Furbies are back!
Do you remember 1998? I do.
Tamagotchi’s were headed out and the brand new toy that everyone had to have was the Furby. These toys were amazing! You could talk to them and they talked back! They moved and reacted to light and sound! They learned and developed based solely on your interactions with them! Who wouldn’t want one?!
Of course, they lost their novelty quickly as we realized that no, they would not become sentient…or even close to it. Parrots, though smellier, were still way, way cooler. (Personally, I had been a bit concerned that they would lead to the whole ‘robot overlord’ thing, and was mildly disappointed when I discovered every bit of that worry unfounded). They didn’t walk, danced poorly, never shut up, and had no real ‘game’ of any sort to keep you engaged with them. They just…were, and eventually the shine of possessing one wore off. Eventually my Furby ended up in a corner with a blanket over its head just to keep it quiet. I know that several of my friends’ Furbies suffered a similar ‘cloak of eternal darkness’ fate.
Now 5 years after the last batch of Furbies was pumped out and 14 years after their initial boom, Hasbro has decided that the time has come to unleash these chirping, wobbling, fuzzy fiends on a new generation. Of course, this go around there are fancier LCD eyes and a slew of apps to be used along with them. The ears are pretty cute, and apparently they have different personalities depending on how you interact with them…or something like that. *shrug*
Even with the bells and whistles, the gimmick still feels very samey. It talks? Awesome. I remember how eventually every odd noise and whistle and hoot made me want to run my ear over a cheese grater a few billion times with the first models. The talking is SO not a huge selling point for me.
It moves? Yeah, okay. It moves more than the original did. It’s little giggle is actually cute looking, and the dance in the video is adorable. And oh. OH. I can feed it with my phone? I can use a dictionary to translate the Furbinese or whatever they want to call it? Novelty points there, I guess. It’s an interesting little addition if nothing else, and maybe an opportunity to keep the little gremlin engaging.
I feel that with the advent of things like webkins a few years back, this whole ‘toy with tech’ might have come a little late as a selling point for the kidlets that didn’t get to experience the furbies the first go around…leaving me to wonder who the target market really is. Maybe this is more of a nostalgic toy aimed at the older crowd as well? I suppose we’ll just have to see how they do.
For a more detailed look at Furby 2012, check out this review: