Depending on your generation, you may remember the chatty animatronic children’s toy Furby as something you desperately wanted or something your kid begged you for. Whether you have nostalgia for it probably depends on whether it ever kept you awake with its babbling voice repeating nonsense phrases in “Furbish.” (Chillingly, it had no off switch.) Either way, Furby is making a comeback.
Toymaker Hasbro has announced that Furby will be returning to stores in time for the product’s 25th anniversary. While the fluffy, vaguely sentient creature is not radically different from the original, it does offer some new features, including reacting to hugs and head pats. Like early models, it chatters indecipherably while “learning” proper English and blinks, giving some semblance of life to its bulging eyes.
Furby was unique among the toy fads of the ‘90s in that it prompted some concerns over national security. The National Security Agency (NSA) banned it from a Maryland base, fearing it could record and repeat sensitive information. It could do neither, which prompted a rebuttal from Roger Shiffman, co-founder and president of Tiger Electronics, which unleashed the toy on the world.
“Although Furby is a clever toy, it does not record or mimic voices,” Shiffman said. “The NSA did not do their homework. Furby is not a spy!”
The new Furby, which comes in coral and purple, retails for about $70. You can find it on Amazon now or in retail stores come July.