Dave Hampton and Caleb Chung created the Furby in merely nine months (in addition to an additional nine months spent designing the toy). That was the amount of time between Tiger Electronics showing an interest in their interactive creatures, during which Roger Schiffman bought the rights to it, and the time they hit store shelves. Furby's first public appearance was at the International Toy Fair in 1998.
Furbys originally retailed for about US$35, and upon release Furbys flew off the shelves in toyshops. Catapulting demand for these toys during the 1998 holiday season drove the resale price over US$100 and sometimes as high as several hundred dollars. Furbys sold for over US$300 in newspapers and in auctions. Nicknames were given to them, and sellers assigned rarity values to them. Some people continue to call their Furbys by the terms 'wedding Furby', 'tuxedo Furby', 'snowball Furby', 'biker Furby', among others. All, of course, were dubbed rare by sellers, because they were so hard to find at the time. In a sure display of the demand for even one Furby, some sellers at the time scammed people out of a lot of money, without even having first given them a Furby. Parental battles, arguments, and fights increased rapidly as supplies dwindled, and when retail supplies ran out, parents turned to the Internet, where Furbys could be purchased for two, three, or more multiples of their retail price. During one 12-month period, a total of 27 million Furby toys were sold.
Released in November 1998, the Furby was a major success both critically and commercially. Units flew off the shelves and resulted in high demand heavy shortages. In 1998 and 1999 the brand sold over Million Units. In 2000-2001 the brand sold 5 million, and in 2002 the popularity diminished, and the furby franchise was a fully discontinued
Originally, Furby was aimed more at Girls and young children aged 5-13 years old, however, Burping and Raspberry sounds were added in for balance. Even adults still love the furby, and start fan clubs and forums all about them.
Furby 1998 mainly has only 1 personality which is a calm and friendly furby. It can be slightly changed by treating furby different depending on what it does.
The line produced 24 Special Editions, which range from all different genres of events, with 4 being hard to find, and 1 being impossible to find due to only having 5 in existance, with only 2 sold.