The Return of Furby’s

Furby’s were the must have toy when they surfaced around 1998. In 2011, eleven years after the Furby stopped being made, Hasbro was thinking up the Next Big Toy for the upcoming years and after much consumer research and focus groups, the decision was in the reboot the 90s class of the Furby.  The toy that has the ability to change personality by the way the user interacts with it.  Looking back, this gremlin-like toy is probably one of the most terrifying things to give a child, but as the world will have it, Hasbro is recreating the toy for the new younger generation.  Wal-Mart and Toys R’ Us have both put the new and improved Furby on their Must-Have lists for the upcoming holiday season.

New vs. Old

To modernize the Furby, the product designers are connecting the concept of a Furby with the “app toys” that will interchangeable work with Android and Apple devices by way of an app to connect that so many children are playing with these tech devices.  The Furby isn’t the only toy redesign Hasbro is working on.  They have a number of on going projects to retarget their toys to correspond with a higher tech level so they are more desirable to children.

An interesting thing to consider is that the Furby was introduced in 1998 and quickly went through the product cycle until the cease of manufacturing in 2000.  Furby’s could definitely fall under the category of all the other “fad” toys that came out in the late 90s and early 2000s that were always the must have toys of the season.

In class, we learned about the product lifecycle and how all products go through an introduction, growth, maturity and decline.  There is no doubt that the original Furby is well into the decline stage because Hasbro stopped making them in 2000.  Because most children who had a Furby in their childhood are now somewhat grown up, Hasbro is able to reintroduce a newly designed Furby into the market to restart in the introduction stage of the product lifecycle.  However, the new market of children is not the only one being targeted.  Hasbro is also marketing to people in 20-year range as a retro toy, even though they are completely redesigned.  The new Furby was released this fall so it will be interesting to see if the product skips the growth stage all together and goes from introduction to maturity because the company has been through the stages of growth such as standardization with the earlier model.

 Do you think it was a good idea for Hasbro to recreate the extremely profitable toy from the 90s?  If any of you had Furby’s when you were younger, would you consider buying this newly designed Furby?  Do you think that the Furby has a chance to make its way fully through the product life cycle once again?



10 thoughts on “The Return of Furby’s

  1. I see why Hasbro decided to recreate the Furby. As a child I remember obsessing about the Furby when it came out, and how I got it as a gift for christmas. I also remember getting bored with it pretty fast. Although I would not purchase one now, I do think Hasbro will make a good profit off of the new designed Furby. They made a good choice integrating it with higher technology since all children these days are using hi-tech devices. I believe that Hasbro understands the Furby will go through the product life cycle fast, but I think they see it as a quick money maker with the holidays coming up. If Hasbro looks back at their sales from 1998 to get an idea of how many Furby’s they need to produce, in order for them to only have enough for the short product life cycle, I think it will be a success.

  2. I remember having Furby when I was little and cannot wait to purchase a new one again. Since they are a lot of new younger generation every years, the new Furby should be profitable. “The toy that has the ability to change personality by the way the user interacts with it,” it would be fun for kids to play and get respond from the toys.

  3. It’s funny that I came across this post. I recently went out the purchase the new furby yesterday. I had the original design and after reading up on the features of the new furby I decided to buy it. It’s amazing what this furby can do – especially with the app that you can download on your phone. The new furby has incorporated new technology that many people have become accustomed to. As long as Hasbro continues to improve the furby and update it with new technology, I believe it will make it through the product life cycle again.

  4. I grew up in the 90s and never had a Furby. I still don’t want one. However, I knew Hasbro was going to market to 20 year olds as a retro product. I think it’s a good idea for Hasbro to revive the Furby. Not only are they making it a modern toy for children, but it brings back childhood memories for 90s kids who are now in their 20s. It’s interesting that you connected this with the product life cycle and how the new Furbys might go to the maturity stage for the original customers. Kind of reminds me of the 1970s band Led Zeppelin reuniting in 2007; the original fans are older while the new fans are the new generation. To be a rock and not to roll!

  5. Growing up as a 90s baby, owning a Furby was a huge in my generate, but at the same time it also creeped me out? The Furby would randomly open it’s eyes at times or even talk without turning it on. Bringing it back about 20 years later could be a new thing for this generate as to technology has changed, and generation. Toys always seem to remain the same, regardless how modern you are into the future, a good example would be a Barbie, she’s been around for generations, and girls of all age still collects them. Hopefully Hasbro has a good strategic plan in mind, bringing classics back can always be a good thing, but there can also be a downfall because the generation is much different than how it was 20 years ago.

  6. I definitely remember the Furby. I think its interesting that the company chose to bring the toy back. I think it could become popular again with kids and i think its interesting how they are targeting 20-some year old as well as you mentioned since this was a popular toy during their childhood days.After reading the post and a couple comments it seems like they really changed some things making it more interactive and incorporating smartphones and Itll be interesting to see if it sells

  7. It appears that Hasbro is really trying to bank on the fact that people love to re-live their childhoods, or they’ll want their kids to play with the same toys that they did. The revival of the Furby is an interesting move, but in this case I think the Furby should have stayed where it came from, the 90’s. What will toy makers try to bring back next? The Tamagotchi?(Oh wait they already tried that) I can barely remember to feed myself let alone a virtual pet… I too love “classic” things, but if we begin mass producing them, they’re no longer special, they’re no longer retro. Let’s leave these sorts of things in our memories and on the shelves at Goodwill.

  8. Personally, growing up as a child I disliked the Furby. It was scary to me and I would much rather have a Barbie doll instead. I never understood the whole rave with the Furby, but I guess it is just a personal preference. I agree with what spr1324mszewc has said. It might be nice for people to go down memory lane, but doesn’t having something that no one else can get anymore makes it just that much more special and valuable. If everyone was able to get their hands on it, it loses its significance. It is just like someone collecting rare baseball cards. If manufacturers decided to mass reprint those cards then collectors of those cards would feel like their cards are insignificant anymore.

  9. The Furby…. this toy was the most frightening thing I ever bought, and I still remember my fear that it was watching me sleep. Yet, I loved it. Growing up in the 90s, I distinctly remember how infamous the Furby became in just a short period of time. I personally admire any company that recreates an iconic toy. They are beating a dead horse because it’s still pumping out money. I think it is a smart business decision, and could be very profitable if its marketing is done properly.
    For me, I can admit that my Furby days are over, but I think Hasbro bringing back a retro version of the toy is pretty neat. The fact that Hasbro keeps tweaking the toy so it appeals to all age groups is again, another smart move. Hasbro has been around since 1923, and they clearly know what they are doing when it comes to selling iconic and original toys. I think that the Furby has a good chance of going through the full product life cycle, especially now that the toy has been altered and is even more fascinating than its original design.

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