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Is this weird evolving furball the next hot toy? - CNET

Rizmo is a music-loving space creature toy that transforms its appearance over time with play. (And you thought Furby was weird.)

Sarah Tew/CNET

Tamagotchi. Furby. Hatchimals. Fingerlings. The care and feeding of robotic pets has been a staple of childhood play for over 20 years.

Japanese toy maker Tomy is hoping to breed the next hit with Rizmo, a fur-covered creature that evolves by changing its form the more you play. It actually changes shape with two physical transformations, which only happen if you earn enough points.

When it's ready to evolve, its eyes begin to glow and kids need to cheer on the critter to see how a baby ball of fur becomes a chatty, musical monster with a face and legs. And once it transforms, there's no going back. Rizmo is described as a "rhythm monster" from space that feeds off music. There are multiple ways to earn points to evolve the creature, but the best way to level it up is by singing.

I got the chance to check out Rizmo before it goes on sale internationally on Sept. 14. Priced at $60 (£60, which converts to about AU$110), Rizmo comes in three main colors: berry, aqua and snow. But the design details of its final form and musical personality are a random surprise reveal for the end.

I was one of those kids who spent hours trying to evolve my Furby and learn his native tongue of Furbish. So I definitely saw the charm in Rizmo after playing with it for a few hours -- and was hyped to put in the work to see the surprise reveal.

Want to see how this transformation happens? Watch my unboxing video (embedded above) to join me on this cringe-inducing quest of song and dance. Does Rizmo have what it takes to be the hot toy of 2019? You be the judge.

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