More than 10 years ago, the world was graced with the presence of a new creature: Furby. The original toy came out in 1998 and other models were created up until about 2005. There were original Furbies, baby Furbies, Furby friends and even knock offs made to mimic this popular toy's actions.
There's a new Furby set to hit stores for 2012, and retailers are expecting it to be a big hit with kids. So big, in fact, that it'll probably sell out in time for Christmas!
So after a decade, what's new with the 2012 Furby? Let us compare the old with the new.
The Old Furby
The old Furbies came in a wide variety of colors, all of them had short, plush hair, similar to a Russ Troll. Furbies came in solid colors like black, white and brown, as well as spots and mixed colors. Furby babies mostly came in pastels like pink, green and blue. As time went on, special edition Furbies were released, but the only thing really special about them were their unique colors and different exterior box. Millennium Furby was blue and resembled a space man, Graduation Furby just looked like a penguin and there were many more in the “special” line.
Old Furby had a fluffy tail, big cloth ears which moved, as well as plastic moving eyes and mouth. The eye color varied from toy to toy, which also helped make the Furbies that much more desirable - because they were more unique. Furby had a sound and motion sensor between its eyes, making it interact with the owner.
Actions and Play
All Furbies speak Furbish and later on would speak some English. Each toy would come with a Furbish dictionary to help kids determine what their Furby was saying to them. Most kids enjoyed the Furby whether they understood it or not, mainly because it was so different than all other toys on the market at that time. You could supposedly teach Furby tricks, have him respond to his name, and a few other actions, but most people would agree that all Furby did was make funny noises and respond randomly to commands.
Old Furby Specs
Weight: about a pound
Height: about 6 inches
Batteries: 4 AA that were not included
Age Group: 3 to 10 years old
Price Online in 2012: between $44 and $100 (for special editions)
Release Date: First generations released in 1998
The New 2012 Furby
The new, 2012 Furby has the same general body shape and features as the original Furby. These Furbies only come in solid colors right now and the hair seems to be slightly shorter but with a wave pattern cut into the fur. The moving mouths are still plastic, but the cloth ears have been traded in for latex looking ones, but at least they have more fluid movements and look more realistic.
The eyes are now digital, resembling the screen of the old Nano Babies key chains. The digital eyes make them more expressive, but they lack the uniqueness of the old Furby's eye colors. The Furby tail has also changed, instead of being a ball of fluff, it now looks like a tiny lion's tall with a ball of hair on the end of it. They still speak Furbish, but now there is a more high tech way of deciphering their messages.
Actions and Play
The new 2012 Furby now has more expressive eyes and will move them in accordance to his mood. Furby still learns from play and learns more English when children spend more time with him. Furby now dances, shakes and has a wider range of movement. You can also “feed' your Furby.
The biggest change in the 2012 Furby is the online aspect. There are cell phone apps and online an online dictionary for more high tech play. The cell phone apps include a translator where Furby talks into your phone and, with the touch of a button, your phone will read back what your Furby said in English. Another fun app is the Furby Food app where you prepare your Furby's meals and feed them to him electronically.
New Furby Specs
Weight: about a pound
Height: about 8 inches
Batteries: 4 AA that are not included
Age Group: 6 years and up
Price Online in 2012: pre-ordering starts at $54
Release Date: September 2012
Is The 2012 Furby Worth Buying?
The old Furby versions and the new, 2012 Furby don't really have that many differences. The physical appearance is almost identical and so are most of its play functions. The main difference is the addition of the online dictionary and cell phone apps but, if you don't have a smartphone, they are not really much good to you.
While the differences aren't great, Christmas 2012 is going to see Furby introduced to a whole new generation of kids. The 2012 Furby is probably going to be the number one item on top of kids' wish lists this Christmas, and will sell like hotcakes no matter what adults feel about it. If you decide to buy one for your child, you'd best order it right away!