Shelby is a grumpy, sarcastic, humorous little clam. He's the little guy who has been kicked around a lot. That's the source of his grumpiness.

Using data compression, a chip with more memory and other programming tricks, Shelby has a 275-word vocabulary, about 70 percent more than Furby. Shelby can say about 1,000 phrases, three times more than Furby.

Shelby also communicates with Gizmo, the character from the movie "Gremlins" that Furby somewhat resembles, and Interactive E.T. from Tiger.

The clam is equipped with sensors that react to to light, sound, touch and movement. When he's scared, Shelby snaps his shell closed.  The eyes and antennas also are animated.

Shelbish is a primitive language combining simple words from English, German and Thai. Furbish follows a Japanese grammar with a polyglot of Hebrew, Chinese and Thai.

A few Shelbish words:

* Daa-yee=light
* Graa=eat/hungry
* Rees=please
* Uuu-daa=down/under

If Shelby is tired and wants the lights down, he might say: daa-yee uuu-daa rees, Shelbish for "light down please."

I really like these little guys. They always cheer me up because with the large vocabulary, you never know when he will surprise you with new phrases.