Furby was the invention of Dave Hampton, who runs the toy and game design company Sounds Amazing! in northern California. Hampton is a freelance electronics engineer and former Mattel designer.

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He wanted to improve on the virtual pet idea by creating a real-world cuddly pet with a more advanced vocabulary. Hampton had attended the 1997 Toy Fair in New York and seen the numerous iterations of virtual pets. He always wanted to make a little animated character that was as alive as possible. He spent the next several months - and his own money - developing a prototype Furby.

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