Ready to feel extremely old? Okay, here goes: Furbies hit shelves for the first time 18 years ago. That’s right — everybody’s favorite terror-inducing electronic gremlin has been around since 1998. Since then, the beeping, whistling toy has undergone its fair share of transformations. You would think Hasbro would have moved on by now and let everyone sleep in peace, but nope! Furbies are back again. And this time, they come fully-equipped with eye masks and joysticks sprouting out of their skulls.
That’s right, joysticks. Or, well, LED antennae that may have joystick functionality later on, according to Mashable’s Raymond Wong. The Furby Connect’s new eye mask, though, is 100 percent usable out of the box. It’s the cute solution to the problem everyone had back in the ’90s, when, at 2 a.m. they were trying to sleep but Furby decided it was ~party time~. The eye mask shuts up Furby and turns off all its wireless radios. Praise.
What else is new on Furby Connect? First of all, its eyes have been upgraded from ’80s bitmap to LCD screens that can move between 100 different full-color animation options. Read: Furby Connect is now 100 percent more bipolar. Furby’s ears are also larger, which apparently adds to the “enhanced movements” that “appear more natural than before.” It also has multiple sensors on its body that allow it to “respond to touch in fun and surprising ways.” And since we love quotes, here’s another fun one from the press release: “The Furby Connect creature even knows the date and time so it can delight owners with fun surprises like asking for breakfast or a late-night snack.” Late-night snack? If it’s after midnight, do not, under any circumstances, give in.
Furby also comes with a lot more app functionality. The Furby introduced back in 2012 did come with an app, but its connection to the toy was limited: mostly, you could just fling food into Furby’s mouth. Now, that digestion cycle is completed. Furby poops! (Digitally, of course. It also lays digital eggs that, alas, do not appear to hatch into real live Furbies that show up on your doorstep. Probably for the best, anyway.)
But pooping is only the start of it. Furby Connect can also sing and dance along to the app’s (curated, kid-friendly) entertainment. It even reacts to viral videos — according to Mashable, it cheered on a grandma playing the drums in one demo.
“Every time we evolve the Furby brand, we want to introduce kids to a new way to play,” Hasbro’s Senior Director of Global Marketing Kenny Davis said of the updates to Furby. “So we have created the technology infrastructure for Furby Connect with that in mind. With Furby Connect, kids can develop a relationship with their Furby while laughing at videos and singing songs together even if they don’t quite know the words — like they would with any other friend.”
Furby Connect will be available for purchase on July 12, but you can preorder it right now on Amazon. The toy costs $99, which is a bit steep for something that’s guaranteed to give you nightmares, but hey — at least you can put this generation to sleep without taking out its batteries and/or clubbing it until its wiry components are smashed to bits all over the garage floor.