Okay, yesterday some of you found out Hello Kitty is actually a five-year old English girl and today, I;m telling you you know she’d probably be wanting one of Bandai’s Tamagotchi Friends as a gift from either her non-cat parents or other non-animal acquaintances.
Bandai has brought back the portable digital pet experience as a relatively inexpensive and much more connected collectible than the previous version from the late 90’s that sold who knows how many millions of units and inspired far too many clones to count. I won’t reveal exactly how many of those original Tamagotchi I actually owned, but all I’ll say is I got my first two from a friend whose wife was obsessed with them and he finally convinced here that twenty was a good number to stop at…
Moving on before I have to retell my adventures as a digital pet daddy, Bandai is targeting young girls for this revival and with six different designs, a retail price of $19.99 each (available at Toys “R” Us retail and online shops), and as you’ll see from the clip from the press release below, old and new functions have been combined to make these new pets even better than the originals:
Like the original, once the Tamagotchi Friends egg has hatched, the owner must take care of their digital friend and raise her/him from birth to adult. Owners must feed their Tamagotchi Friends character when she/he is hungry, give medicine when she/he is sick, bathe her/him and play games to earn Gotchi Points. Points can be used to buy meals, snacks and jewelry. Depending on how well her/his owner takes care of her/him, the character will grow and develop differently.
Today’s Tamagotchi Friends Digital Friend devices are also tech savvy; a ‘bump’ with other Digital Friend devices allows it to send text messages and gifts, and even go on a playdate with other Tamagotchi Friends characters. The more ‘bumps’, the more points and rewards the owner will earn, and the higher their best friend meter will rise.
Bandai is also adding to the lineup with collectible toys (also Toys “R” Us exclusives) in the form of Figures and Playsets, with collectible figures ($3.99 each) and Character Plus Pack accessory pieces ($5.99 per set). There’s also a Dream School Classmates Multipack of five figures ($16.99) for those who want to grab a few figures and save a little. As for those playsets, there are currently three available: the Dream Town Music Café Playset ($19.99), TamaMori Accessory Shop and Performing Arts Stage ($9.99 each). Each set comes with one figure and yep, the others you’ll have can pop in for a visit, as Tamagotchi do much better with company!
In addition to all that retail therapy, there’s a Tamagotchi Friends website where you can poke around and see lots of fun and related stuff, but make sure you’re paying attention to your beepy little egg while you’re there. Yeah, they no longer drop dead from neglect, but you really don’t want an unhappy and smarter Tama-cutie planning and scheming against you while you forget about it for a few too many minutes. Yeah, the obsession begins anew, folks.