As AlphaMom’s longest-tenured columnist and resident slacker, it should probably surprise NO ONE that my review of the Furby was submitted last, and also: Is The Worst.
But excuses! I have them! Our Furby arrived a few weeks ago, and while I didn’t think my children (ages seven and four) had any idea what a Furby even was, I immediately witnessed the power of Furby marketing. At the first sight of his new toy, my seven-year-old son all but recited the commercial (which again: WHEN DID HE EVEN SEE THAT? Thanks a lot, TiVo, for still requiring me to fast-forward through commercial breaks like it’s 2004 or something). Furby! Furby Furby Furby!
But sadly, the fun ended there. And so should this review, frankly. Despite being completely enraptured by the IDEA of Furby, my child refused to ever let me turn the thing on. He’s a quirky little kid, I admit, and is not a big fan of things “changing.” So my clumsy explanation of what would happen to Furby once we put batteries inside completely, utterly freaked him out. Furby would…change? And grow up? And if you aren’t nice to him he might turn out…mean? But even if you’re nice to him he might end up…different?
Noah wrapped his arms protectively around Furby and ordered me to not ever put batteries in, okay? NEVER. He liked Furby the way he was now.
My four year old just kind of shrugged, and wandered off to go play with some measuring spoons and plastic sandwich meat or something. He’s easy, that one. Easy enough to really have no interest in Furby, which is good, because it does sound a little complicated for him. (Furby speaks Furbish, and just reading through the extensive Furby “dictionary” made me tired and quiet.) I could see him being interested in Furby’s dialogue and personality development for a week or two (if that), and then the responsibility of Furby’s emotional development would probably fall on my shoulders. And knowing my teenage self’s complete and utter inability to keep a freaking Tamigotchi alive, things probably wouldn’t have ended well for our poor Furby.
(For a more preschooler age-appropriate [and way less annoying] take on an interactive toy, check out Hallmark’s Interactive Story Buddies. They “respond” to their books, apps for your phone/tablet and even their respective holiday TV specials. They also HAVE AN OFF BUTTON.)
After reading the other Furby reviews here on AlphaMom, I’m not sure I got such a bad deal with the kid who refuses to turn Furby on. Because Furby sounds kind of a little maybe annoying as ALL HELL. And my quirky (and kinda rigid-thinking) kid would probably burst into tears every time the Furby announced he was “changing…changing…”
So what we basically have here is a really expensive stuffed-animal-slash-paperweight. Because there’s not much to do with it, beyond listening to my kids’ alarmingly high knowledge of the Furby marketing machine. He’s a cute little thing (especially while silent), but for $54 — unless your child is really truly BEGGING for one and promises to talk to it every day and walk it and feed it and everything I PROMISE MOM — I think you can find better options this holiday. Like a puppy! Or a 375-minute long looped recording of It’s a Small World After All.