The only thing that’s been cropping up on my FB newsfeed from Thai people for the last two months is Furbies – where to get them, how to get them, oh-i-got-one, oh-it’s-so-cute. And once they’ve got one, they post photos and videos of it constantly on FB, just like mums with their newborn babies. Furby talking, Furby sleeping, Furby dancing…
Furbies look like Mogwai from Gremlins. They speak Furbish and you can teach them how to go from baby babble to English, as they can mimic you. Furbies were really popular in 1998, I remember playing with them as a kid. So basically the Thais are just like 15 years late to the game. Watching the Furby craze take over the country is like seeing the resurgence of Tamagotchi (your electronic pet chicken in your pocket) from the nineties or the big hairdos from the eighties.
Now, I’m extremely tolerant of kids haranguing for a Furby. After all they are kids and should be forgiven as they know not what they are are doing. But grown women behaving like kids going on and on about Furbies are beyond my limited comprehension. In Thailand, a Furby is going for THB 3700 (USD 123) to THB 4200 (USD 140). Now since I measure everything against a bowl of noodles on the street which is THB 35, the cheapest Furby costs more than 100 bowls of noodles. In short, Furby costs more than three months of lunch.
The unfathomable demand for Furbies has led to a $250,000 scam and the Science Ministry warning parents of the negative impacts of the toy.
Looking at the grown women obsessing over the big-eyed Furby, I can conclude only one thing – their womb is talking. Perhaps their maternal clock is ticking and they don’t have a kid of their own, that’s why they’re so gaga over a toy that behaves like a baby. Except that the Furby can turn itself off after one minute of inactivity, which I’m sure real mothers would be quite thankful for!