Want a gift that literally keeps on giving? Something interactive, entertaining, cute and clever? Meet Hasbro's Furby Connect. one of my best toys of the year, and one that I've fallen so hard for, I'm considering claiming it as my own, before my son does.
The adorable Furby does things like chat, move his eyes, sleep and even fart when his tail is pulled, and when you pair it via Bluetooth with the free Furby Connect on your phone or tablet, he becomes even more engaging and reactive – you can feed him, get him to sing and dance, and connect with other Furbys.
Furby is like the interactive "friend" I never had growing up (back in the 80s our toys were awesome yet one dimensional), and I think the appeal lies in his character and chutzpah, along with a myriad functions. I find that even when he's resting, he's still pretty darn cute.
Here's more about the Furby Connect, and why it's so wantable (adults are wanting it too – I have had many requests from grownups, some of whom aren't parents, for price and availability info):
– The Furby brand is 18 years old, and the Connect is the latest in a popular range of cute creatures.
– The Furby is very easy to use and figure out, and needs four AA batteries. It can run for up to six hours continuously.
– Tickle, hug, rub, scratch, hold it upside down and pull its tail to get Furby to respond. The more you interact with him, the more his personality will change. If you give him hugs and tickles, he'll be friendlier. If you poke him or toss him upside down, he'll become a bit cheekier.
– There are more than 150 unique, colourful animations displayed in Furby's full colour LCD screen eyes.
– The app has a huge depth of things for Furby Connect to do. He can learn and speak more than 1,000 phrases. He can also entertain by learning the latest songs and even knows the date and time and can do things like aski for breakfast or a late-night snack. You can feed your Furby from the app, and there's even a Furby Connect World app bathroom.
– Through the app, you can also hatch baby Furblings, and care for them by feeding, cleaning and healing them. You can collect more than 100 different items for them, and grow a Furbling village. The more you play with the new Furblings, the more egglings you can potentially hatch. And the more Furblings you have, the more activities you can open up.
– Furby Connects talk to each other in the app, and these engagements are like having kids over – there's loads of chattiness and energy.
– Furby Connect's LED antenna is also a joystick, which could be used in the future to play games in the app.
– The app regularly gets updated with suitable-for-kids songs and videos, so that Furby has new content all the time. Each time there's an app update, Furby's antenna glows.
– Slip the eye mask on Furby Connect and he goes to sleep. Since there's no off button, look after this eye mask well as it's the difference between quiet and incessant Furby chatter (unless you take the batteries out).
Furby Connect is suitable for kids aged six and up, though I suspect younger kids will play well with it and love it too. It's available in pink, blue and purple from all leading toy retail stores and Vodacom Stores for R2 999.
Have a look at these videos to give you a better idea of the brilliance of Furby: