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An upgraded version of the popular Tamagotchi toy is about to be released in North America.
Bandai America, the US branch of Japanese toymaker company Bandai, announced that it will release the toy’s new version called Tamagotchi On this year. Selling for roughly $60 per unit, the toy can be pre-ordered by aspiring owners on selected websites.
Tamagotchi On’s new features include a colored digital screen, connectivity to other units, and new characters. The toy is a major revamp of the original Tamagotchi, which reached its peak in popularity in the late ‘90s.
Bandai America’s move to release Tamagotchi On aims to capitalize on a wave of popular ‘90s toys that are making a comeback. Some of these toys are Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and miniature dollhouses called Polly Pocket.
According to toy seller Alessio Di Marco, the demand for these old toys comes from adults who were children during the ‘90s. He explained that these adults are now able and willing to pay for the toys that were popular during their childhood. In addition, many of these adults have become parents and want to buy the toys for their children.
However, an advertising expert warned that companies cannot simply rely on past trends to sustain their products’ marketability. Instead, companies need to keep innovating to make sure they appeal to bigger markets.
Bandai America hopes it made the right move with Tamagotchi On. Marketing Director Tara Badie said that the new toy retained aspects of the original but added features that will make it more relevant to a new generation of users.