Aah Furby, that cute interactive toy we all grew up with and wanted to switch off regularly. These cute big eyed fluffy things have been around since 1998 but the latest offering just took the toy to a whole new level.
The Furby Connect is possibly one of the smartest tech toys I’ve interacted with (when I say toys I’m talking about the consumer products made for kids). While recording a Snapchat story I asked it to say hello to Snapchat and it exclaimed “O, M, G”. Coincidence? Probably. Amazeballs? Yes.
Its cute and fluffy. So fluffy I found myself recreating that Despicable Me scene over and over again. However, when you put the batteries in that is when the magic really happens. Granted, batteries aren’t included so you’ll need to trek to the shop to get a set of Double As. However, this is probably the only thing that might get you down about the toy.
Truth is, after 30 minutes with the Furby Connect I realised I could easily replace my bestie (sorry Ronelle) with this clever tech toy. Here’s why:
It is completely interactive
From the moment those batteries go in the Furby Connect comes to life. You can tickle him (or her), talk to him and cuddle him. His interactions are so life like that I really started to wonder if it could actually understand me. The engineering behind the Furby is incredible, his little body wriggles when you tickle him and his eyes are so incredibly expressive. It is really hard to believe that this toy is not alive. I think he would completely engage the mind of a small kid and open up their imagination in an instant.
While I couldn’t test this, Furby Connect also engages with other Furby Connects who are nearby. So they chat and dance together. Based on my experience with the toy and finding this out I’m totally having flashbacks to Gremlins. Be sure I ain’t getting my little guy wet… just in case.
It is tech savvy
The Furby Connect utilises Bluetooth to connect to an app you can download on your iPhone or Android device. The toy interacts with the app, so when he is hungry you feed him via a food canon on your tablet or smartphone. There’s also a chance to hatch other Furbys in app that your physical toy interacts with. You can watch movies, dance or even let your Furby take a poo. Granted, I’ve never wanted to watch my bestie do a number 2 BUT I’m pretty sure my bestie can’t produce a Pineapple for a giggle (maybe she can but I’m not going to ask).
You don’t need your actual toy to play in app. So much like you might text your mate at work, you can open up the app and interact with the furblings you’ve hatched during the day. Also, when your toy is connected there is a great interactive element like stroking his tongue after he has been fed via app. So it keeps your interest in the toy. The app also updates your Furby Connect every week with new phrases, behaviours and the like. So while you might outgrow a friend, Furby will constantly adapt and develop with you. So you never have to drift apart.
If you’re playing with the toy in app and you get a work call, the Furby Connect keeps quiet. It is that smart. I was really impressed with this actually and found it completely unexpected. Especially considering after a few glasses of wine I can’t get any of my friends to lower their voices.
The Furby Connect is really just about having fun
Everyone has that one friend who likes to give you life lectures or constantly be the smart one. You can’t just goof around. I’m lucky that my best mate is nothing like that but I know a few people who could do with replacing their current friend with a Furby Connect. The Furby is not really edutainment. It is just pure giggles and fun. You know what? Sometimes we need pure giggles and fun.
It knows when to tone it down
When you’ve had enough play time with the Furby you just need to switch off the app and put the toy’s sleeping mask on. The moment the sleeping mask is on it switches off and goes to sleep. No arguments, no drama. Is that a reason to replace your best friend with this little tech toy? Probably not. But it is nice to know that when you need to adult you won’t be disturbed and can sneakily hide your Furby, sleeping mask and all, away until another day.
Photography courtesy of Megan Perks