web analytics

There’s more than one way to skin a Furby

Of course I took Toh-loo Kah apart. Because of course I did.

I watched a ton of Furby skinning and disassembly videos. It’s surprising how many manufacturing differences there are between examples. Mine had a quirk where the microphone wouldn’t detach from the case. Meaning I couldn’t take the case all the way off unless I wanted a soldering job (no). Which means it wasn’t very photogenic. Which means I stole a frame out of someone else’s YouTube for the photo.

I hope he feels suitably recompensed by a link to his channel (don’t worry. It’s not a Furby channel. It’s mostly engine repair).

The innards are pretty complicated. Behind the eyes, there’s a series of vertical gears that drive the moving parts – the eyes, ears, beak and…I guess you’d call it the waist. All of these are set to slip easily without stressing gear teeth, because they knew kids are going to mess with all those joints. The movements track the speech appropriately. (I say this because Fake Furbies often don’t. Yes, there were fake Furbies).

Beneath that, a small motor drives the gears, tucked behind the speaker. You can just see the motor turn without completely disassembling. On the left side, the microphone. On the right, the tilt sensor (I couldn’t find it, though).

The white button under his thumb is a touch control the mechanism responds to. The speaker is behind that. There is another button on the back that elicits different responses. The tongue is also a sensor.

I counted three circuit boards, one large one that formed the base and two small ones wired to it vertically.

Oh, and the triangular thing between its eyes is an infra-red sensor. This enables two Furbies to talk to each other. Supposedly, you can trigger it with the TV remote, but I didn’t have any luck. Our TV remote is shit, though.

I gently q-tipped the innards, washed the skin and put it back together again. I didn’t break it all the way down – that would be too much like work.

On the whole, it’s both complicated and delicate. It’s amazing how many of them are still working after 26 years.


Comment from Anonymous
Time: January 24, 2024, 1:18 am

The tongue is also a sensor.




*runs toward door*

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 24, 2024, 2:05 am

You should construct a new body to fit over the innards. Maybe a badger?

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: January 24, 2024, 10:50 am

Does it do bad movie running commentary?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 24, 2024, 11:31 am

Oh, Deborah. Don’t Google it. There’s a whole community.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 24, 2024, 1:13 pm

Oh dear. I am so out of the loop. I never know what’s going on.

I am still pondering your comment from the previous post about secretly wanting something—that was perhaps silly or maybe unreasonable. I learned at the tender age of ten avoid anything that was hip, trendy, or in style. Because nothing goes out of style faster than what’s in style.

But I am getting something I’ve wanted for a long time. JavaMan gave me Christmas money—to buy astronomical-quality binoculars. Now I’m trying to find binoculars I can afford, that are NOT made in China. (And I need to double my money.)

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny