VERNON HILLS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 8, 1999--With talk of ``What will be the next Furby® for this holiday season'' swelling around toy stores, studio executive offices and newsrooms, it has become clear that nothing beats the real thing. Furby is leading the feature/interactive plush category, representing more than 50% of the unit and dollar volume, according to TRST (Toy Retail Sales Tracking Report). While imitators issue press releases touting first month sales of several thousand units, Furby's success continues to soar.
According to a printed report from the NPD Group, the news bodes well for the Furby franchise. The NPD data ranks Furby fourth in a listing of the top 20 Licensed Toy properties by dollar share. This accomplishment comes at a time when the vast majority of Furby's sales to date are based on toy sales.
The best is yet to come, according to Tiger's President, Roger Shiffman, ``The excitement around Furby Babies has just begun and stores are really beginning to fill their shelves with Furby party goods, tee shirts, pajamas and more. And worldwide, the picture is phenomenal.''
Shiffman knows of what he speaks. According to NPD, Furby is already the best selling toy this year in Japan, with two million units sold. In Japan, Furby is the only non-video game toy listed in Japan's top 10 selling toys. Germany is touting Furby as its no. 1 seller. Per the research organization, Furby has been the number one selling toy in these countries for the past six months. The happy, furry creature currently speaks seven languages: English, Italian, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, and, of course the universal language of ``Furbish®.''
According to David Medhurst, Managing Director for Tiger Europe, there is significant room for growth worldwide as the toy reaches the millenium. ``Throughout the U.K. and Japan, product continues to sell as soon as it reaches store shelves. As we move forward and begin to add more languages and build the brand with innovative extensions, the market will continue to expand.''
In the U.S., Furby Babies are the best selling toy in the FAO Schwarz Holiday Catalog, one of the most popular gift books in the country.
As to why Furby has taken the world by storm, Shiffman responds, ``For a toy to gain the level of success that Furby has, you really need only look to one source, the kids. There has never been a toy, at any price, let alone the affordable Furby price, that provides the magic, the love and the fun. That's why as more and more try to duplicate Furby it becomes more clear that the kids voice will not be silenced. The challenge we look forward to every day is how to earn their respect by continuing to create toys that wow and light up young eyes.''
Could Shiffman be dropping a hint as to what's in the future for Furby? We know that before year end, the company will be introducing a Gizmo character to interact with Furby and Special Limited Editions: Holiday Furby and Millennium Furby. As for 2000, Shiffman is holding his cards, ``You'll have to wait until Toy Fair in February, but be sure that Furby will be well represented and may have a new _______.''
Tiger Electronics, Ltd., a division of Hasbro, Inc., is the leading manufacturer of innovative electronic toys and games for the whole family. Tiger's core products and brands include: Furby®, Sports Feel(TM) Games, game.com®.pocket pro(TM) portable video gaming system, Lazer Tag®, Talkboy(TM) sound novelty toys, and a complete line of electronic family games such as Brain Shift®, Brain Warp®, Wheel of Fortune(TM) and Jeopardy!(TM) Tiger is a leader in licensed electronic favorites, featuring such titles as Star Wars®, NASCAR®, WCW/NWO®, Rugrats®, A Bugs Life®, Winnie the Pooh® and many more.
Hasbro (NYSE:HAS - news) is a worldwide leader in the children's and family leisure time and entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, KENNER, TONKA, ODDZON, SUPER SOAKER, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, HASBRO INTERACTIVE, MICROPROSE, GALOOB and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.
Tiger Electronics, Ltd. Marc Rosenberg/Lana Simon, 847/913-8100 www.furby.com
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