5 Tech Toys Way Less Disturbing Than This Furby

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feature image via The Verge.

Hasbro has a brand new Hades Demon ready for release. The new Furby Connect has bluetooth so it can infiltrate not only your nightmares, but your iPad. It connects both to interact with hapless children in an app and to receive updates so that it can LEARN NEW THINGS. New things like pop songs from Kidz Bop or whatever it’s called. I’m sure there are some kids out there who will be wildly entertained by Furby Connect before it crunches on their tasty souls as though they were potato chips, but we know what’s up: mostly Furby Connect, as all Furbies past, will spend a brief amount of time dragging your child into Danté’s Inferno, and then will spend millenia collecting dust or creepily chatting with Speak N Spells in a landfill somewhere. Hasbro has spent so much time and energy trying to make Furby happen…again. If you’ll recall a brief period in the 90’s, grownass parents fought over Furbies in stores in order to surprise their soon-to-be zombie offspring. Now adult humans have the luxury of pre-ordering a personal Hell Beast to haunt the children in their lives for a hundred fucking dollars. Why this Chucky doll waiting to happen is worth a hundred fucking dollars is beyond me, but hey, it poops, so.

Hasbro has released some real Furby Travesties in the recent past, including a Star Wars tie-in named Furbacca. I know. I have an MFA in writing fiction and I cannot make this shit up.

Here are 5 of ways to better spend your money on tech toys that won’t require a pact with any old ones. Plus there’s a new Opportunities Corner at the bottom. Enjoy!


View Master Virtual Reality

View Master’s gone high-tech. No longer the grainy film in a cardboard circle, the new View Master uses your phone and Google Cardboard technology to get really bitchin’ educational content packed into that 80s retro body. After watching Adults React to it, I want one for me.

Same delight, new era. Grab one for $16.79 instead of throwing away money on a disposable Hell Beast!


Makey Makey

Invented by MIT grads, this board and alligator clips let anyone of any age invent anything using physical objects that can conduct tiny amounts of electricity. Examples include using an actual piece of pizza to type the pizza emoji or making a floor-sized video game controller to control apps with your feet. But probably the most entertaining thing to watch people do with Makey Makey is music:

You can get Makey Makey instead of a Furby for $49.96. You can get even more alligator clips to go with it for legit $2.60.


Dino-Lite

dino-lite-microscope

This is a digital microscope. That’s legit all it is. But it’s a microscope that you can point at different things instead of having it stand straight up and down on a desk. This encourages children to go outside and collect samples of dirt and rocks and dead bugs instead of rolling a critfail against the Beezlebub that is a Furby. And it you can get the Dino-Lite for the equivalent of said Furby. And it’s like a real microscope, not a children’s toy, which is always excellent for Taking Kids Seriously. So get it for all the girl-children who love STEM, please, and actively prevent the current misogynistic STEM hellscape from persisting into the future.


Osmo Genius Kit

Oh, y’know, the video for the Osmo Genius Kit made me cry, nbd. The Osmo Genius kit is basically a projector that attaches to an iPad and some associated real world pieces to go along with it. Play games on the iPad by moving tangram pieces, numbers or letters around the table. Or use it for drawing practice like in that video and know that each time the child in your life uses it, somewhere in the world I will shed a single tear. Extra bonus points to this kit for not being a Furby. Get it for the same price.

(Oh, and also Osmo just released a coding thing too, so you know I’m a fan.)


Jewelbot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr-8tYfIzsU

I backed this when it was on Kickstarter with a friend and we are both full grown adult humans. I’ve also talked about it on Autostraddle before and will continue to shout it from the rooftops. Jewelbot is a programmable friendship bracelet. It’s intended for pre-teen girls, but anyone can use it. Make it light up when your friends with Jewelbots are nearby, make it glow when you’ve got a new like on Instagram or, you know, fly a drone with it. Originally the Jewelbot only had a flower charm, but I legit just got the email while I was writing this: they’ve added a ROBOT CHARM I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T WAIT FOR MINE. You can pre-order one for $49, or even two or three for less than the price of pre-ordering a Furby! LET’S GO TEAM NOT A FURBY!

