an online presence at  The company advertises itself as offering original gifts and accessories for men with the emphasis on “Toys for Boys”.  Some example offerings include Potty Putter (for those moments when nature struggles to take its course), Beer Bong (a yard of ale in anybody’s eyes), a quick coin sorter and a pair of racing meerkats.

But back to that shoulder-sitting chimp who, incidentally, is named Dave.  Arriving in his own personal box, Dave has a couple of travelling companions.  These consist of a battery-powered remote control and a Velcro-assisted shoulder strap that keeps Dave in a secure upright position when he is perched on your shoulder – oh come on you didn’t think that Dave was a real-life chimp did you?  Dave is a sort of soft toy, soft in most parts except for his body which contains the actual mechanism which enables Dave to perform his various actions.

As with the remote control, Dave is battery powered.  In both cases, AAA batteries are used and supplied, three for Dave and two for the remote control.  While the shoulder strap is provided to assist Dave when perched on a shoulder, he is more than happy to sit on any surface and perform his antics.  In fact it is far easier to set Dave up on a box, chair or anything that is available.  Although it is possible for one person to mount Dave on their shoulder, it does help if you are a contortionist or a second person is involved.

Dave can perform a range of tricks activated from the remote control which is small enough to be concealed in a hand.  The remote control, which operated on the 27MHz frequency, features a four-way keypad and four Mode Buttons which at one stage are referred to as Magic buttons in the brief documentation.  These Mode Buttons cover Conversation, Puppet, Greeting and Action.  You can use the Mode Buttons in conjunction with the keypad to get Dave to work through his whole repertory as he nods his head, waves, play drums, acts shy, yawns, laughs, farts and blows a raspberry.  The remote has a range of 1.5 metres so you need to be reasonably nearby.

When you first remove Dave from the various items of packaging you will have to switch him from Demo mode to full on mode by moving a slider switch located on Dave’s bottom.  Next you will need to press one of the Mode buttons several times until Dave responds.  This process is required to enable a contact to be made between Dave and the remote.  There is a third position of Off for the slider switch when Dave is not expected to be required for a while.

Dave, like many small animals, does like his sleep and is inclined to drop off after any period on inactivity lasting longer than 60 seconds.  In order to wake him up you will need to press his tummy button before he will respond to the remote control and perform for anybody who is around.

While Dave may not be to everybody’s taste, he is certainly amusing and should appeal to young and old alike (cats not withstanding).  The ultimate trick is to persuade somebody to buy Dave for you.  Dave the Monkey is available from Menkind for £24.99,

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Comment by mfereday, 28 Oct 2010 17:31

Seems like my typing needs some improvement.  If you case you did not notice there was a typo with Menkind's url..  It should read and not  Sorry.

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