The other big property Mr Sato was keen to talk about was the new Tamagotchi Friends line. “We also have a new feature that lets you play with other Tamagotchis. We have been doing this property for many years in Japan and we are very excited to bring it here, it’s one of our best properties. You can interact with your friends, and as the word gets out we have a website where you can watch the episodes.”
Along with a mind boggling expanded cast of career and relationship driven characters the electronic pets have a new “bump” feature that allows your Tamagothcis to visit each other and perform a variety of activities.
This is a strong edition to what is already a strong brand. Being one of the first movers (if not instigator) of the virtual pet genre, a new Tamagotchi line of toys comes with quite a heritage. It will be interesting to see how it fairs with the newer competitors making strong improvements as well — Furby Boom and the like.
From what I saw at Toy Fair, Tamagotchi Friends manages to hit a happy balance between virtual and physical play. I’d like to see more cross-over functionality between the toys and the electronic egg, like we see in Angry Birds games, but perhaps that is something for another year.