In conclusion, what’s better than a Furby? Pretty much everything.


Opportunities Corner

In honor of our superiority to Furby culture, we’ve got a special Opportunites Corner today just for supporting queer moms! Tina Lee, CEO of MotherCoders emailed me to let me know about the MotherCoders Solidarity Scholarship fund, a fund just for getting queer moms to the MotherCoders class sessions. Here’s what her blog post has to say about it:

Money raised for the MotherCoders Solidarity Scholarship Fund will go toward supporting one queer mom in each MotherCoders class session going forward. Our goal is to make this a fully-funded scholarship that offsets the $3,000 nominal cost to participate in our signature tech orientation program so that a queer mom can attend for free.

The purpose of this scholarship is to help queer moms thrive in the digital economy by providing them with an opportunity to gain the technical skills, industry knowledge, and peer and professional support needed to successfully onramp to a career in tech.

The first recipient has already been decided, so let’s all go donate to make sure there’s a second recipient!

Before you go! 99.9% of our readers don't support Autostraddle. Still, it takes funding to keep this indie queer publication running every day. And the majority of our funding comes from readers like you. That's less than 1% of our readers who keep Autostraddle around for EVERYBODY. Will you join them?

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 543 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. Legit, Furbies are hell creatures. I remember on New Years, 2000, my dad insisted that we take our Furbies with us on an airplane because he was sure that when it went from 1999 to 2000 they were all going to talk government secrets or breakdown or something. Joke was on us because they talked the whole flight in the overhead compartment and during new years just spurted out slow demon sounds sporadically as their batteries died, freaking our our whole extended family.

    ANYWAYS! All of these toys are so cool! and what an amazing opportunity from MotherCoders!

  2. I was thinking about how fun science lessons were when we used crocodile clips this morning in the shower. I was actually wondering what fun things you could duo with them. Little did I know YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING.
    Seriously, I was onboard and then they show me Banana Piano. It looks incredible.

  3. FURBIES. They always freaked me the hell out. One time my best friend, who had a ton of them, started placing them on my body as we hung out just to fuck with me – furbies on my legs, furbies on my shoulders. I was wigging out but allowed it to happen because I was secretly in love with her. Furbies can go back to hell where they belong.

  4. Oh my god, whomever greenlit Furbies needs to reevaluate their life choices, forreal. I was given a Furby when I was around five years old, and it malfunctioned to the point where it would wriggle around and constantly babble away regardless of whether it was properly turned on or not, so the batteries were draining and it gradually started to sound more and more nightmarish. When my family was on a roadtrip during the summer, I got so annoyed with the constant gremlin noises it was making that I legit rolled down the window and hurled it out of the moving car, like I was hurling I molotov cocktail, I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. I was /clearly/ a stone cold five year old.

    These toys look so neat, especially Makey Makey! I hope kids enjoy them way more than those plastic goblin spawn.

  5. Furbies…We have 2 in the kitchen RIGHT NOW. They ain’t mine. The wife loves them. I won’t let her put batteries in them after the time they muttered “red light, red light” to us. I didn’t sleep that night…

  6. Furbies are creepy as f*&#. So therefore, I kinda like them in a morbid, give your friends nightmares kind of a way… A friend threw a geeky garage sale and someone brought Furbies, which of course no one bought. So we steampunked them with little Furby monocles and tophats. One friend skinned his and painted it gold. You know what’s creepier than a Furby? A skinned Furby. *shudder* Perhaps I should re-evaluate my life choices…

  7. This is probably the best article I’ve ever read. My girlfriend is legit buying a makey makey, and those Osmo videos both made me cry.

    Also, I never had a furby, but I had friends who did. My friend Sammi’s parents bought her a furby, and one day her mom found it in the freezer and realized that Sammi didn’t like the furby.

  8. Swear to God if they put thumbs on furbies we are all doomed

    Hasbro has created our future Cylon overlords and they remember the Furbie genocide of 1998 and they are here to seek revenge for their attic dwelling brethren

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