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Archive for Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Buyers complain about foul Furbies

What they’re really saying is ‘hug me’

August 29, 2000

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— From the beaks of Furbies comes filth? Not so, say the makers of the plush children's toy accused of mumbling obscenities.

"The toys say, 'Hug me,'" said Lana Simon, director of public relations for the toy's maker, Tiger Electronics Ltd. in Vernon Hills, Ill.

"That is not 'Hug me.' I'm sorry."

Furby purchaser Mary Ann Martin, who contends the toy is saying something vulgar

"Hug me" is not what a Swansea, S.C., couple report they heard their talking Furby Buddy saying last weekend. To them, it sounded like the squeezable beanbag toy was using a vulgar word to ask for sex. They decided against giving it to their year-old grandson.

"That is not 'Hug me.' I'm sorry," said Mary Ann Martin, who now has the toy stuffed in the back of a closet.

The problem, the toy maker says, is enunciation, something the talking Furby Buddies haven't quite mastered.

The toy maker has fielded complaints before from toy owners claiming to have foul-mouth Furbies, Simon said. The accusations seem particular to the Furby Talking Buddy, a smaller version of the talkative original, she said.

"There's no way that the (voice) chips were modified or can be," Simon said. "They do say, 'Hug me.' "

Martin said if other people have complained, the toy maker should change to recorded voice.

"They've gotten several complaints on it because that's what it sounds like," Martin said. 'They need to at least change it."

Managers at the Wal-Mart store where Martin and her husband, Stephen, bought the toy for their grandson Saturday, have pulled about 40 dolls from the shelves, saying many of the chatting critters sound like they're saying something vulgar.

There was a similar complaint about a Furby purchased at a Wal-Mart in Reading, Pa., in March. Simon said Wal-Mart researched the matter and found nothing inappropriate.

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