A Furby is an electronic interactive robotic creature for children. It first appeared in stores during the holiday season in 1998 selling over 40 million units during its first 3 years of production. It was an international bestselling item, translated into 24 different languages. Furbies were created by Dave Hampton and Caleb Chung, they spent nine months on the concept and design before recruiting inventor Richard Levy for selling purposes. Levy purchased the rights to Furby before selling them to Roger Shiffman at Tiger Electronics. One of the main reasons the Furby became so popular was because of the “intelligence” in their language skills. Furbies could communicate with you and other Furbies through the infrared sensor in their eyes. In the beginning Furbies speak their own creature language, as time goes by and you communicate more with them they begin to speak English. They become very animated when speaking often moving their eyes and ears and lifting off the ground.
When first introduced on the shelves at stores the average retail price was $35; however because the product was released during the Christmas season demand for it was so high that prices were driven up to between $100 and $300 per Furby Certain Furbies were released as collectors’ items with only a limited amount being produced in a season they were dubbed as “rare sellers”. These Furbies were assigned names such as: Wedding Furby, Tuxedo Furby, Snowball Furby, and Biker Furby.
In 1999 Furby babies were introduced, they had a much higher pitched voice then adult Fubies and an extended vocabulary. They came in 24 ranges of colors all had white eyelashes and six different eye colors. In 2005 a redesigned version was released called Emoto-Tronic Furby was created. It was a larger model with a more emotional face and better voice recognition making it easier to understand humans. In 2012 the first iOS and Android friendly Furby was created with the ability to different users commands through mobile devices. An app called Furby BOOM was made in 2013 including more features for your Furby to respond to.
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Featured image via Christian Science Monitor