It took Dave Hampton and Caleb Chung nine months to create the Furby before it made its first appearance in public in 1998 at the American International Toy Fair.
The Furby were the first major successful attempt to create a robotic toy that can be trained, learn and respond to human interaction. A Furby starts out speaking their native language of Furbish, but will begin using English words and phrases (or those of the country it was purchased in) over the course of its ownership. The speed and process at which it does this is meant to resemble the process of learning a new language.
Following their launch Furbies metaphorically ‘flew’ off the shelves and even though they retailed at $35 (in the US) demand exceeded supply and at Christmas time in 1998 resale prices grew to over $100 and more. During a 12-month period following their initial launch, a total of 27 million Furbies were sold.
Second Generation Furby
Mark 2 Furbies were released in 2005 with greater facial movements as well as voice recognition technology in the form of the Emoto-Tronic Furby. This Furby was reasonably short lived however and by late 2007 the sight of a Furby on the shelves was extremely rare.
2012 – Return of the Furby
In April, 2012, it was announced that a new line of Furbies will be released by manufacturer Hasbro. Sure to be a big hit, and loaded with new technology, the Furby is back and going strong once again!
Early 2013 Furby Party Rockers
They’re zany goofy and a lot of fun. The smaller and less expensive version of Furby comes with its own pre-programmed personality. Four versions released (in order pictured below) Twittby, Loveby, Fussby and Scoffby.
Summer 2013 Furby BOOM!
Furby Boom comes in 6 color patterns: “ZigZag Stripes”, “PolkaDots”, “Triangles”, “Waves”, Stripes, and “Peacock”. Packed with many new and improved features, you can now encourage the new Furby Boom to lay eggs into your tablet or ipad via the app. This allows the eggs to grow to become a small virtual Furby (“Furbling”). After hatching, users can maintain and play games with their babies, thus earning Furbucks to unlock other features and extras.You won’t be able to buy Furbucks, you can only earning them by playing. Up to 50 eggs can be collected and will unlock a whole Furby Boom City.