Furby Toys

Written by Will Baum
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Furby toys come in more varieties than Furbys themselves. Furby toys include not only the beloved robotic plush toy but also the many Furby spin-off toys that the Furby craze has brought on. In spring of 1999, for example, McDonald's Happy Meals included 80 unique hard plastic Furbys. The small McDonald's Furbys have wheels and moving ears. The Furby phenomenon has additionally given us computer games and children's books; it isn't showing any sign of stopping.

Furby Toys In The News

In 1999, Furbys made headlines when the National Security Agency (NSA) banned them from its premises in Maryland. Furbys have on-board microprocessors that can record words. NSA saw Furbys as a spy threat.

An NSA memo at the time was typically humorless: "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."

No reports of Furbys spying ever surfaced. Happily for Furby collectors, the ban on Furbys didn't extend beyond NSA walls. Out here in the real world, Furbys are available in countless combinations of fur pattern, eye color, and vocal pitch. The language chirped by the toys, called Furbish, is learned and spoken by enthusiasts everywhere. The Internet is a great place to find Furby toys of every conceivable stripe.


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