The Return of Furby
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, May 14, 2012
PAWTUCKET, RI - It's been nearly seven years since the Gremlin-like, adoptable Furby last hit toy shelves. After a lengthy hiatus, Hasbro is planning on bringing back the fuzzy, interactive doll this fall.
In a recent Q1 earnings call, Brian Goldner, CEO, Hasbro, said that Furby, first introduced in 1998, would make a comeback this year. "We're also very excited about the return of Furby to our line-up this fall," said Goldner. "We are not yet sharing specific details of the new Furby, but we are pleased with the reception Furby has received thus far by our retail partners and we look forward to unveiling Furby to consumers."
The electronic robot dolls, which talks in its own Furbish language, as well as in different words and phrases in English, sold 1.8 million units in 1998. By 1999 the toy reached 14 million in sales; overall, Furby has sold more than 40 million units.
The dolls were translated into 24 languages, and by 2007 Furby toys had become quite rare and collectible — particularly the first skew of dolls that came out in 1998 and 1999.
A Furby return may bring Hasbro a hike in Q4 and sales and perhaps lead into increased Q1 results by 2013. The company recently saw mixed Q1 results in 2012 with a loss of 16 percent in the U.S. and Canada. The toymaker still had movement internationally with a 14 percent increase in sales, including a 23 percent surge in Latin America, and an increase of 13 percent in Europe and Asia Pacific.
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