Want to get the kids some Blue's Clues toys? Don't wait too long. These toys, based on the hugely popular Nickelodeon kids' show, could be in short supply by Christmas. Some stores are reporting sellouts. Others are putting limits on how many Blue's items you can buy.
Some of the best-selling ones include a Sing-Along Blue, who sings when you press its paw, about $20. And there's Pose-A-Blue, who has movable paws and ears ($13). And there's even Blue's software. CD-ROMs, from Humongous Entertainment, top the best-seller lists.
And then there's Furby. This furry little friend just went on sale, and toy experts expect it to be a big hit. It's cute. It's cuddly. And a real chatterbox.
The next step in virtual pets, Furby is one smart cookie. Don't tell the kids, but Furby has on-board sensors, which let the toy "know" what the child is doing.
Dave Hampton, who created Furby, explains, "He can tell when he's getting tickled, and he laughs. He can tell when he's getting rubbed on the back, and he purrs."
When you first get it, Furby speaks its own gibberish language, called Furbish. But, over time, it can "learn" to say up to 200 English words.
Martha Baer, managing editor at Wired magazine, says, "I think Furbies are the next step." She says the technology that makes Furby so life-like is quite impressive, especially for a $30 toy.
"Furby is all by itself...but it does many, many things," she says, "It speaks. It learns. I don't think it cries, though."
Chris Byrne makes his living writing about toys, and he thinks Furby will be a runaway best seller.
"It's not one of these electronic toys that just plays by itself," says Byrne. "It really needs the kids playing with one another and with different Furbies to complete the entire play experience."
The only place you can buy Furby is at FAO Schwarz in New York, but you'll find Furby showing up at other stores in the next few weeks.
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