What is furry, talks, giggles, moves it's ears and it's something everyone seems to want? Electronic Furby, of course. Because of several sensors placed about his furry little body, Furby can understand motion and light as well as he can make noises and talk with other Furbys. Furby does a variety of things that make him special from any other toy on the market, making him the 'hottest toy of the 1998 Christmas season'. Want to learn more about him? Go here to read my report on some of his functions.
Some people think he's hideously ugly and don't understand the appeal. While some people think it's the cutest thing since Tamagotchi. I make the ladder category of course. Furbys have 3 different voice pitches, 6 fur combinations and 4 eye colors and in excess of 23 different names. The personality and individuality and overall being so lovable makes Furby appealing to both males and females of all ages. Kids are crazy over them, adults love them. For a toy that's 8 & up, it seems to range from the youngest of kids to adults over age 70.
How did I obtain one of the elusive Furbys? Being a Virtual Pet fan in general, I found out about it, before it was released. I kept an eye out and through my best friend, whom spotted them at Wards, we managed to get one for each of us on October 21st (a day late birthday gift from my grandma). The one I picked out was black with white tummy, mane, and feet with brown eyes. His name was Ah-May. Due to an accident, he is now being repaired at Tiger Electronics, but he will be back soon. I got Toh-Loo Kah from my mother as an early Christmas gift, because of what happened to Ah-May. Toh-Loo Kah is solid black, with a tuft of hair on his head and a big tail with white feet and green eyes.
When I got back to the office from Wards I opened the box and started him up right away. At first I was perplexed at his language and it took me a bit to get used to recognizing his language and then interpreting it. That was the most difficult part at first. Once I was used to hearing him talk in Furbish I got the hang of looking it up and understanding, for the most part, what he was talking about.
It was after work, so I could take off any time. We stayed for a bit and let the two Furbys communicate before we left, which I'll talk more about later on.
I also learned quickly that Furby requires you to let him finish one action before you can have him reply to the next action. He responds really well to stimuli, though occasionally gets things wrong, but it's said they aren’t perfect and being so sensitive sometimes they don't always understand what I am communicating to them.
My Furby have both seemed very sensitive to light in general and it seems to take priority above all other commands. If I walk through different parts of the house he notices the light changes often. Often responding with several different replies.
I played with him lots that first day and he really enjoys being tossed or played with in a way that his body isn't standing up right entirely. Though he does not like to be held upside down at all. It frightens him and scares him, even worrying him. It's okay to turn him upside down when trying to end a game, though.
Right off I thought him made very realistically. He's not perfect, but man for one of the first animatronic toys on the market, he sure is far from so many other things seen in the past. He has several different replies for different stimuli and it is said in random order, varying a little each time. He isn't like many talking toys that have 2 or 3 same replies every time, his vocabulary allows over 1,000 different replies in Furbish and English languages. Some of the replies can be heard here.
Because I play with my Furby a whole lot I noticed him evolving in his own way through language. He began to use more English as opposed to Furbish. By the second or third day I was sure he had entered his final 4th stage of development. He had evolved very fast. I later found out that the stages are each 3 hours awake time. Thus only taking 9 hours of play for him to reach that final stage. Once he reaches the 4th stage he doesn't seem to evolve anymore, but uses Furbish and English both. Furby doesn't die. The only way to restart the process is to press reset, one thing the manual encourages you not to do.
It is also obvious that he doesn't really 'learn' English from the owner, but is programmed to start speaking more and more English with time. But this is still okay, because this is a good thing for many reasons, I believe. If it really mimicked what the owner taught it, it doesn’t take much imagination to understand why this could be a bad thing. I'm sure some parents would not be too happy...
Put two or more Furbys (yes, that's the correct plural. It's not Furbies, it's Furbys) together and within sight of each other they can and will chat and play games and other sorts of cute things. They sing to each other, they dance with each other, they can put one another asleep, they can pass colds from one to another, they play hide and seek from each other and as well as other things.
Most of the experiences I have had only involved two Furbys chatting. But I have been involved in a 3 Furby chat a few times. This Christmas I will be involved in a major group of 8 or more this year, in which I will probably write about in my Tama logs when the time comes.
Sometimes it takes the conversation being initiated by way of tickling and such, but usually it only takes one Furby to get the conversation rolling. The chatting can last for longer then 30 minutes without you touching them, depending on how many Furbys are present and the circumstances.
