Furby’s 25th anniversary: Hasbro brings back a new, redesigned Furby

Two colorful Furbys sit on a cushion.

The newest generation of Furbys are officially here.

Business Wire/Hasbro, Inc.

Picture this: it’s the 90’s. You’re sleeping through a seemingly peaceful night. That is, until, you hear impish giggling emanating from your dresser. You ignore it until you hear a high-pitch voice warble from the darkness: “Tickle me.”

Fully awake, you spring from your bed, heart pounding. You see two soulless, bulbous eyes peering threateningly through the dark. A flapping yellow beak opens once again to speak: “Me love you.”

Furby, a furry, otherworldly, gremlin-like creature once known for traumatizing an entire generation of children, has returned. In a statement on Thursday, Hasbro announced that in light of Furby’s 25th anniversary, a “new generation” of Furbys will emerge from the shadowland where Furbys are presumably born on July 15.

According to Hasbro, “the next era of the cute, cool, and weird Furby interactive toy” will remind kids that “they can be their hilarious, wacky, perfectly imperfect selves, because that is what makes them — and the world — a little more special.”

The new 2023 Furby: more cuteness, less nightmare fuel

There are some noticeable differences between the new generation of Furbys and the original. The newest Furbys have eyes that are noticeably less bulbous: instead, they twinkle and are framed by long lashes.

Another noticeable difference: while it might be too soon to tell, it looks like Furby’s beak doesn’t move. This will most likely spare this new generation of children from staring at their Furby with anticipatory dread, wondering what fresh horror it will utter when it opens its beak.

According to USA Today, the new Furby “comes loaded with more features than the original, including 600 phrases, five voice activated modes and a variety of lights and dance moves.”

While some might welcome this new iteration of colorful, friendly Furbys, some Twitter users long for the days when Furby came with a healthy dose of fear. “These aren’t scary enough to be furby. Bring back the ones you gave us in the 90s,” one tweet reads.

Where can you buy the new Furby?

Currently, the new Furby is available to buy on Amazon for $69.99. According to Hasbro’s statement, Furby will hit other stores on July 15.

Why was Furby banned?

After Furby was released in 1998, rumors quickly swirled about the furry robot — mainly, that it could record and potentially replay its recordings.

Several U.S. intelligence agencies banned Furby from their premises in 1999. As CNN reported at the time, the NSA banned Furby from their offices in Maryland because, as a Capital Hill source told The Washington Post, officials were concerned “that people would take them home and they’d start talking classified.”

In a memo to employees, the NSA said, “Personally owned photographic, video and audio recording equipment are prohibited items. This includes toys, such as ‘Furbys,’ with built-in recorders that repeat the audio with synthesized sound to mimic the original signal.”

As The Independent explained in 1999, “The toy mimics the speech of its owners, and gradually developing its own language. ... In other words, having asked endearingly for a cookie, the Furby might then suggest bugging the Russian embassy and intercepting wireless traffic from the Iraqi military.”

Owner of Tiger Electronics, Roger Shiffman, denied these rumors, according to CBS News, saying at the time, “Furby has absolutely no ability to do any recording whatsoever.”

What makes a Furby evil? Furby has been terrifying kids for years

Since its inception, Furby has garnered a reputation of fear and debauchery.

Reports of cursing Furbys caused a Walmart in Pennsylvania to pull some from shelves in 2000, according to CBC News. Some kids believed that their Furby was possessed, according to Yahoo. One mother in 2014 took her kids Furby away, believing that it said the f-word, according to Insider.

Many Furby owners recounted their horror stories on Reddit. In one thread, a Reddit user claimed that their Furby started “screaming out in pain” when they accidentally pushed it off the bed.

Another user claimed that after they accidentally bumped their Furby off a table, it only spoke in a “demonic, backwards english sounding, devil voice” and “functioned without batteries in it during the middle of the night.”

At this point, Furbys are more urban legend than toy. Countless Furby tall tales have run rampant in elementary schools across the nation: children dying at the hands of their maniacal Furbys, Furbys moving of their own accord in the middle of the night and much more.

There are even multiple articles and videos dedicated to the alleged “evilness” of Furbys, like How to turn your Furby evil from WikiHow and “The dark truth about Furbys” on YouTube.

Luckily for this generation of children, the new Furbys will most likely be just another toy in their collection. Because, as USA Today points out, the new generation of Furbys actually has an off-switch this time around.