Is The 2012 Furby Really Worth the Money?

It was over a decade ago now that the world was introduced to the Furby. The original Furby came out back in 1998. Other models were created up until about 2005. There were original Furbies, baby Furbies, Furby friends and even knock offs made to mimic this popular toy’s actions.

Furby for Christmas 2012

There’s a new Furby set to hit stores for 2012, and retailers are expecting it to be a big hit with kids. So big, in fact, that it’ll probably sell out in time for Christmas! So after a decade, what’s new with the 2012 Furby? Let’s compare the old Furby with the new 2012 Furby.

The Old Furby

The first generation Furby came in a wide variety of solid colors like  black, white and brown, as well as spots and mixed colors.  They all  had short, plush hair – kinda like one of those old troll dolls but short. The babies usually came in pastel colors like pink, green and blue.

After the initial mania died down a little, a special edition Furby appeared. However, most noted that the only thing that was special was the new colors as well as the box being different.

Millennium Furby was blue and looked like a space man while Graduation Furby just looked like a penguin. There were a lot of others in the “special” Furby line as well, but the initial excitement never really repeated itself..

The original Furby had a fluffy tail, big cloth ears (that moved), as well as plastic eyes and mouth that moved. The fact that quite a few were unique – due to eye color – made them popular with a lot of people, especially collectors.

Basically, the toy worked by using a sound and motion sensor that was located between its eyes. So, when a child – or adult – interacted with the Furby, it appeared to respond, albeit somewhat erratic and nonsensical. Still, they were a hit – and may be destined to become a hit once again.

Original Furby Actions and Play

If you owned a Furby, you know they speak Furbish at first and then eventually some English words and short phrases. Each Furby came with a Furbish dictionary to help children figure out what their Furby was saying.

There were quite a few kids who enjoyed the Furby whether they could understand it or not. The love came about  mainly because the toy was so different than everything else on the market back then.

While you were supposed to be able to train your Furby to respond to your name and simple commands, most would agree that all they really did was act randomly. (Although, little children seemed to love even this.)

Old Furby Specs

  • Weight: about a pound
  • Height: about 6 inches
  • Batteries: 4 AA that were not included
  • Age Group: 3 to 10 years old
  • Price Online in 2012: between $44 and $100 (for special editions)
  • Release Date: First generations released in 1998

The New 2012 Furby

First off, the 2012 Furby has the same body shape and features as the original Furby. The hair seems to be a little bit shorter, but it has sort of a wave pattern. And, at least for now, they only seem to be available in solid colors.

The mouths that move are still made out of plastic, but the cloth ears have been replaced for ones that look a bit latex. This helps them look more realistic because the motion is more fluid.

The new Furby eyes are digital, and look like the screen of the Nano Babies key chains from way back when. The digital eyes make the new Furby more expressive, but the new digital eyes lack the uniqueness of the old eye colors.

The new 2012 Furby tail has also changed. Instead of being a ball of fluff, it is now more like a small lion’s tail that has a ball of hair on the end of it. Oh, and they still speak Furbish, but there is now a high-tech method to decipher their messages.

New 2012 Furby Actions and Play

The new Furby now has more expressive eyes and will move them in accordance to his mood. Furby still learns from play and learns more English when children spend more time with him. Furby now dances, shakes and has a wider range of movement. You can also “feed’ your Furby.

The biggest change in the 2012 Furby is the online aspect. There are cell phone apps and online an online dictionary for more high tech play. The cell phone apps include a translator where Furby talks into your phone and, with the touch of a button, your phone will read back what your Furby said in English. Another fun app is the Furby Food app where you prepare your Furby’s meals and feed them to him electronically.

New Furby 2012 Specs

  • Weight: around one pound
  • Height: about 8 inches
  • Batteries: 4 AA that are not included
  • Age Group: 6 years and up
  • Price Online in 2012: pre-ordering starts at $54
  • Release Date: September 2012


Old Furby

2012 Furby



Is The 2012 Furby Worth the Money?

The old Furby and the new 2012 Furby are really pretty much the same when it comes down to it. The technology is a little newer and there have been some modifications, but the two are pretty close – especially the physical appearance.

The new 2012 Furby does have an app for your smartphone (cool!) and an online Furbish dictionary, which is pretty cool for some.  Having said that, the novelty of both may wear off rather quickly. Still, there’s a good chance there could be another Furby flurry this Christmas season.

In our opinion, if you have the extra money and are a bit nostalgic, this may be a good choice. Beyond that, if you’re looking for the one perfect gift for someone – something that will keep a child’s interest for more than a few weeks – you’re probably going to want to pass this one up.

About K. Paul Mallasch

Posted in Robot Toys

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