1998. Tiger Electronics releases an electronic toy called a Furby, a kind of half-hamster, half-owl, half-hellspawn that becomes an instant hit, a fad the likes of Beanie Babies, Pogs, and Tamagotchi pets.
The Furby “communicates” with other Furbies, in a language dubbed “Furbish,” though they are programmed to eventually speak English.
Rumors circulate that Furbies can pick up radio signals and intercept classified communications. They are subsequently banned from National Security Agency offices as a potential security risk.
The Furby then fades into obscurity, returning briefly in 2005, courtesy Hasbro, as an Emoto-Tronic Furby, spawning a number of special interest groups in support of Furbies as emotionally sentient beings.
And now, the Furby has returned once again.
Get your microwaves ready.