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The Magic of FURBY Returns

Hasbro: Jay Cochran - 2012.09.18
Almost 15 years after its debut, the iconic FURBY creature from Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) returns this fall with a “MIND OF ITS OWN” and advanced technology that gives each FURBY an unpredictable nature that will continue to delight and surprise children and fans of all ages.

Already named to hot lists for holiday 2012, the quirky FURBY creature first appeared in 1998, becoming the must-have toy of that holiday season and sparking a collector craze around the world, solidifying its place in pop culture history. Now FURBY, a toy industry icon, returns with advanced technology that delivers a uniquely interactive play experience and introduces this unforgettable character to a whole new generation.

Using a sophisticated blend of robotic engineering and digital programming, Hasbro brings to life an interactive companion that appears to develop one of several personalities based on how it’s treated. Sound recognition technology and touch sensors allow FURBY to experience stimuli from its owner and its environment – feed it, speak to it, tickle it or play music for it – the personality of each FURBY is shaped by these experiences. Play nicely with FURBY and it may develop a sweet personality or pull, shake, and turn FURBY upside down and a mischievous demeanor may evolve.

Emotional and unpredictable, FURBY expresses its mood through animations in its LCD eyes. Tickle FURBY and hearts may appear in its eyes; feed it a hot pepper and you may see fire in FURBY’s eyes. The FURBY creature also communicates through silly phrases, first spoken only in its “native” language, FURBISH. As part of its changing nature, the more a child plays with FURBY, the more English FURBY will start speaking. Each FURBY can also recognize another FURBY; place two side-by-side and they will interact, including dancing together to the same tune or having a conversation.

“We’ve reinvented FURBY with advanced technology that brings a whole new way to play to kids. The personality of each FURBY appears to evolve by the way children play with it, and every unpredictable action and reaction helps make each FURBY seem unique,” said Samantha Lomow, Senior Vice President, New Brand Franchises and Global Brand Leader. “The magic starts the minute FURBY’s eyes light up, and kids – as well as many adults – will have fun anticipating just what FURBY will do next.”

“After a sleek technology upgrade, classic FURBY fun has been enhanced to offer a more interactive and engaging FURBY experience than ever before,” said toy and children’s lifestyle expert Chris Byrne, also known as The Toy Guy. “Children will be continually amazed and entertained as they nurture FURBY and watch its personality change.”

Owners can enhance their FURBY experience by downloading the free FURBY app, available on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch device at launch and coming to Android devices later this year. Using the app, owners can “feed” their FURBY, and access both a FURBISH to English dictionary, and FURBISH to English translator.

At launch Hasbro will herald the arrival of FURBY with an extensive social media program that allows fans to connect with the brand across numerous online platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. For additional interactive FURBY fun, kids can log onto Furby.com to discover FURBY videos, design a virtual FURBY, learn FURBISH and more.

A wide range of licensees will bring FURBY branded products to market across a variety of consumer product categories, including FURBY apparel, accessories, stationery, gift items and other licensed lifestyle products. Fans can also find pint-sized accessories for their FURBY, including chairs, carriers, and more.

The FURBY creature’s return will continue to be celebrated around the world, as FURBY will be available in more than 15 countries globally, including China, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Six vibrant FURBY colors will be available at launch, with four additional shades introduced by the end of the year. The FURBY creature, for ages 6 years and up, will retail for approximately $59.99 and will be available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

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