TOY REVIEW: The Return of Furby Fever!

The original Furby appeared in 1998 and drove parents crazy as every child wanted one. Today’s modern Furby has been reincarnated with computer chips, responding in various ways depending upon how you interact with it. And how you interact with it will determine its personality. You can, for example, shake it, tickle it and speak to it–and each action will somehow shape the personality of your Furby. A Furby is loud and they do not have an off switch. If they are left alone for a while they do go to sleep or, of course, you can always pull one of the 4 AA batteries (not included, in classic style).

To wake up your Furby, you simply tilt it. They speak “furbish” but it will pick up English a word at a time as you speak to it. They come with nine ways to interact: shake, tilt, feed, pet, tickle, talk to, pull tail, play music. And don’t forget you can even introduce two other Furbys to it.

The attraction of a Furby is how its personality changes as you interact with it, including the tone of its voice and its eye shape. The personalities range from a tough guy to a valley girl type and a bunch in between. The change is triggered by its treatment. For instance, if you pet your Furby, it changes to a personality that is cuddly and sweet. It is obvious when its personality will change because it wiggles, closes its eyes and emits flashing lights while exclaiming that it is changing. When it opens its eyes again, you have a new Furby.

The Furby is lots of fun. It’s certainly a better toy now than previous editions. The LED eyes are expressive, it has a larger vocabulary of Furbish, it can dance to music and it works with an I-phone app. Despite the one we’re reviewing, the Furby comes in many other colors besides basic black. It is made of soft sturdy materials and should stand up to heavy play. Just remember that–like all electronic toys–Furbys do not like water.

With Internet prices ranging from $55 to $75 (based on the color), be sure to shop around before buying your Furby. Actually, that’s probably the biggest problem with a Furby this year: trying to find one of these lovable creatures on a retailer’s shelf.