The History of Furbies
The Furby is born
It took Dave Hampton and Caleb Chung nine months to create the Furby before it made its first appearance in public in 1998 at the American International Toy Fair.
The Furby were the first major successful attempt to create a robotic toy that can be trained, learn and respond to human interaction. A Furby starts out speaking their native language of Furbish, but will begin using English words and phrases (or those of the country it was purchased in) over the course of its ownership. The speed and process at which it does this is meant to resemble the process of learning a new language.
Following their launch Furbies metaphorically ‘flew’ off the shelves and even though they retailed at $35 (in the US) demand exceeded supply and at Christmas time in 1998 resale prices grew to over $100 and more. During a 12-month period following their initial launch, a total of 27 million Furbies were sold.
New and Improved Furby, and the eventual death
Mark 2 Furbies were released in 2005 with greater facial movements as well as voice recognition technology in the ofrm of the Emoto-Tronic Furby. This Furby was reasonably short lived however and by late 2007 the sight of a Furby on the shelves was extremely rare.
2012: The Furby Revival
In April, 2012, it was announced that a new line of Furbies will be released by manufacturer Hasbro. Sure to be a big hit, and loaded with new technology, the Furby is back!
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