Furbys were the hottest selling toy for Christmas 1998 and look set to be one of the hottest toys for Christmas 2013. Resembling a giant furry owl with rabbit ears they were created by Dave Hampton and Caleb Chung and prodcued by Tiger Electronics who bought the rights to the designs.
Pictured right: The Furby Logo
They first appeared in the International Toy Fair in 1998 and sold 1.8 million units in the same year. In its first three years over 40 million were sold.
The animatronic toy is famous for its ability to “learn”. It reacts to touch and speaks its own language – Furbish. The more it learns the less it speak Furbish and uses English.
Pictured right: The famous FAO Schwarz Bejeweled Furby (Limited Edition of 5) was released in 1999 – the most expensive furby ever with a price tag of $100,000. The furby feature removable jewelry (tiara, necklace, earrings, bracelets) by designer Sydney Mobell. Crafted with platinum and 18K gold, and adorned with 156 genuine gemstones including diamonds, rubies, blue sapphires and emeralds.
Furbys were also released in limited and special editions. The variety and scarcity of certain versions have made them an instant collectible. There was even a jeweled Furby which was valued at over $100,000.
Pictured left: Special Edition Kid Cuisine Furby – obtained by collecting coupons for Kid Cuisine and Publix. Limited Edition of 500.
In 2005, new Furbys were released, with voice-recognition and more complex facial movements, among many other changes and improvements. A new series of Furbys were released for Christmas 2013. However, it is the early versions, limited editions and furby prototypes that attract the most interest.
Furbys at Auction