Furbies make a comeback this holiday season after years in hibernation


Furbies, a popular toy of the 1990s, are making a comeback

Minah Kim, News Editor

U-nye-loo-lay-doo? is Furbish for, “Do you want to play with me?” Children across the world are answering yes to this Furby revival this holiday season.  With plush fur, LED eyes, attitude and persistence, and an iPhone-era twist, Furby appeals to (and will annoy) this new generation just as it did 14 years ago.

Furby entered society in 1998 and was met with instant demand worldwide as a toy/pet that could interact with and learn from its owner.  There were over 40 million Furbies sold from 1998 to 2000, but most children who wanted a Furby when it was released in 1998 now recollect horror stories of the “demonic and crazy thing” that would never stop talking and cackling.

A few quintessential ‘Furbish’ characteristics persist with this Furby reincarnation—the most notable being its lack of an off switch.  As with the original Furby, Furby 2.0 is programmed to be ‘born’ speaking only Furbish and to learn English over time.  Through Furbish and the new LED light eyes that display the Furby’s emotions, Furby is able to express contentment when you tickle its tummy and discontent when you pull its tail. The only way to stop it from talking in its squeaky voice and dancing around is to “put it to sleep,” by leaving Furby alone in a dark place.  However, this is no easy feat.  Often, telling Furby “time to sleep” will be met with “big joke!” and even the slightest disturbance will be met with incessant chattering.

Needless to say, Furby loves interacting with its owner and this is a selling point, as the Furby has been marketed as a toy whose personality develops differently depending on how it is treated by the owner.

New features of the Furby include singing along to songs and dancing in sync with the beat.  Furby will actually remember the tune of the song after hearing it, and you will undoubtedly hear Furby singing to itself even after the song ends.

The most remarkable and noteworthy feature of this new Furby is increased interaction through an accompanying iPhone app.  Through this app you can feed Furby, make a sandwich for Furby, translate what Furby says, and access a complete Furbish dictionary.  The pantry has dozens of food and non-food items like dirty socks and worms to feed Furby, and Furby will return an empty soda can or vomit back onto your iPhone screen.  Furby also makes appropriate sounds when eating food; it chomps on crackers and slurps on smoothies and depending on the personality of your Furby, it will sometimes spit back green vegetables.

Taking care of and playing with Furby is as demanding as you want it to be, and parents can buy their children Furbies as  low-maintenance pets.  It is as persistent and attention seeking as a golden retriever, but it will stop bothering you at any time you choose when you throw a blanket on top of it.  It’s easy to get attached to Furby.  Despite the fact that it is made of plastic, metal, and fur, Furby makes you feel like a neglectful, sadistic owner every time you throw the blanket on it to put it to sleep or feed it a moldy sock just to see it vomit.  Additionally, you can feed the Furby its vomit afterwards and it will vomit again in a different form.

Furby comes in a multitude of color variations and the most popular colors, hot pink and teal and black, have been sold (to uninformed and foolish buyers) on eBay for over $1,000 within these first months of Furby’s release.  Most stores including Target, Amazon, Walmart, and Toys ‘R’ Us retail Furby at $59.99.