Whether it’s a fond memory or a recurring nightmare, no one who was around in the early 00s can forget Furby.
The iconic toy swept the nation upon its release at the turn of the century, with over 40 million sold in the first three years.
Furbies were known for startling us all with their sudden, unintelligible noises; now an experience that a whole new cohort of kids can get familiar with.
That’s because the fluffy robot has been updated for 2023, giving us Millennials and the tech-savvy youngsters Generation Alpha something to bond over (finally).
The modernised Furby – designed for the invention’s 25th anniversary – is similar to the model many of us know and love, available in Purple or Coral colourways and with a range of interactive features.
As before, it speaks on command and appears to ‘learn’ more the more it’s played with. Now, though, it’s programmed with over 600 phrases, jokes, songs and more – a real chatterbox.
The Hasbro toy also has five voice-activated modes (Dance Party, Copy Cat, Tell My Fortune, Let’s Chill, and Lightshow) and responds to hugs, pats on the head, shaking, and feeding it its pretend pizza charm.
You can get two Furbies together and they’ll interact with each other, their ears lighting up in different colours, plus they can be brushed and dressed up with clip-on beads and accessories.
Back when the first version was the hottest toy in town, there was an urban myth that they could record and repeat information, while the 2016 Furby Connect was highlighted as a potential security risk due to Bluetooth compatibility.
Their apparent ability to randomly turn on in the night also made them the talk of the playground, but that shouldn’t be a problem with the current model.
As per the manufacturer’s description, ‘Furby doesn’t connect to the internet or other devices for a screen-free experience. Even better, Furby can power down when the fun is done for the day.’
Available for UK customers to preorder from June 29 at Smyths, it will hit shelves at most major retailers come August, with a recommended retail price of £74.99.
Kristin McKay, VP and General Manager, Hasbro fashion and preschool, commented: ‘Over the past few years, we’ve done a lot of research to understand what kids would want to see in a new Furby.
‘Through this research, kids told us that it was important for Furby to be their ultimate best friend – a furry companion to do all the things a BFF would do, like dance to music, share fortunes, meditate, mimic each other in silly voices, and even put on a light show, and that’s exactly what we created.’
As Furby itself would say, ‘dah-no-lah’ – or ‘party time’ for those not fluent in Furbish.
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