It has been said that in the future robots will surpass human intelligence and take over the world. If that does happen in years from now, the first evolutional step in that process was the Furby.
Whilst the creepy critter couldn’t actually rise up and overthrow the human race, it did something much worse. They made kids grow affectionate towards them and go crazy to have one of these weird little owl and hamster offspring.
They burst onto the scene in 1998 in the United States and people had to have them, but not just children, grown adults too. Not content with being able to have babies and pets they needed a furry electronic toy in their lives and in the beginning they were selling for well over $100 before they arrived on our shores.
Furbys didn’t do a lot, just muttered their own language Furbish to the user when they interacted with it, or could communicate with fellow Furbys via infrared. They could move their mouth and eyes and would gradually “learn” English as they got older. And the worst thing was you couldn’t turn them off and they wouldn’t shut up unless you removed their batteries as they whined to be fed or played with. High-maintainence or what?
But they became a craze, and my little sister got one for Christmas. All I heard that day was strange noises as the Furby tried to be the centre of attention. Like many others it creeped me out, and a few months later my dog decided to intervene and finish the robot off. However it proceeded to eat my sister’s birthday cake shaped like a Furby rather than the real deal, and received no praise from anyone for its useless attempt at ending the reign of terror.
It wasn’t just the canine community who were sceptical. A myth spread that they could repeat words and phrases said around them and several American intelligence agencies banned them. Seems ironic that they were that bothered about intelligence when two years later they elected an IQ-devoid George Bush as their president.
Fortunately as with all crazes they died out, but as they were an electronic toy they could affectively live on forever. Over the past few years there have been many efforts to rid the world of these pests, such as microwaving them, setting them on fire, attaching them to a rocket or most worryingly death by drill.
With Furbys being relaunched a couple of years ago bigger then before, perhaps this evolution is indeed happening, and I applaud all those geeks on the frontline who are brutally destroying these monsters and thus preventing “iRobot” and “The Terminator” from happening. They may be our only hope.
Retrieved from I Miss The 90's