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Furby Returns: Hasbro relaunches the iconic 90s toy for a new generation

Furby is back with a new look
Furby is back with a new look Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Katy Dartford
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The iconic — or irritating— toy of the 1990s is making a return this year.

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Love it or hate it - the 1990s is having something of a Renaissance.

Capitalising on a wave of nostalgia for the decade and marking its 25-year anniversary, US toy giant, Hasbro has redesigned and relaunched the Furby- the fuzzy, bulbous-eyed, chatterbox owl-shaped toy.

Furby became a cultural phenomenon after its 1998 launch, selling more than 40 million units globally in its first three years.

At the time the toy seemed more “alive” as it could talk (in Furbish) and wiggle its ears. 

Now, after a six-year hiatus, the new version of Furby from Hasbro includes 21st-century updates like voice activation and more than 600 responses, such as lights, sounds, and ten unique songs. It also has an off switch:

"Furby can power down when the fun is done for the day," Hasbro points out.

The company says you can even speak in a secret language with the Furby, or command it to throw a “Dance Party,” “Tell My Fortune,” or give a “Lightshow”.

Hasbro hopes the relaunch will allow a new generation of children to "discover their own curious little creature".

Furby isn't the only beloved brand attempting to reinvent itself for a new generation:

Barney

Toy giant, Mattel is revitalising Barney across tv, film, YouTube, music, toys, books and clothing.

A new animated series for preschool children is slated to debut globally in 2024.

Barney & Friends debuted in 1992 with the purple dinosaur played by an actor in costume.

The show ran until 2010 but was a target of mockery. The backlash explored in the 2021 Peacock docu-series, I Love You, You Hate Me - a play on the Barney theme song, "I Love You, You Love Me".

Barbie

Barbie fever is being stirred up ahead of the release of the highly-anticipated Barbie movie this summer.

Featuring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, fans can rent the iconic Malibu DreamHouse on Airbnb for two one-night stays. All stays will be free of charge for those lucky enough to secure a spot.

The pink mansion includes a disco roller rink, a giant pink slide and a huge swimming pool, and Ken is the Airbnb host.

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 While Barbie made her 1959 debut, the most popular version of the doll was the 1992 "Totally Hair Barbie".

Famous for her extra-long hair that reached her toes, the doll was Mattel’s longest-selling toy with over 10 million sold. She’s not incredibly rare, but in original packaging can sell for upwards of €137.

Pokémon

Japanese video game phenomenon, Pokémon, has also seen a recent resurgence after its popularity dropped during the noughties.

The 90s trading cards, which could be found in playgrounds around the world, have had celebrity fans snapping them up.

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Featuring cute monsters they are now being considered works of art, with the rarest Pokémon card, the Pikachu Illustrator, believed to be worth around €4.6 million.

AP Photo
Limited-Edition Detective Pikachu Trading CardAP Photo

Only 20 are thought to exist and one is listed on eBay for €3.5 million, reports The Mirror.

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