Furby's Coming Back! Five Things to Know About This Iconic Toy

Owl-like virtual pet is once again ready for its close-up as a new line is headed for toy stores everywhere this fall

By Josh Grossberg Apr 12, 2012 8:48 PMTags

It was the toy for Gen Y and the new millennium. And now Furby is making his much-vaunted return.

E! News has an exclusive first look at the newest line of the beloved robotic critters, which won't be available in stores from Hasbro until the fall.

And for those who don't know what "U-nye-loo-lay-doo" means (it's Furbish for "do you want to play?"), here are five things you need to know about this classic plaything:

1. Small Wonder Makes a Big Debut: Resembling a cross between a hamster and an owl, but more often compared to Gizmo from 1984's hit movie Gremlins, the cute and cuddly Furby took the world by storm during the 1998 holiday season and sold over 40 million units in a variety of colors in its first three years in production.

2. Doo-ay! The furry guys spoke their own language called Furbish and over time "learned" English phrases to mimic a growing baby.

3. Get It While Its Gone: Furby proved to be such a phenomenon, collectors began snapping up as many as they could get their hands on, subsequently driving up the auction price as high as $100, well over the then-retail price of $35.

4.The Spy Who Cuddled With Me: A myth arose that Furbies would end up repeating words people spoke around it in the vein of parrots because of a computer chip embedded inside. This prompted the National Security Agency to ban the curio from its offices in Maryland on the grounds it posed a security threat (really!).

5. Furbies and Beyond! Various versions of Furby hit the market in subsequent years, including Furby Babies, Emoto-Tronic Furbies featuring improved facial movements, and Furby Friends, which included a Furby version of Yoda and Gizmo (regarding the latter, Warner Bros. initially thought about suing over the toy's unintentional likeness but figured if you can't beat 'em, join 'em). A 2005 TV special, Furby Island, was even made before the novelty wore off and the virtual pet faded once again into toy obscurity.

 Welcome back, old friend!