Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Today's Trivia - Furby The Spy

Do you remember when Furbies (the electronic toys that bore a strong resemblance to ‘Gremlins’) hit the market? They were extremely popular, and all in all, from 1998 until 2000, over 40 million of them were sold. My daughter had one, although I took more of an interest in it than she did. And although I hate to admit it, I was quite charmed by the little furball.

Anyway...

The Furby’s main appeal was its ability to interact; it displayed lifelike qualities, particularly those of needing nurturing. The toy responded to light, sound and touch, and it could even speak. It began its life-cycle communicating in Furbish (a mixture of several language sounds), but over time, as you interacted with it more and more, your Furby began to communicate mostly in English. In addition, it could also teach its owner how to speak Furbish.

Sounds cute and very harmless, no? Apparently, not everyone thought so...

In 1999, Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency’s Maryland headquarters because it was feared the toys might repeat national security secrets. There was a common misconception that they were able to repeat words that were spoken around them, and that they may be able to record sensitive information. Of course, this wasn’t true.

The ban was later withdrawn. But for a little while, Furby was a potential spy... [snort]

2 comments:

  1. Oh Martha, you hit on something that is near and dear to my son and I. Furbies! Those were my son's all time favorite friends while he was growing up and we have hours and hours and hours that we played with them. Batteries always came out (of the big ones that had them) and my son would invent their personalities, names, voices (I had to, too) and the imaginary games that we played were unbelievably elaborate, thanks to my son's amazing imagination. I love Furbies, but I especially LOVE the ones that now sit on our shelf and have their own unique names and personalities. Forever in my heart and mind as some of the most wonderful times my son and I shared together.

    As far as them being banned for possibly passing on national secrets... LOL!!!!!! Apparently the government hadn't spent even a few moments with one of them. ROFL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds wonderful, Bird. The memories we make with our children are what they remember. I really liked these toys. I found them so adorable and charming. The government really made a fool of itself with this is you ask me.

      Delete