Images courtesy @yungbonerfarts
Someone tell Silicon Valley to go home because the most perfect possible human invention was recently created in a suburb north of Chicago: the Furby Bong, a.k.a., Furbong.The eerie fusion of uncanny mechanized life form and weed paraphernalia is the brainchild of Twitter user @yungbonerfarts, who goes by Colin online. The 21-year-old works a retail job and studies fashion at a local community college by day, but by night he’s part of a subversive group of “Furbymancers” who create, destroy, and modify Furbies for their own gain. The most well-known member of this so-far-unnamed group is cosplay designer Grace Bono, who is responsible for such blursed images as the luxury version of LongFurby and Claudia, a Furby with a human body, arms, and legs. “We're here trying to make people laugh and say, ‘Oh god why ?’” she said over Twitter DM.
When the idea for Furbong came to Colin, he wasn’t even high.
It happened at Bono’s apartment, where small enclaves of Furbies in the process of being packaged and sold were strewn about the floor, perched on furniture, and peeking out from shelves. The aroma of their neighbors smoking some dank leaked into the room where Bono, her girlfriend, and Colin were playing Dungeons and Dragons. “Bono walked in from the other room and asked if one of us was smoking weed or if it was the neighbors, but we all joked it was one of the Furbies,” Colin said in an email. “That put the idea in my head. I decided Furbong was going to be a thing later that night.”The Furbong is simple and elegant. The pelt, faceplate, and ears of a skinned Furby are wrapped around a small glass bong like skin over a skeleton. As if by intelligent design, the bird-like robot's earhole was a perfect fit for the bowl of the bong. A custom-made adapter keeps its conical body in the right shape. The Furby’s motors, microchips, and plastic frame—its guts—are discarded, leaving the finished product effectively “dead,” in Furby terms. No blinking, chewing on your finger, or waking you up at 3 AM by chirping “Me love you!” and staring at you with the devil in its dead eyes.All told, the Furbong took between six and eight hours to craft. “I’m kinda proud that this hasn’t been done before, as far as I’ve seen,” Colin said.
He posted the Furbong to Twitter on September 19 with the caption, “God is dead and I killed him.” The reaction generally falls between befuddlement and delight. “My parents are actually some of the first people who saw Furbong. They were just like, ‘Geez,’ and didn’t pay it more thought,” Colin said. After it went online, Furbong racked up over 2,000 retweets and inspired posts on Reddit’s Awful Taste But Great Execution forum, as well as r/DiWhy, r/OddCombos, r/Weed, and r/StonerEngineering. “My friends were like, ‘You would do this,’ and, ‘I can't believe you’ve done this,’ while it looks like the general online reaction was a mix of ‘This is amazing,’ and ‘Why?’” he said.Why? It’s the only question that really matters when it comes to an artifact like Furbong. It’s a question that Colin himself still doesn’t quite have the answer to. “I think I was drawn to make Furbong because it’s two things that you don’t really associate with each other at all,” he said. “It’s such a weird combination of two objects.”Colin quickly discovered a new answer to the question after he revealed his 4/20-friendly Frankenstein. The very next day he announced on Twitter that he’s selling custom Furbongs starting at $150 a pop.Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.Follow Beckett Mufson on Twitter and Instagram.