First, there was Tamagotchi the toy, and now, there is Tamagotchi the movie.
Beginning the first week of December, video retailers as well as stores carrying the virtual pet from Japanese-based toymaker Bandai, will be selling a new video based on the Tamagotchi characters. The suggested retail price is US$14.95.
The storyline begins with the Great Gotchi, who sends the Tamagotchi characters to Earth in search of the Earth’s most treasured object. The video creates a humorous adventure story as the innocent alien characters encounter everyday life on Earth.
The video is the latest line extension of the hit toy product, which launched originally in Japan in November 1996. The product debuted at retail stores in North America in May. Within a month, Bandai had sold 3.5 million of its Tamagotchis, and a virtual petting zoo ensued with competition from Tiger Electronics’ Giga Pets and Playmates Toys’ Nano pets.
In September, Bandai followed up with a Tamagotchi CD-ROM and a Tamagotchi channel on the new Internet Explorer 4.0 Web browser.
‘The Tamagotchi CD-ROM let us bring the characters to life with color animation and expressive audio,’ says John McGanty, director of Bandai Digital Entertainment’s software division, adding that the video helps Bandai develop the story even further.
BDE partnered with multimedia producer 7th Level in developing the CD-ROM, Internet and video products.