Everybody remembers the Furby craze of 1998. This product became the most sought after toy of the late 90′s, only to die out a couple years down the line. Well get out your shotguns, everyone, cause Furby’s back and frightfully more animated and mobile than ever before.
Like every child of the 90′s, I didn’t just want a Furby for Christmas, I needed one.
Furby came out winter of 1998 and flew off the shelves in the blink of an eye; every parent in desperate need to get their kid one. It was almost impossible to get your hands on the product that holiday season. I didn’t even get my Furby on Christmas. Instead, I got a note from Santa telling me he was “delayed” and that my Furby would find its way to me later in the week (note to self: thank/apologize to my father). When that day finally came and my eight year old eyes saw Furby waiting for me at the breakfast table, it felt like all of my dreams had come true. I was ecstatic! I was overjoyed! Yes, Furby made me the happiest girl in the world.
This stopped after a week.
I quickly grew tired of its incoherent, repetitive babble. There’s only so much to do with a robot who can only say the same things and wag its ears. The fun of playing with it died away quickly, but I did still try to love it. It was when my Furby started waking me up in the middle of the night to tell me it was hungry that I finally shoved it into my closet, promptly forgetting about its existent. A couple months later as I was sitting in my bedroom minding my own business, a voice suddenly started talking from inside my closet. My Furby had come to life after all that time, as though in anger for my negligence. Terrified, I removed the batteries, and from that moment on I haven’t trusted Furbies.
So when I heard Furby was being rebooted and hitting stores by winter 2012 I immediately assumed that this was how that apocalypse the Mayan’s predicted was going to happen.
The word “reboot” is what freaks me out the most. Furbies in their original state were already creepy enough, but now it has a slew of updated attributes. It has new LCD eyes to help you better understand its current mood or what it wants to do. You can still feed it the normal way (with your finger), but there’s also an app to feed it various foods. There’s also an app that teaches you “Furbish”, the made up (annoying) language of the Furbies. Furby still does not have an off switch, which you may want to consider before buying your kid one, seeing as Furby almost never shuts up.
Furby can dance and sing along to music now, which is kind of cute, I hate to admit. Its supposedly more intelligent this time around, with a slightly more coherent understanding of the English language, allowing you to converse with it (though it makes for a poor conversationalist). Furby can now respond to interactions, such as scratching its head, pulling its tail, or holding it upside down. They all have different personalities, so they’ll react differently to your interactions depending on personality type. Don’t like your Furby’s personality? Well you can just change it to one you like better (what a wonderful lesson to teach children). If you put two Furbies together they even talk to each other and build up a relationship. What do they talk about? Most likely how they’re planning on tearing out your jugular in your sleep.
Now, I’m obviously a bit biased. I know a lot of people who are genuinely excited for this toy to go on sale. I should state that I’m fully expecting it to sell well and, who knows, maybe it will be a hit with kids. But after the last wave of Furbies in 1998, I have a hard time believing these ones will “be in” for very long.
Here’s video footage of a Furby getting its groove on.
Hear that? There’s an evil mode. Furby has an evil mode. How is that not a set up for world domination?
This video contains more detail of all the things Furby can now do.
Do you hear what the dude says when he feeds the Furby? “It loves human flesh.” Now imagine forty of these things breaking down your front door and tearing your human flesh apart with their beaks as they cry out maniacally, “Kah mee-mee a-tay!”
My honest prediction? Furby is doomed to always be just a fad. I’m sure, just like its predecessor, these 2012 Furbies will sell like hotcakes, only to then promptly die out in one to two years. Then, another fourteen years down the line, they’ll reboot it again. And again. And again. And again, until Furby has a mind of its own and starts killing us all. Not me though. I’ll be in my Power Wheels with my nerf gun and super soaker drawn and ready to do battle, leading my army of Tamagotchis and Beanie Babies, as the Furby revolution of 2040 approaches. Because it’s coming guys. Oh, it is coming.
I’ll leave you with this little piece of Doctor Who advice: “Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead.”
You’ve been warned.
(For updates on Furby, check out the Hasbro web-site.)