<![CDATA[FURB WORLD - Stories]]>Sun, 12 May 2024 09:21:57 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Furby 25 Years Later: 9 Reasons Why It’s Still An Absolute Legend]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2023 18:57:41 GMThttp://furbworld.com/stories/furby-25-years-later-9-reasons-why-its-still-an-absolute-legend
Ask a stranger to name the most legendary vintage dolls, figures, and life-like toys of the last century and the list will likely include Barbie, GI Joe, Transformers, Teddy Ruxpin, My Little Pony, Care Bears, Cabbage Patch Kids, and of course, Furby. Furby serves as a dividing line among the public; hardly anyone has a neutral opinion about it. Most people either love Furby or they don’t like Furby and never want to see one again. And that’s okay. More Furby for those of us who love it! It’s hard to feel neutral about something like Furby. Fortunately, there are many people in the world who absolutely love Furby and, if you’re lucky, you may even see one of these people in the wild, taking their Furbies out, living their best lives.
When Caleb Chung and David Hampton set out to make a toy that would be a child’s first friend, they did not have the luxury of a crystal ball. They did not know that it would be one of the most collectable toys of all time, or that Furby would sell 40 million units in its first three years, and then go on to be loved and cherished and shared across social media by collectors and customizers some twenty five years later.

So what is it about this twenty five year old toy that still draws a crowd? Unlike other vintage toys, collected mostly for reasons of nostalgia, or monetary value, Furby has many additional qualities that help it retain its relevance and make it continue to stand out to both children and adults. Here are some of the reasons this icon of a toy is still relevant to this day.
1. There Are MANY Furbies to Choose From
While non-Furby aficionados will likely only remember the neutral colored Generation one and two Furbies, Furby fans will recall that the classic Furby came out in a number of bright colors and even outfits. Special Edition Furbies and rare Furbies made collecting them even more fun and interesting. There were many kinds of Furbies to choose from, and today, many of them can be found on eBay and in vintage shops around the world. Here is a fairly comprehensive guide of classic Furbies, and even some that never made it through development.
2. Furby Looks Right At You
​It’s hard to miss those big eyes. A lot of toys are made to look at whatever you want them to interact with. Barbie, for example, looks as if she’s greeting a friend, and when kids play with Barbie, they often have two or more Barbies who interact with each other. Furby however, looks right into your eyes! And Furbie’s eye details are very similar to our own in coloring and design. It’s hard to face a Furby and not feel like it’s trying to engage with you.
3. Furby is Very Portable
For many, Furby is a regular travel companion. You can hold Furby in the palm of your hand, like a kitten. It’s small enough to take with you and yet big enough to see from across the room. Many people make little sling purses for their Furbies and take them out on adventures. Having a Furby with you, and knowing you’re going to photograph that Furby “in the wild,” can give you an extra reason to go out into the world and explore.
4. Furby Seems Alive Yet Avoids the Uncanny Valley
While many toys try to replicate real-world animals and people, that’s not what Furby is about. Furby isn’t trying to mimic or look like an actual living dog or cat. It isn’t trying to mimic an actual baby, as some dolls do. Furby, (a derivative of fur-ball), is its own creature. Yes, we know it’s a robot, but the way it interacts and moves is all its own.
5. Furby Won’t Walk Away
​Furby has little feet (peet as some call them), but those feet are very small and they don’t move. This means Furby isn’t going to leave you. It is ready to sit and listen and interact. Yes, people (myself included) have made oddbody Furbies with limbs, but the original toy is one that is decidedly immobile. 
6. Furbie’s Face Appears to Show Multiple Emotions
​Furbie’s face is 3D, and not painted on. This gives it the illusion of being conscious at all times. The fact that Furby seems to “always be watching,” is likely one of the things many people don’t like about Furby).

