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. This was shortly followed by an even more-interactive model called "Furby Boom," which could lay eggs and hatch "Furblings" via an iOS/Android app. A bigger model came out in 2016, "Furby Connect," which offered even more interactivity with iOS/Android devices.There was a PC game dedicated to them in 1999 known as Big Fun in Furbyland.
The toy provides examples of:
- Animesque : The 2012 and Furby Boom 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...
- Spinoff Babies: The Furby Babies. There was also an equivalent to the 2005 revamp that came out in 2006, but is not as well-remembered as the 1999 Furby Babies. The "Furblings" that were sold alongside Furby Boom could count as these as well.
- 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.
- A recent one is that they talk with no batteries after reaching a certain age. Apparently, they store power somehow... explanation
- Wingding Eyes: All Furbies since the 2012 versions are capable of this, thanks to LCD technology in the 2012 and Boom versions, and LE Ds in the Connect version.