The Furby has gone through its fair share of highs and lows since it first hit the market in the late 90s, but at its peak over 14 million were sold in one year.
Now the Furby is back and has regained its position as one of the most popular toys available.
The owlish-looking Furby first burst onto the toy market during the 1998 festive season and immediately became that year’s must-have Christmas gift. The fact that the colourful Furby could speak, move its eyes and ears, and lift itself off of the ground helped to spark the imagination of children. The Furby was also an ‘intelligent’ toy and could ‘learn’ to speak numerous English words the longer it was played with. Another bonus point was that the Furby was small enough to be taken anywhere and therefore made the ideal children’s companion.
Popularity of the original Furby
To say the original Furby was a popular toy would be something of an understatement. Over 40 million of these little creatures were sold during the first three years and 14 million were sold 1999 alone. Sales of Furbies have fluctuated over the years but a relaunch of the toy in 2012 has shown that this toy’s popularity has not diminished. The new Furby incarnations, such as the Furby Sunny Peacock, have once again proved popular with children and these have again been the hottest selling children’s toys over the 2013 festive period.
Collectability value of Furbies
It may come as a surprise but the original Furby is now a highly valued collector’s item. Furbies from the 1998 to 2000 period in mint, boxed condition are selling for large amounts at online auction websites. The new limited edition Furbies in hard to find colours such as black have been seen at online auctions with an asking price of over. If you have a mint condition original Furby stored away in a cupboard or loft, you could be harbouring an investment you weren’t aware of!
The new generation of Furbies
The new Furbies offer more features than the originals but still have the same owlish little faces. Versions such as the Furby Boom Sunny Plush Green Peacock has more than twice the number of word responses available compared to previous versions. The updated Furbies also dance to music, sleep and come with a free app to download, allowing users to hatch and raise virtual Furblings on their computers. A whole new generation of children are now playing with and enjoying these loveable little creatures just as children did more than 15 years ago.
Image by Michele M. F., used under Creative Comms license