We’ve all seen “resting Furby face,” where the 25 year old toy looks a little tired with half-shut eyes and a look that seems to say, “We get it. We’re tired too.” Despite having limited mouth and eye movement, the subtle changes that can be made to a Furby’s expression via lighting and the angle of viewing can result in a variety of “looks” for the Furby.
7. Furby Can Be Part of Your Mindfulness Practice
​The act of keeping a Furby in a prominent place in your home can have a meditative effect, as if Furby is watching over you, looking out for you, and wishing you the very best. Posing Furby in happy little environments can be a form of looking after your inner child and remembering to care for yourself. In this way, you have a visual reminder of being mindful of your state of being.
8. Furby Can Reflect Joy
​When Furby’s eyes are all the way open, it almost looks like it’s smiling. Furby Buddies especially look to be smiling or continuously joyful, as their features don’t move at all. As someone who regularly takes a Furby Buddy with me, #razzelthefurby, I like to imagine that he’s sitting in my purse, happily waiting for the next adventure. And when he actually goes somewhere, like a park or a movie theater, he’s so excited to be there. For those who have anxiety about going places, or trying new things, Furby can be a great emotional support to take along, bringing all that joy and positivity into every new space.
9. Furby Was Designed to Grow
The expectation that Furby is still growing and evolving is possibly the biggest reason for the lasting appeal of this toy, especially if you had Furby as a kid. As a kid, you taught your Furby tricks. It appeared to learn English the more you engaged with it. That expectation, that Furby will match your needs as you grow, still holds true for many Furby enthusiasts. And what could be better than a friend for life?

And people need friends now, more than ever. While the original owners of Furby have grown up, a lot has changed since the late 90’s, (captured beautifully by Finneas’ The 90’s song). With climate change, global instability, and even the recent (ongoing) pandemic, much of the future seems more perilous than most people in the late 90’s would have imagined.

So yes. There is a lot in the world that is uncertain. There are very good reasons to be concerned about how everything will turn out. But there is also hope. There is also the significance of you and your life. And, if you are lucky, you have a little Furby to see you through, who reminds you that you matter. And that your life matters. Here’s to looking after that little Furby, because it represents more than stuffing and fluff–it represents your inner child.

So next time you see someone out there, posing their Furby in front of a field, or a playground, or a pallet of ranch dressing at a big-box store, just know that that person is working on themselves, and showing up to live the best life they possibly can.

About the Author
Jay, The Communications Mortal at Furb World
In 1998, Jay walked into a KB Toys store and fell in love with a chatty gray and white Furby. Twenty-four years elapsed and then, in March of 2022, after seeing a long furby online, Jay’s love for Furby was rekindled. Jay is the creator of the Furb World brand which consists of a wholesome and caring Instagram following, an Etsy account with bespoke Furb-adjacent creations, and The Furb World Podcast where Furby customizers and creative people discuss Furby, crafting, and what it takes to follow your dreams.

Jay also writes and performs parody covers of 90s songs and makes them all about Furby. Jay is living her best Furby life and regrets nothing.

Follow Furb World on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/furbworld
<![CDATA[Keeping it Weird: Furby Fans Resurface After Pandemic and Bring New Life to 1998 Toy with New Podcast, Empathy, and Global Adventures]]>Fri, 04 Nov 2022 22:05:07 GMThttp://furbworld.com/stories/keeping-it-weird-furby-fans-resurface-after-pandemic-and-bring-new-life-to-1998-toy-with-new-podcast-empathy-and-global-adventures
By Jay, Founder and Mortal Communications Director of Furb World
In a quiet corner of the internet, a fiercely loyal group of crafters, artists, and musicians devote themselves to one late 90’s/early 2000’s icon, and no, the focus of their adoration isn’t Britney Spears, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Cher, or NSYNC - the subject of their love isn’t even human; it’s Furby. And while their love of the creature may have started in the late 90’s, the modern online craze for Furb-related content really took off during the global COVID pandemic.
Listen to the Furb World Podcast Now
Furby came out when I was in college. I had an adorable grey Furby and I spent hours talking to it, and interacting with it. As a kid I had loved puppets and pined after a Teddy Ruxpin, but this was something new. Something that evolved, and it was magical.

Twenty-four years later, after a long pandemic, right about the time Russia invaded Ukraine and the world got a lot more scary, I saw a picture of a long Furby online and it was like a new chapter in my life opened. There was Furby again, but this time, it seemed even more magical and there was a whole group of creative people making it something more and taking it out in the world for pint-sized adventures. Furby in Paris. Furby in Japan, Furby at the Grand Canyon. It was both striking and lovely at the same time.
I’ve always been a big fan of weird things, rubber chickens, Dr. Demento, Weird Al, Archie McPhee, and Gonzo, so when I saw my first ever long Furby online, I knew this was going to become a significant portion of my life. As an artist I knew I had to start making Furb-related content. As a marketer, I knew I had to create an entire Furb-adjacent brand. As a musician and storyteller, I also knew I had to create a podcast. And so I set out to learn all I could about this unusual community.

