I jumped on the bandwagon, if it can be called a bandwagon and not a wagon of nightmare fuel and decided to make a long furby.
I’ve had furbies for years. We bought one in the 90s. And recently-ish, before everyone decided they wanted them, I bought another. I then found a new generation one in an op shop. And bought some more. Many more.
I have kind of decided the 90s furbies are too precious to destroy. Also they are valuable, currently selling for at least over $100AU each at the moment.
So it had to be the second generation ones. They are still cheap and plentiful and also far, far more annoying than the first ones.
The thing about secondGen furbies is that they have empty, soul-less, dead LED eyes when they are not turned on (only marginally better ones when they are.) Quite distinct from the terrify, dead eyes of an original mechanical furby. It means that in order to have an appropriate nightmare Long Furby, you must disassemble it and somehow create eyes. This kills the ability for the furby to talk, but since I take the batteries out of mine anyway becuase they are fucking annoying, I’m ok with that.
So I had to figure out how to make furby eyes. Once I came up with a solution, I had to figure out how to make it look. I had no idea.
My original concept was to create a Long Furby that was sort of a mix between The Dark Crystal and Hallucigenia, the Burgess Shale worm. I expect to make changes as I go along, but this was a good thing to start with.
The next problem was getting some sort of fur to make it from. I’ve been in lockdown for ages and all the new fabric I saw online, I didn’t like. I ended up going with short white fur from a pair of defunt winter slipper booties, long white fur from a rug I bought for the cats that they ignore, and I bought a second hand Zara fur vest on ebay. Right. I was ready.
I chose this one as the battery had leaked into the workings and it was never going to scream furby obscenities again. The first thing I needed to do was strip it down. I did this by getting drunk first (this step is not necessary but it made the next bit far more fun, also more prone to gashing myself during the process. This furby demanded a blood sacrifice and got it) and peeling the skin off it. Then i basically unscrewed and ripped the thing apart.
I mixed paint which I thought would suit the furby’s new look and painted the plastic bits you would still see, in acrylic paint. And then I took to the furby eyes.
The front bit of the eyes is a plastic tray with two wells in it. This gives the furby a three dimensional shiny look when the LED is under it. I had some large doll eyes from another project (where i was…putting eyes in things, or thinking of it), and I realised if i dropped them into the wells, set them with resin, and then covered the back in white resin, THAT MIGHT WORK. So I did it, and IT DID WORK.
This solution honestly took me forever. It seems so obvious now but I was, what do I do? Paint on the inside? Paint the outside? Nothing felt right. but the resin solution worked well. I also realised it would need eyelashes, and I thought, great, I have a pair of fake eyelashes from many years ago when I went to a party in 60s gear. So I found them and cut them up and applied them to the furby’s face (closeups of that in later photos)
A recent hardware purchase meant there was foam everywhere so I cut some of the harder stuff into jaggard spikes. they looked too…like foam cut into spikes, so I gently waved them in a candle flame and they went all melty and organic. That’s what I was after! Then i gessoe’d them and painted them to match the eye surrounds on the furby.
It was time to tackle the body. I made a spine by using lots of wire padded with some filler and wrapped with more wire and tape. I wired that to the head. I drafted the body against the furby skin from the earlier step (now THEREs a sentence I never expected to say) and kind of drew up a long furbyness. Cut it out of the various pieces and hand sewed it together.
Believe me when I say this took forever and I was hating this project with as much hate as I had in me. Oh my wordy did I regret doing this.
I inserted the head and spine stuffed the body from each end, and glued the face to the …face skin. I also glued some fur around the eye joins to hide the messy glue. I was almost ready to stop at this point because it looked pretty rad. But I kept going.
I made 4 gripper hands by covering craft gripper things in leather, and then sewing fur to them. I also made some that were just circles of wire, covered in leather. So I can hook things through them. I wired them up and later sewed them onto the body.
I sewed on the feet and spines and covered the ears with more fluff. I also painted some fluff pink and put some on the hands and around the eyes.
Basically then it was done and all I had to do was name it.
The name chosen with the help of some: Noodles Burgess McFurbyFace The Return.