CYPRESS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Bandai America Incorporated, a leader in introducing hot Japanese toy trends to the U.S. marketplace, is calling on fans to "live the Tamagotchi life" 24/7 with the new Tamagotchi Connection V4. As the most technologically advanced version of the world's first and top selling "virtual pet" tech toy, kids can interact with their Tamagotchi character through every stage of life including going to school and growing up to choose their favorite career. Additionally, for the first time ever, Bandai America will unveil a mid-year refresh--Tamagotchi Connection Version 4.5--that has all the play value of V4, plus new career choices, mini games and design styles for even more fun.
"In addition to debuting our first mid-year refresh with the V4.5 toy, our Fall lineup extends the Tamagotchi brand with exciting new products, including plush, a decoration kit that allows you to 'bling-out' your V4 making it your own creation and a voice-interactive software pack with exclusive V4.5 toy," said Michael Riley, vice president of marketing for Bandai America Inc. "Meanwhile, the Tamagotchi Connection toy now enhances the play by empowering fans like never before as they get to live the Tamagotchi lifestyle at home, at school and on the go."
With the new V4 and V4.5, kids help determine their characters' future careers and fates by playing the fun mini games in their Tamagotchi to earn "Skill Points." Upon reaching adulthood, owners can then choose from a variety of 15 different professions as well as change careers later when openings become available. Careers include fashion designer, rock star, florist, baker, scientist, doctor and more.
V4 and V4.5 continue to introduce fans to the magical world of TamagotchiTown.com with new games, shopping and locales. While using "Gotchi Points" and special passwords, visitors can go online to shop in the mall, visit the Tamagotchi King and travel the world to exotic destinations like Paris, Africa and Tokyo. Kids can now also see their character interacting on the Web site as it goes to school, plays in the various games and partakes in life's other daily adventures.In addition to the V4.5 Tamagotchi, the new Fall lineup includes:Software: The Tamagotchi PC Pack turns your home computer or laptop into a Tama-wonderland with cool voice-activated software that allows kids to interact with characters on screen through games, and features a desktop character that fetches your email, dances on command and more. In addition to an exclusive Tamagotchi Connection V4.5 toy, the pack comes with a CD-ROM disk loaded with wallpapers, games and more for customizing your computer. And with the included tree-shaped microphone, kids can use voice commands to interact with their on-screen character.
Accessories: Use the Tamagotchi Decoration Kit's interchangeable skins to personalize your virtual pet with your favorite color or to match your mood of the day. For extra special sparkle, owners can even "bling" their Tamagotchi with the included jewels and character-themed stickers. The kits are available in several different character versions: Mametchi (blue skin), Memetchi (white) and Kuchipatchi (green). In September, Violetchi (pink) will also be available.
Plush: The Tamagotchi Character Plush are colorful and cuddly plush companions that are petite, but super-sized in fun and friendship. In July, 5" character plush of Mametchi, Memetchi, Kuchipatchi, Gozarutchi, Violetchi and Ichigotchi are available.
The strength of the Tamagotchi brand has led to multiple successful licensing partnerships. NAMCO BANDAI Games has already introduced their second Nintendo DS title, with a Nintendo Wii version coming later in the year. Bandai Wireless' mobile phone game is now available online at Bandaiwireless.com. GALERIE recently began offering Tamagotchi plush with candy, and Pressman Toy Corp. will soon have an electronic board game and puzzles.About Tamagotchi Connection
Originally launched in 1997, the egg-shaped Tamagotchi - which simulates the life cycle of a real pet - went on to sell more than 40 million units worldwide and created a brand new toy category within the industry. Bandai America reintroduced the brand in 2004 with a new and highly popular infrared technology "connection" feature, thereby creating stronger-than-ever consumer demand among young kids and adults alike.
The new Tamagotchi Connection includes an ever-expanding assortment of design styles, the most games ever (20 games), 21 more characters (for a total of 53), and even more collectible souvenirs than before (144 total). V4/V4.5 builds on the play pattern of the very first virtual pet by letting owners connect their Tamagotchi with others - regardless of which version they have - via the infrared technology. The toys also have a snazzy new look, with a colorful ball on the antenna's end, and come in a redesigned package.
Tamagotchi Connection V4 debuted in January at all major retailers nationwide with a SRP of $14.99. Gotchi Gear(TM) lanyards, charms and Pet Pouches also debuted with a SRP of $4.99 - $7.99. Tamagotchi Connection V4.5 debuts in July, with the Character Plush, Decoration Kits and PC Accessory Packs (SRP of $4.99 - $34.99) coming as well. For more information about Tamagotchi, please visit www.Tamagotchi.com