Remember the Furby? The cute little fluffy toy that could talk and move its eyes and respond to you when you played with it? I had one, but I never understood why they became the phenomenon they did. Maybe it was because some of them kind of looked like wizards?
Eh. Kind of.
Well, Hasboro Toys is bringing them back, and instead of the big, bright eyes they had previously, new Furbies will have electronic LED eyes.
The only thing we're better at than robots is fallibility.
It feels liek a strange choice, since the main appeal of the Furby was that human beings found themselves connecting to the creatures despite their best efforts not to. The time I turned a Furby upside down and made him cry is my saddest memory. Even sadder than the time I put my aunt's cat in the microwave.
I don't know how else you want me to say it Mr. Whiskers! I'm SORRY.
But I strongly suspect that, like the Bugs Bunnys and Toms from Tom and Jerry before them, that we only really connected to Furbies because of their big, adorable eyes. Human beings tend to connect with each other trhough the eyes, and so we grow emotionally attached to representations of eyes that are clear and expressive. If we look into the eyes of something we love and see a robot? Why, that's our greatest fear!
Of course, it is possible to over-correct.
Are you going to get one of these new Furbies? Let me know on twitter @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!
Check out 9 Fads that Really Didn't Survive the 90s!