Monday, November 10, 2008

Furbys: The Must-Have Holiday Toy of 1998!

Do you remember Furbys? Those slightly adorable/slightly creepy (personal opinion) electronic pets that were all the rage 10 years ago? That started out speaking “Furbish,” but the more English they “learned,” they more they “grew?”



Kids love them for a year or so--then dropped off the market. I understand a newer version was released in 2005, but did not take off the same way.


In The ABC’s of Kissing Boys (now available for pre-sale), main character Parker still has a battery-less Furby on her bedroom shelf. She’d wanted it more than anything back then, and worked tirelessly around the house to earn the money to buy it. Comparing that young passion to what she’s so sure she wants right now, she wonders if in the end, it won’t be the memory of the chase that is sweetest, too...

Does anyone else still have a Furby around the house? Or have a memory of one?

25 fresh comments:

Heather Harper said...

My youngest was born that year and I remember his grandparents getting him one of those. (Not that he could appreciate it being zero years old.) No longer have it.

Kelly Parra said...

haha, I remember them! They were even given in happy meals for the kiddos too. :)

TinaFerraro said...

Heather, we don't have our Furby any more, either, but it stayed on my daughter's shelf until very recently.

And Kelly, in Happy Meals? Wow, I missed that one.

Janie Emaus said...

Hi Tina,
That's one thing I don't remember! My kids were too old for them at the time. And from the looks of those creepy eyes, I'm glad we didn't have one in the house.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I remember Furbies! And yes, creepy is the correct word. I think they were trying to play off of Gremlins (many years too late), but Furby was no Gizmo...

Shana Norris said...

I still have my Furby! It has no batteries and sits in my guest room to stare freakishly at anyone who stays at my house. ;) I remember getting up at 4am one morning the year they came out to go stand in line at Wal-Mart just so I could get one. Why yes, I am a dork. ;)

I discovered one thing scary about Furbies: when the batteries started dying they'd wake up and talk randomly all on their own. In the middle of the night.

briaspage said...

Totally agree with the "creepy" - Can't wait for ABC's - I preordered it and everything!

Good Luck!
bria

TinaFerraro said...

Okay, I'm glad I got agreement on the creepy. LOL. And Shana, that's so Twilight Zone that the Furbies start talking on their own in the middle of the night. Please--paranormal writers, run with this! I want to read it!

Meredith said...

I was in 5th grade when they came out. They totally creeped me out. I was more into the Beanie Babies. I also remember them being in happy meals, like the beanie babies were. I didn't like them, so we sent them to my grandpa for my little cousins or to a local charity.

~Meredith

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Meredith, for the reminder of Beanie Babies. Now those were--and are--adorable!

Chelsea said...

FURBY'S ARE THE CREEPIEST THINGS EVER. We took the batteries out and it still kept talking. So I repeatedly threw it out the window as a kid, which my mom kept bringing back in the house, until she eventually got rid of it. I was an ambitious little one. :)

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I remember Furby's, but always thought they were so weird. I never owned one and hope it stays that way. Something about waking up in the night and seeing that across the room doesn't seem right.

TinaFerraro said...

Chelsea--OMG, that's the creepiest thing I've ever heard! I would have chucked it out the window, too!

And Natasha, I'm with you. Wouldn't sleep with one in my room, either...in fact, I'm expecting furby nightmares tonight! =)

Valerie said...

I wanted a Furby so bad back in the day. I still want one! I had Tamagotchis too and I still have some in my computer desk drawer. I'm a sucker for odd new toys.

TinaFerraro said...

Tamagotchis? Were those the little things on chains that you wore around your neck?

Erin said...

Yep, Happy Meals was my introduction to them too.
I don't know if I ever owned one, though...my younger self thought they were just weird, heheh.
But the neighbor girl owned about a hundred of them. Not even exaggerating.

Kiki said...

I loved furbies when they came out! I had two, and when I moved house, my mom brought them over for me ina backpack and they started talking to each other (the furbies, that is, not my mom). She got a lot of weird stares as her backpack was having a party.

A friend of mine and I still sometimes speak Furblish with each other just because it's fun.
I miss my Furbies. They were creepy and cute and weird all at the same time.

Ooh, and don't get me started on tamagotchis!

TinaFerraro said...

Erin, your friend owned about a hundred? I wonder if she still has them?

And Kiki, you SPEAK Furbish? Wow, you gotta put that on your professional resume or something! =)

holly cupala said...

Nice! That's a great device, to compare past passions with the present and show her maturity. I remember the passion with which I collected Cabbage Patch dolls...!

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Holly. And yeah, those Cabbage Patch dolls were adorable. In fact, I'm sure I can find one in our attic if I really tried...

Chirstina Lee said...

My sister and I still have ours. We pass them every time we do laundry.

TinaFerraro said...

Christina, do your furbies (furbys?) still have batteries? Or they at-rest?

Tina

Sarah Ockler said...

Yes - Hot 97 radio in NYC was giving one away at the height of Furby popularity in 1998. They would leave clues on the radio, so I followed them all and finally got to the hidden Furby (brand new, in the box) stuck in a trash can out side of the New Yorker Hotel on 8th avenue. Digging through the trash during rush hour was pretty awesome on its own (ha!) but in the end, it really was the chase. I had no use for a Furby. I sold it to my boss for $100 so she could give it to her niece.

Overall, they're kind of creepy, no? :-)

HeatherMarie said...

Yes I do indeed still have one. :) Me, and two of my friends all got furbies the same year. We used to put them together and they would all talk to each other. They associated some strange words together though. For instance, "kitty, kitty" was always followed by "hide". My one friend let hers listen to Limp Bizkit (if that's how you spell it) and hers wouldn't stop saying "nookie" lol The creepy part was when we put them to "bed" in a dresser drawer one day. We opened the drawer to see if they were "sleeping" yet. Upon opening the drawer, one furby announced, "I see you" in the creepy little voice of theirs. The drawer was slammed shut. lol

TinaFerraro said...

Sarah, that's an amazing story of how you followed the clues to win the Furby...can just imagine you climbing through trash!

And Heathermarie, your memories bring back mine...and loved how it "saw you..." (ack!)