Fix a 1998 Furby that won’t wake up or start up (without disassembly)

  • 12/2014 Update: I keep planning to take some pics of the “screw thing” to post with this, but keep forgetting. Sorry about that.
  • 11/2015 Update: This is the most viewed article on my site. Who knew there were so many folks out there with bad Furbys!

If your old Furby won’t wake up or won’t start up and appears dead, you may be able to fix it in a few seconds without having to take it apart.

I recently tried to get my original 1998 Furby to work, and found that it was dead. I spent some time doing unsuccessful web searches, with none of the tips (“try new batteries”, “press the reset button”) helping. A second Furby has the same issue, and it looked like it might be related to a jammed motor, per this tutorial:

This procedure involved all kinds of disassembly, sewing things back together and hot glue. A similar YouTube video shed more light on the problem off the stuck motor:

I suspected you could just get to the motor using a small screwdriver and going in around the eye or beak, and indeed, it works. I was able to use a tiny flathead screwdriver, inserted above the beak and in to the left to gently rotate the corkscrew spiral connected to the motor a few times and within seconds, the Furby was alive again. Both units were fixed this easy, with no disassembly required.

I will post photos when I have a moment.

Posted to this blog so others may find it via search engines…

49 thoughts on “Fix a 1998 Furby that won’t wake up or start up (without disassembly)

      1. Sean

        Hey bud. Do you have any other info on how to spin the actual motor? did you just shove it to the left of the mouth? or Above the mouth and in?

        1. allenhuffman Post author

          I used a small flathead screwdriver, and just stuck it in to a grove of the spiral and gave is some gentle pressure until it budged. I pushed the top beak down, and went in above the beak.

          1. Poppy

            Thanks! I bought my kids some old in-the-box Furbies today and everyone was sad when they wouldn’t work. Your suggestion worked perfectly.

    1. allenhuffman Post author

      I plan to post some pics or a video — just haven’t gotten around to it. Thanks for the reminder. (Oddly, I never got notification I had pending comments. Ooop.)

  1. Rachel

    I just did that on 2 Furbys that I thought had died.. If you flip Furbys beak down and look to the left (a torch will help) you’ll see a spiral gear, use a flat screwdriver and twist it to the left a couple of times.. Do this when Furbys batteries are in and then voila! He wakes up 😀
    Thanks for the advice!!

  2. Tim

    This worked! Thank you so much. I got my wife a 1999 furby for Christmas and it wouldn’t do anything, but I was able to pull the beak down to unclip it to allow me to pear in with a flashlight and found the corkscrew gear on the left. A small spin to this gear got it going! So glad I didn’t have to do the surgery. Thanks again!

  3. chris

    just found my old furby and put batteries in it for the first time in 15 years. did this little trick but I used a small drill bit and it came right to life.

      1. robin

        hi, have basically given my original ferby orthodontal care and can’t find the spiral motor that I need to get moving. please please please post pics or video… mechanical engineer hubby can’t fix him and I need to get him out of his coma

  4. Karin

    your awesome my mom just picked up a furby brand new in a box at a yard sale we tried to bring it to life the normal way but nothing he was dead. I didn’t have a screw driver handy so I used a metal small nail file and it worked !!!! thank you so much my daughter now has a new friend thanks to your post. I personally don’t have faith in myself to take something like this apart.

  5. Chris Lyons

    You’ ve made my son very happy and made me look like a hero. Thank you. I get home from work and troubleshoot a 16 year old Furby. Welcome to parenthood.

  6. FurbyForever

    i have a defective 1998 furby, he is ladybug print and i cant get him to stop saying ” Me Sleep Again” and going to sleep. on to of that he goes into random glitching periods where he says “Foom” and burps randomly. i tried resetting, restarting and many new
    batteries and he’s still broken :(
    be has a broken beak and ear so one of his ears won’t move and he cant sense feeding, so a restart won’t work on him. please respond because i really need help for him! :( :( :(

  7. Samantha Church

    Gah, thank you! I found my old Furby in the attic and wanted to see if it still worked. I put some batteries in and…nothing. I found this post and I’m happy to say my Furby is now fully functional! Though I removed the batteries and put it away just minutes after I got it working… Still kinda freaks me out ever since it told me it could see me… :/

  8. Joey

    Hi All, may I know if the gear is in plastic or in metal as I see a metal pin and a white opaque plastic thing

  9. Alicia

    I did it with my 1998 furby but now he dont stop moving, he is going crazy, wont talk, etc, does anyone now what to do?

  10. Sydney

    I picked up a Furby from a garage sale today, a 1998 Tiger one, and do you think you could just post a simple picture of what the little thing is that you mess with? I havent had a functioning furby since i was a little kid and man i would love to live that life again

  11. Kit

    I just bought an original mint in box Furby off of Ebay. Was super disappointed that it wouldn’t work. I tried different kinds of batteries and as I was about to give up, found this post! IT WORKED! Thank you so much for sharing the Furby reboot secret!

  12. Alexis

    Okay so I was also having trouble finding the corkscrew spiral. It is white and plastic. As mentioned. Go through the top of the beak, to the left and down a bit. I totally looked past it several times. I couldn’t tell if it was moving easily so I just got the screwdriver in one of the grooves and just put pressure on it. It’s almost impossible to see what you are doing but I started to hear it grinding and making some noises and eventually it just came to life. Hope that helps some of you!!!

    1. allenhuffman Post author

      I used a small flat head electronics screwdriver (from the kit Radio Shack sells) — like a larger version of the ones you would use on glasses.

    2. allenhuffman Post author

      I just push it with my finger, though my eyesight has gotten worse since I first did it so I can’t see the coil until I get my glasses updated :) I will try to post a photo soon, but on the first gen units you can push the top beak down and a gap opens between the top of the beak and the top of the unit. Just be careful, as there are some small parts where it pivots in there.

      1. Daniel

        I’m at this stage but I can’t seem to turn the spiral, the screwdriver keeps slipping and I can’t fit my finger. Any other ideas?

  13. Dan

    You are the best it worked like a charm. I bought it new from ebay and it came broken. Followed your advise and now it is singing, burping and sneezing like it was new.

  14. Helen

    I got a Furby at a thrift store. It had corroded batteries and I cleaned the case out and put in fresh ones. Still dead. Tried your suggestion, and it did wake him!. However, he has no audio. How can I tell a “no like” from a “yum?” :( He moves, ears go up and down, eyes open and shut, he rocks, but no voice. I don’t even know his name. Very sad. Any suggestions welcome.

  15. Daniel

    I pulled the beak down and I see the white spiral gear but I’m unsure as to how exactly I can turn it. I tried applying pressure with a screwdriver various times but it felt like it just kept slipping without turning it. Any tips? Thanks

  16. Furby leavesAgain

    Yes this worked!! If you put your thumb on the top beak and pull downwards the beak comes off the hinge and you can easily see the white gear motor under the left eye as mentioned.

    After moving the gear 3-6 times downward the furby started to make a tiny growling sound! A few seconds later boom alive again. Simply genly push the top beak and it will snap on the hinges again.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *