02. 22. 2005
New gadgets for kids
The most annoying toy of all time, the Furby, is returning with a larger vocabulary and an ability to learn new words. Also, he looks freakier and scarier than ever. So the Furby is no cuddlier than it was before, but if you say words like "love" and "friend" to it repeatedly, it will eventually parrot them back to you. It still speaks the dreaded Furbish language, but has hundreds of English words programmed into it as well. If anyone remembers this thing, it was activated by light and movement, and would immediately start to shriek if it detected either. There was no off switch so the only way to keep it quiet was to wrap it in a blanket and keep it in a dark closet. Eventually it would still sense some light and you'd hear the desperate, muffled Furbish screaming. Maybe they've added an off switch for the non-sadists. The new Furby will be out in September 2005.
The Robosapien toy robot will be getting an update as well. The subservient little robot friend will soon be able to say "where are you going?" if you walk away. It will also bring you a soda.
The Mattel Pixel Chix is a digital dollhouse combined with a tamagotchi-like "virtual girlfriend". You can arrange the furniture and fixtures and control the doll's eating, sleeping, and playing.
Even the old Etch-a-sketch has gone electronic. The new version plugs into a tv where you see your drawings appear in real-time in color with sound effects.
The Blueberry Databank Organizer Phone is a Blackberry-inspired handheld game system intended for toddlers. Toddlers!
Moto Concepts is launching plush virtual toys, called Dreamables, which instead of just beeping, will whine, bark, meow, and whimper.
All these toys sound excessively needy and time-intensive. I am really thinking the Needies could enter this market in a big way.