Furby is a robotic pet toy that was released by Hasbro and TIGER Electronics in the holiday season of 1998. It was widely popular for its time and sold millions of units.In 1999, they released the Furby Babies, which were smaller, but also had a higher pitched voice and more baby-like tendencies. In 2001, Shelby, a clam-like Furby with a more interactive personality, was introduced.They were unique robots in which they would start out knowing only their own language, Furbish. As time went on they would start using more English. They would also talk to each other if placed near the infrared sensors on their head.Furby was revamped in 2005 as the Emoto-Tronic Furby. They were much bigger than the original ones. It looked more organic and implemented more interactivity, such as playing games and telling jokes. It and both its variations, Babies and Funky Furby, were ultimately discontinued in 2007. Another revamp was made in Fall 2012.
The toy provides examples of:
- Animesque : The 2012 ones have anime eyes, complete with ^_^ -_- and other stock anime expressions.
- Delinquent Hair: One of two styles Furby's "hair" could come in was a mohawk. The other was a tuft on the top of the head and a short rabbit-like tail. Subverted in that Furby isn't known for being a trouble-maker (maybe).
- Expy: Of Gizmo. In fact, their resemblence to Gizmo actually caused Warner Bros. to file a lawsuit against Hasbro claming the toy's design was too similar. This led to Hasbro redesigning the Furby's look. An officially licensed Gizmo Furby was released near the tail end of the original toy's run, however.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Kind of look like a combination of hamsters and owls.
- Nonstandard Character Design: The "Shelby" variation, which was pretty much Furby with a clam shell.
- There were also Furby bean-bag toys. The difference with them is that they are smaller, and they don't talk (much to the relief of parents everywhere).
- The McDonald's Happy Meal Furbies, which enjoyed a decent shelf life at toy stores and other places. There were a few different ones, each with its own color and hair variations (tuft vs. mohawk). They batted their eyes; waggled their eyes and ears; made a high-pitched "moo" sound; played peekaboo with their ears...
- Ridiculously Cute Critters
- Urban Legends: Back at the height of its popularity, an e-mail began circulating claiming that Furby could record messages and that spies were using them to gather information. In reality, Furby has no such technology and cannot record anything. The rumor spread due to Furby's programmed "learning" of Furbish to English (It only has a set number of phrases it can speak). You're still not allowed to take them onto US military bases, though.
- Another (though not as well-known) legend claims that Furby's "fur" is made from animal fur (most versions of the legend claim it to be cat fur). In reality, Furby's "fur" is made from a synthetic fabric (most likely polyester fibers).
- There was also a legend that claimed Furby could be taught to "swear". As mentioned above, Furby can only "learn" what's already programmed into it.