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There were some wildly popular toys in the 1990s and early 2000s that ran their course. They sold out at Christmastime, there were lines for new shipments, and schools had to ban them, but eventually, they just weren’t popular anymore. A few companies are trying to recreate the success by rebooting ’90s favorites for modern children, but some things are better left in the toy vault.
Furby, quite possibly the creepiest talking fuzzy bird-like creature of the last 20 years, is getting a reboot this year. Walmart expects it will be so popular that they are already taking preorders. Furby will still speak Furbish, but now you can download an app that will translate its language into English. Another new feature is that it can interface with iDevices, according to Gizmodo. The new Furby has LED eyes with pupils that can change shape, though the jury is still out on whether they are as creepy as the cold plastic eyes of Furbys past that could stare deep into your soul.
The new Furby will dance to music and converse with people in both English and Furbish. It will start speaking more English as you spend more time with it. Basically, it learns to assimilate so it can take over the world. Watch out.
(Full disclosure: I was emotionally scarred by my sister’s Furby when I didn’t realize it was still switched on.)
Did you know that Tamagotchi is still in production? As it turns out, it’s never stopped! Between its Japanese release in 1996 and 2009, 44 different versions of Tamagotchi were released. The most recent version was a pretty major reboot, probably in hopes of rebooting the brand’s popularity. It’s not even called Tamagotchi anymore; its new name is TamaTown Tama-Go. The Tama-Go was released in 2010 in the United States, Australia, and Singapore. Engadget notes that the idea is pretty much the same, as is the grayscale display and the amount of time you’ll need to invest. What’s new is that it got bigger (which is strange; doesn’t technology usually get smaller?) and can now accommodate little plastic figures that are sold separately. The new version started out retailing around $20 U.S., but you can find them on Amazon for $7.83. Guess they weren’t so popular.
Tamagotchi no longer has a large piece of the toy market, and Furby just creeps me out so much that I hope it doesn’t reignite the fad. One toy that hasn’t come back but maybe should is POGs. There is a Facebook group, an online petition, and an offer from Mental Breakdown blogger Kevin to “knock over anything to bring back POGs.” Okay, so the Facebook group only has 183 likes…maybe there isn’t a huge demand for them. Kevin notes in his blog that once he bought a new set of POGs off eBay, he wasn’t able to convince anyone to play with him (he even offered no keepsies!). While today’s children may ask for a new Furby, I would rather play with POGs again.