At first, I thought everyone in the Furby community would have been there for several years, or maybe even since Furby’s 1998 launch, but I soon discovered the majority of them had only recently rekindled their love of Furby after the COVID pandemic when they didn’t have human contact. Many of these people had already been crafters of some kind, but like me, went full-tilt into Furby when the pandemic started.
As someone who has been in online moderation and eCommerce since its inception, I was most impressed by how thoughtful and kind the Furby community is. I’ve seen mini-flame wars start and end peacefully that, with any other group, would have blown up and burned bridges. I think this is very much by design. Furby was a toy that, according to co-creator Caleb Chung, was designed to inspire empathy. And that is one of the hallmarks of the modern Furby fandom; empathy. The Furby community has the kind of people you would want as friends and neighbors, the kind of people that would let you borrow their car if you had an emergency. They’re always encouraging each other, offering help to others, and educating others about the history of Furby.

I created the Furb World podcast to deep-dive into the stories from this community, and also to help people learn more about the creative process, as well as how to buy and sell Furbies on platforms like eBay. As someone who has always been a parody lyricist and musician, I may have also placed Furby parodies of popular songs throughout the podcast episodes because, I really needed an outlet for my work and Furby just made sense.

I’m excited to see what the Furby community creates next. The world needs more joy, empathy,and silliness and I think these are the right people for the task.

To follow Furb World's adventures, find them on Instagram:

<![CDATA[Pizza Furbs! September's Furb of the Month]]>Mon, 05 Sep 2022 17:15:11 GMThttp://furbworld.com/stories/pizza-furbs-septembers-furb-of-the-month
Meet September's Furb-of-the-Month: The Pizza Furb, an original Furb World creation!

These two are "the twins" who have found their forever homes. They studied ballet dancing at an exclusive community college, and did several public nighttime tours as professional mimes in some of the country's major public parks. Unfortunately, they never promoted their work, and since they preformed at night, only a few people ever saw their work. But those people were deeply moved. The Pizza Furbs enjoy LOTR cosplay and larping on weekends.

If you would like a custom pizza furb, please DM us on Instagram. We have color options for their fur and a few limb options.
<![CDATA[Furb of the Month: July]]>Fri, 22 Jul 2022 21:55:30 GMThttp://furbworld.com/stories/furb-of-the-month-july
Meet our kindred spirit incarnate; Celeste Brulee. She is one of the sweetest most supportive Furbies in our Furb World dithering. If someone needs a hug, she's there. If someone needs positive affirmations (a-Furb-ations), she's there. If you drop your ice cream cone on the sidewalk, she'll share hers with you.

Celeste came to us from one of the major online auction houses as a "nonworking" 2005 Caramel Syrup Furby. She may not boot up, but she doesn't have to; she's beautiful and sweet just the way she is.

Before coming to Furb World, she was a lawyer fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. She has a degree in social welfare and has authored several books on systemic oppression, successful civilian uprisings, and running ethically-minded NGOs.

Celeste spends her spare time in art class, posing for portraits, and dabbling in painting with her toes. Her favorite accessories are flowery headbands and and straw hats from the 1800's.
<![CDATA[Furby History: Designed to Inspire Empathy]]>Sun, 01 May 2022 19:53:15 GMThttp://furbworld.com/stories/furby-history-designed-to-inspire-empathy
Caleb Chung is a hyper-creative toy-maker responsible for bringing Furby into the world as well as Pleo the dinosaur and many well known toys. In this What's Your Story interview (video below), you can get to know Caleb, his process, and how he developed Furby to be a toy that helped kids connect with empathy.
When you’re doing your thing, the thing that’s closest to what you were made for, there’s a hum, a vibration, a feeling of being int he right place at the right time. I’m here to try to stay in that place. I have a specific area of interest and that’s bringing things to life."
<![CDATA[Furb-of-the-Month, Sandpiper]]>Tue, 08 Mar 2022 21:02:36 GMThttp://furbworld.com/stories/furb-of-the-month-sandpiper
It's March and you know what that means, it's time, once again, for our first-ever Furb-of-the-Month. Our March winner is Sandpiper Sun Goddess Unicorn Sparkles the 3rd. She's a sassy Furbgirl who loves her friends and likes to blink right as pictures are being taken. She likes cozy clothing and grandmother vibes. She believes in unicorns and glitter and mermaids. Someday she wants to study art at a private university, but for now she is content knitting and being the guiding light of Furb World's little band of magical creatures. Look upon her! Looooook!!!