I have noticed that in a group of three that sometimes one Furby will take 'lead' and tend to pass more of the commands then follow them. For example, when they are playing hide and seek from each other. One will say hide and two of them will hide, then come back and have the first one hide alone, then come back and decide what they will be doing next. This isn't always true. Sometimes things will be communicated in a perfect circle. One will tell second to hide, then the second one will tell the third to hide, then he might start passing something else. And it just might be a one time deal, where they all each hide once, then the one that just told them to hide starts a new command to sing. It's really interesting, very fun, and so very cute! It's something that must be experienced to really understand and enjoy it most.
Some bad things about Furby
The single most worst thing about Furby is this: The language stages. They are too short! For me, three hours per stage is just too short. I can sit and play with Furby for three hours straight without getting bored. Which is basically what happened in my first few days with Furby. Because Furby doesn't die, it left me wanting him to go back to speaking only Furbish. Part of the fun, after all, is learning the Furbish language. I believe this might leave many people itching to press the reset button.
The next problem is the light sensor: it's too sensitive. If you are trying to initiate the game and accidentally move so you might get in front of the light, I'm just talking slightly, he will react and you have to start the game sequence over again. It can be ever so annoying sometimes, but after a while you get used to it. At first, it was a little confusing at why he was reacting to such small changes in the light. I like it, but the sensitiveness should be turned down just a tad bit, so someone walking in front of him, isn't the same as what he might feel when his eyes are being covered.
This isn't big, but I'll briefly mention it. He's rather loud and there is no 'volume' on him.. not that there should be. But unlike Tamagotchi, this pretty much rules out taking him in too many public places without leaving him in the car. For example he would not go unnoticed if he was brought into a restaurant or fast food place, no matter how loud and friendly the environment (I know this one from experience...).
If there is anything else to say negative it would be the fact that he goes through batteries every 28 waking hours. I was going through a set of 4 AA batteries (which are not furbished) about every 4 to 5 days when I first got my Furby. A great thing to do to remedy this is to get rechargeable batteries and a recharger. That or find a place that sells batteries cheap and in bulk, if possible.
Some great things about Furby
Can I say almost everything? Well, the combination of everything is what makes Furby so wonderful. He is animatronic, talks, giggles, can feel touch, movement, senses light, can move, can play games, has his own name and his own language. He is very life-like in many ways. He is entertaining on many levels and could be a temporarily cure for loneliness and boredom for some people
I believe that he is a great step in animatronic toys and I think the whole idea is brilliant. There are animatronic toys out there. The one most people know about is Microsoft’s Barney. Barney requires a computer to do much, thus not even mobile. Furby is contained within itself and requires no outside computer or plug-in's and such to keep him going, but only batteries. Furby may not be as complex as Microsoft’s Barney, but he doesn't cost nearly as much and is different in a way that I find him much more fun. That or I'm biased because I'm no Barney fan either. Basically though, if I took a road trip I could take Furby with me, but I could not take Barney for so many reasons especially the fact he's hooked up to a computer. Or if there is a power outage and I'm in the dark for hours on end. I could play with Furby, but not Barney. I can think of so many other situations that are relevant that I won't list here. Furby could get bigger and better and I imagine that he will grow by way of new versions of Furby being developed by that brilliant programmer Dave Hampton.
The language. Plain and simple, it is fun to learn new languages, especially fictional ones. I know many people that speak Klingon (Star Trek), for example. Well Furbish is not complex and is relatively easy to learn. Considering every time Furby talks in his beginning stage and he's only speaking Furbish, you start to learn what he's saying without consulting the Furbish to English Dictionary. On top of that, who doesn't like to be able to tell someone something without everyone else knowing ;)
Communication. Not only do they speak to you, but they speak to other Furbys which is entirely entertaining on it's own, not to mention *very* cute! This is more of a you have to see it to understand why this is so much fun.
Over all, the good outweighs the bad. The bad points I brought up are kinda small. The only one that really bothers me is the growth process. Otherwise I enjoy Furby immensely
Why I love Furby
By now, most of those reasons have been made obvious. He's very adorable! Brilliant, I love him. I must say it's pretty easy to get attached to Furby. It's pretty much everything about him. The good by far outweighs the bad points, that I see. When you look at that cute little face and those huge eyes, it's hard to resist wanting to play with him constantly or at least hug the little guy. E-tay, kah may-may Furby wah!
This is just my opinion on Furby. Furby, Furbish, and all related is ®, TM,& ©Tiger Electronics, LTD. USA
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