A new decade and a new line of Furbies.
After a 14 year hibernation, Hasbro has revived one of its most famous toys just in time for Christmas, with brand new tech and complete with an interactive iphone app. This version of the Furby is a bit more like a real pet (sort of) than the older one with soft fur that covers up many touch sensors, and a much more expressive personality. It has rubber “skin” ears now instead of the fuzzy ones of old that move around and twitch as its updated LCD eyes with blinking eyelids, look around seemingly responding to sounds and movements around it.
According to Hasbro engineer Don Cameron, novelty is an essential part of Furby’s appeal. “You never know what Furby might do or say.” For example, Furby can differentiate between the tone of your spoken language, the sound of another Furby or the rhythm of a song for dancing. Furby can understand high frequency audio codes to “talk” with your iphone, iPad or another Furby.
In case you missed out on the 1998 Furby mania, the reason this little robot is both beloved by children and despised by quiet-seeking adults is that it learns and changes, like a real child, talking the entire time. The more you play with, pull Furby’s tail or feed it, the quicker the next stage of its evolution might come. Since there is no off or mute switch the only way to make the babbling stop is to leave the room or remove its batteries.
Or you can wait a few minutes until Furby dozes off to sleep. If Furby is bumped, or even touched, those eyes may pop open, which is why there’s probably an old model Furby still living in our attics.
Children especially love the new Furbies, you just may want them to play with Furby in their own rooms.