Parenting

Are your kids still playing with their Furbies?

Ian's daughters have already lost interest in their Furby dolls — and they've started hiding them in the most unusual places.

Elissa's blue Furby — which is now being kept in her sock drawer.

Everybody’s house should have a designated wing called the Museum of Wasted Money.

People would be fascinated to come to your house and look at all the foolish purchases you’ve made over the years. All of the items could be stored neatly and showcased under glass.

In our place, we would have a room filled with irrationally purchased toys and gifts for the kids that were hardly ever used. It would feature obscure stuffed animals — like the ostrich we had to buy when Lily threw a tantrum at the zoo. We could also show off our collection of scratched DVDs of The Lion King, since nobody in our family knows how to properly put a disc back in its case. And we could also display a wide range of poorly-made Dora products that we accumulated as if we were trying to audition for the Nickelodeon version of Hoarders

And the great thing about our family is that we’re always striving to add to our collection. The latest addition to our fictional museum is a couple of Furby dolls, which were purchased at Christmas.
Now, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I penned a blog on this site about how our kids were desperately seeking Furby dolls for Christmas. I was extremely hesitant to buy them because the dolls appeared to be directly related to Satan or Pauly Shore. They spoke their own gibberish language and I was annoyed just at the thought of hearing them around the clock.

But since Lily put it on her Christmas wish list to Santa, it was hard to deny the request. After all, my parents bought me a Nintendo when I was a kid and I’m pretty sure they weren’t excited about hearing the Blades of Steel sound effects inside their house for eight hours a day. So on Christmas morning, our girls opened their brand new Furby dolls and gave Santa all of the credit — despite the fact that my MasterCard statement said otherwise.

In the first few days, the girls were enamored with their new presents. They were trying to teach the Furbies how to speak. They wanted to sleep with them every night. And they even forced me to download a Furby app onto my phone — an app that I pray never accidentally activates when I’m attending a major press conference.

But now that exactly one month has passed since Christmas Eve, I would like to give an update of how the Furby dolls are doing at our house.

On Tuesday of this week, I opened up Elissa’s dresser to get her a pair of socks. As I grabbed for the socks, a pair of eyes glowed inside her drawer and made a creepy noise. I was briefly startled, but regained my composure when I realized that a 36-year-old man should not be so jittery when opening up his daughter’s sock drawer.

But sitting inside the sock drawer was her Furby. He made eye contact with me and he seemed to be pleading for help. He had been relegated to the top drawer, hidden behind some mismatched socks. It turns out that Elissa had been keeping Furby there, because the dolls need to be kept in the dark if you want them to stay quiet.

As we discovered very quickly after Christmas, the Furby doll does not have an “OFF” switch. (It seems ridiculous to think that a company would invent a doll without a mechanism to disable it, but that’s what the geniuses at Hasbro did.)

And because they don’t have an “OFF” switch, these Furby dolls require a lot of attention. It’s almost like you’ve got a high-maintenance girlfriend in the house at all times. After a few days, the girls became tired of having to tend to the Furby’s every need. The only way to make the Furby silent was to store it in a cool, dark and quiet place — as if it was a sack of potatoes.  

Then, after a couple of days of leaving the Furbies in a dark and quiet place, the kids completely forgot about them. I haven’t seen the Furby out and being played with in a couple of weeks. Lily stopped playing with her Furby after he turned evil on her. His eyes became flames and he started doing an evil laugh. We had to perform a Furby exorcism on him, which required the help of several online message boards. But ever since then, Lily has pretty much lost interest in her Furby.

The other day, I found it at the bottom of Lily’s clothes hamper — which is now her favourite place to store her Furby and keep him silent.

The Furby dolls are officially done with at our house. I can’t see the kids re-discovering the magic and playing with them again. If we had a Museum of Wasted Money wing in our house, the Furbies would be the feature item this month.

The sad thing is, I know something else is going to replace it soon enough.