If you were a kid back in the late 90s, you were likely aware of Furbys. Much like Pokémon, Power Rangers, Barbie, etc., they were something of a sensation, and have existed off and on for nearly 30 years now. (And if you didn’t have one, you surely heard about how creepy they are at some point in your life.) With 2023 being the 25th anniversary of the toy line, Hasbro is aiming to bring them back after they were shelved back in 2018.
Earlier in the week, Hasbro unveiled a new Furby line that’ll be dropping in July for the price of $US70. Like previous iterations, this one will speak Furbish (the language of their people), but has some interesting new additions, one of them being that it’ll repeat back what’s been said to it. It’ll also dance, play peaceful music, and say positive words to its owner. And for those who remember some of the previous Furby controversies, Hasbro has addressed those: according to the new toy’s Amazon page, it can be shut off and no longer connects to Wi-Fi.
In the press release for the new Furby line, Hasbro’s fashion and preschool VP Kristin McKay said the company wanted the toy to “give Gen Alpha everything they crave” while simultaneously “harnessing Furby’s power of nostalgia.” Overall, it sounds like a regular kids toy in 2023, and the type of thing you’d expect a company to do for a brand that’s also hitting a big milestone.
Even so, some of its music and empathy-related features, plus the fact that it’s coming out months after M3GAN from January, is a funny little bit of timing. These new Furbys have been redesigned to be much cuter, sure, but they also retain the big eyes, which doesn’t fully help them beat the “creepy” allegations that have hung around this toy for years. Having no Wi-Fi is a point in its favour, but it does have the ability to talk to other Furbys, which Blumhouse’s killer doll was capable of doing towards the end of that movie.
In any case, Hasbro’s new Furby line will hit online and physical retailers for $US70 starting on July 15. Hopefully after that date we won’t hear about any of them going on a mini-rampage after doing a dance in the hallway.
[via USA Today]
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