Furby Boom has climbed to the top spots of Xmas wishlists everywhere, including the Dream Toys list from the Toy Retailers Association. So we were both very excited to be offered the opportunity to review it!
This new, updated Furby has many more responses programmed in and more movement (ears, eyelids, mouth and animated pupils). Plus he (ours is a boy) can interact with a free app you can download onto a smartphone (Apple-only devices, android and Blackberry apps are not available at the time of blogging). There is even an egg hatching challenge - we haven't managed that but Michela has already named all the eggs on the enclosed poster.
Although we couldn't get the app, Michela has been having lots of fun out of manual interaction. She enjoys feeding him, tickling him, turning him upside down and hugging him. Furby started speaking with a squeaky voice, then morphed into a bigger voice but still retaining childish playfulness, making 'rude' farty noises, snoring loudly, demanding food...
The next change (growth?) brought Furby back to a childish voice (a different one, with a slightly naughty personality), which was a relief for both of us as we enjoyed the squeaky tone much more than the 'grown-up' one.
Then the batteries ran out (4 x AA batteries are needed) and after changing them, Furby reverted back to its original personality. Still, we had the Furby for nearly one week and he is still going strong. Michela considers it as a pet and I'm allowed to touch it now and then.
One thing I need to mention is that there is no switch off button - you need to make the Furby go to sleep, which Michela struggles to do, so it's now my job! I quite enjoy doing it.
We are both very happy with our stripey Furby, the only downsides are the fact you need a screwdriver to change the batteries and that the app is not available yet - the latter issue has generated quite a discussion online,
Suitable from age 6+, the RRP for Furby Boom is 59.99, but you can save £10 if you buy it from Argos. More 2013 dream toys at Argos...
UPDATE - September 2014: Furby has been dusted off and is my daughter's best friend since we found and decided to download the app. She has been busy grooming it, feeding it and hatching eggs all day. Tablet is down on battery and recharging.