Furby is a furry toy robot resembling an owl—or is it a hamster? It can make different facial expressions, speak hundreds of words (in its own language, Furbish), and shriek incessantly.
- United States 🇺🇸
Did you know?
The U.S. National Security Agency banned Furbies for fear that they might be used to record classified information.
Furby was originally released by Tiger Electronics in the fall of 1998 and quickly became the must-have toy of the holiday season. According to historian Allison Marsh, the Furby's inventors, David Hampton and Caleb Chung, recognized the durability required for a children's toy as well as the need for it to be interactive and engaging: "The patent describes at length the reversible motor that drove all of the moving body parts, including the ears, eyes, and wings. It also repeatedly mentions the lifelike interactions the inventors hoped children would have with the toy. They wanted the Furby to seem intelligent and capable of learning, which they programmed into the 6502." She notes that the Furby's source code was written by David Hampton and Wayne Schulz "to run on a variation of the 6502 microprocessor, the 8-bit chip that powered the Apple II, Commodore 64, and BBC Micro." The Furby first generation was available from 1998 to 2002. A second generation was sold by toy maker Hasbro from 2005 to 2007. A third and fourth generation, with more expressive LCD eyes and smartphone app connectivity, were in the market from 2012 to 2017, after which they were discontinued. According to some estimates, more than 40 million Furbies have been sold worldwide.
Capable of interacting with other Furbies nearby. Designed to develop a distinct personality based on how users treat them.
- 20.3 cm
Light sensor (in the forehead), tilt sensor (inside body), touch sensors (belly and back), microphone.
Four 1.5-V AA batteries
- $35 Original Furby, 1998 price | $60 New Furby