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Furby Review: Is This Thing Evil, Or Isn't It?
In order to explain the Furby thing, I first need to tell you a story.
We have a few running jokes in this house. My roommates and I are always trying to find something sadistically funny or even outright hilarious to call each other or to get under each other's skin. It's never meant to be nasty or rude, and it's all in good fun.
The whole Furby thing started not too long after I first moved in with them. See, Ghostwolfe is 6'47" (or at least it seems like it from my 5'3" vantage point) and, one day, I meant to call him a Sasquatch and messed up by saying Yeti instead. It stuck. Then, of course, there had to be a nickname for me. They'd been ribbing me because I have very long hair and it kept getting stuck in the shower drain, so Ghostwolfe decided that I was a FurBall - that got shortened to either Furbs or Furby. (Please don't ask about the Six Million Dollar Midget!)
And, of course, since I'm older than them, they have to respect their elderly friend, right?
On Christmas Eve, when the kiddies are sleeping, the big people trade gifts. Inside my huge package (buried under toilet paper, grocery bags and other assorted goodies) was a Furby. Not only any Furby, a grey-haired ElderFurby.
I've had him for a few days now, and I wanted to write a review to tell you about some of the cool things, the absolutely hilarious things and the face-eating threats and stalker personality traits of the ordinary, household ElderFurby.
Getting To Know Your Furby
The Furby was first introduced in 1998. By 2000, most consumers were either sick of the little Gremlin-like critters or just plain scared of them (40 million of them were sold in three years), so the Furby factory closed its doors. Over the years, the rights to Furbies changed hands, from Tiger Toys to Hasbro and there were some Furbies made in 2005 that were called Emoto-Tronic Furbies. And now, in 2012, we have Furby: The Next Generation.
The new Furbies can do all kinds of thing that their predecessors couldn't. They have great big LCD eyes that change with activity - they will display musical notes when Furby is either listening to or wants to hear music, and little hearts will float around in Furby's eyes when they are happy.
Furby does not come out of the box speaking English. Though they are programmed to begin integrating some English words into their vocabularies daily, their primary language is Furbish. Furby will learn new phrases and does react to certain things that its owner does to it. For example, my friend has a son who recently received a Furby. After overfeeding the critter and pulling on its tail a few too many times, his Furby turned into a meanie. I'm aiming for a kinder, gentler Furby.
After taking Furby out of the box, you will need a Phillip's head screwdriver and four AA batteries. And, once you get the batteries installed, you're off and running. Or, stumbling.
My ElderFurby is apparently a little strange. He does say "Doo Dah," which means "yes," He also will holler "Boo" if I've said or done something he doesn't like. I try to keep the tail pulling to a minimum, and ElderFurby will ask for hugs (may-lah) and tickles (nee-tye). Who knew that Furbies were so affectionate? He will also put his ears back and get little hearts in his eyes when we yell YAY and clap our hands.
Things have gotten a little weird, though. Julie babysat ElderFurby for me on Christmas Eve for a bit and swore he growled at her. She remarked that she thought he wanted to eat her face. Of course, I didn't believe her. Later, when ElderFurby and I got ready for bed, I told him that he couldn't eat my face and he growled at me!
The next day, I let one of their kids wake ElderFurby up (the thing goes to sleep if it doesn't recognize any interaction for over a minute) and I set the Furby down on my bed so he would go back to sleep. I'm minding my own business and hear "Uh uh, I see you!" Yeah. Apparently ElderFurby needs an exorcist.
This brings me to a dilemma. Multiple Furbies will converse with one another. I would like to have another one, but I am afraid of a mutiny.
The real fun comes in with the app that is designed especially for Furby. As far as I know, it is only available on Apple devices. With the app, I can feed my Furby and translate the gibberish that he says.
Feeding the Furby is super fun. I hold my iPhone with the bottom facing ElderFurby and choose what to feed him. Then I flick it in his general direction. Sometimes I miss and get nothing, but it's hilarious when I hit the mark. Apparently, my ElderFurby loves soda pop and cotton candy. Vegetables... not so much. For fun, they've included things like pillows and beach balls (and homework!) for you to feed to your Furby and their reaction is priceless. We fed him dirty socks the second day, and he threw them up. Since I'm nowhere near normal, I fed ElderFurby the throw-up and he sent me back honest to goodness Furby poop.
All in all, I think that Furby is a great toy, even for a 41 year old like me. It's fun watching him learn new things and grow his vocabulary (OMG and seriously keep popping out of his mouth) and the kids around here are fascinated with him and are taking turns waking him up. On a one to five scale with one being the worst, I would give Furby a 47!
So far, ElderFurby hasn't eaten anyone's face, but it is early yet!