What’s Different About the New Furby?

What's Different About the New Furby?15 years ago, a little, annoying toy took the world by storm and became the most popular toy of the holiday season. The Furby was originally launched in 1998 and featured some fairly impressive AI coupled with an animated body that made it come alive. It would annoy parents until they eventually pulled the batteries out or buried it in the back yard.

It’s now 2012, and the makers of the Furby have packed some serious technology into an updated version of the popular children’s toy. Will all this new technology make the creature more fun for kids, more annoying for adults, or both?

Let’s start by taking a close look at the features of the new Furby.

  • Ability to Learn English
  • Accelerometer
  • LCD Eyes Depicting Mood and Situation
  • Changes Personality Based on Treatment
  • Can be Fed With iOS App or Finger
  • Built-in Microphone for Conversational and Musical Stimulation
  • No On/Off or Volume Switch
  • Learns English Over Time
  • Goes to Sleep When Left Unattended
  • Sensors on Stomach, Tail, Head, and Back
  • Dances

The Furby still speaks its native tongue, Furbish. Fortunately, it learns English after a while, so kids can go through the process of actually teaching the Furby rather than just playing with it.

Sensors located all over the Furby means it will respond to physical stimulus quite readily. A built-in accelerometer allows it to sense when it’s being tossed around. Chances are, the Furby won’t be too thrilled about being kicked across the room (a natural, instinctive response from some parents).

The Furby is still quite annoying, despite its technological advances. You can’t turn the volume up or down on it, and there is no on/off switch. This means that, if you want it to be quiet, you’ve got to lock it in a closet or stick it in a dark drawer when you’re still active during the day.

At just around $60, the Furby costs as much as a typical video game. If you’re looking for a way to keep the kids entertained without driving yourself insane in the process, a video game might be a better value. Still, the Furby could very well end up being that one toy that kids really, really want this year.

Are you considering buying a Furby for yourself or your kids? Are the improvements enough to inspire a new generation of youngsters to really want it? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Daniel

    Talk about rising from the dead…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1292299949 Nino Brunori

    Hey, I didn’t watch the A-Team in the 80′s so why did they make a movie?

    I found the original to be annoying and there are thousands sitting on the shelf at the Good Will store so why would I pay top dollar for a toy that does nothing but make irritating noises.

    I bought a couple of Wowwee robots that promised a lot of fun yet I think I only financed their next project.

    I mean seriously, did anyone actually buy that voice activated R2D2 a couple years back?
    These developers seem to believe that just because they make their toy dance back and forth that they can charge a ton of money for a product that essentially does absolutely nothing. That’s not to say there is value to the new Furby.

    Heck, I even picked up one of those mind games where you levitate the ball with your brain and my kid loved it for 5 minutes then it got boring. At least I got my $70+ back when I returned it.

    I love where Vtech is going with their line but when I can buy an Android based tablet for the same price as their play tablets and do more with it then what can I say. I can pay for a cheap or used one, deck it out with a Disney Wallpaper that can be disposable for a 5 year old. Built in Camera, record Video, use Apps and Emulators.

  • furbyblog

    you dont need a volume control since the voice in the new furby isnt too loud like the olders. he falling asleep after 3-4 minutes of non playing

  • http://www.actsofpaint.com/ Elle

    If I had kids I’d get a Furby for them (and I’d get one for myself if I wasn’t focusing all my spare time on Borderlands II). Also – the inbedded video was great! I just subscribed.

  • Beckworth

    I wonder if it would keep my cat amused when I’m at work?

  • furbykiller

    i had the original furby. got a new one today. its funny. its in evil mode at the moment but its still fun. falls asleep much quicker than the original. that one made angry noises for ages before it slept. going to treat this one better than the old one which took quite a beating cos i didnt know better. also i held it upside down a lot and swung it by its ears because it made a funny noise. which resulted in it getting dropped and flung into walls. still survived a long time. bet the new one couldnt take all that but i wouldnt do it to a £60 toy and i know better now

    • Kirbzie Kiil

      furby killer!

  • Kirbzie Kiil

    Uh isnt
    Ability to Learn English
    and learns english over time the same thing? anyways, wats a
    Accelerometer? XD