Bandai to launch Tamagotchi Friends worldwide in 2014

Tamagotchi Friends

Japanese toymaker Bandai has announced a new series of Tamagotchi virtual pets to celebrate the seventeenth anniversary of the franchise.

The Tamagotchi Friends line will be supported by new devices, technology and a portfolio of interactive products, beginning with a European release in December 2013, followed by the US market in late 2014. Global roll-out is scheduled throughout next year.

Animated web episodes will also debut worldwide on 23 November to coincide with original Tamagotchi series’ launch seventeen years ago.

“The new Tamagotchi Friends combines the nurturing features and simple play pattern of the beloved handheld virtual pet, with exciting new entertainment that we believe will really resonate with Tamagotchi fans,” said Bandai America’s Girls Marketing Director Georgia Manolas-Lopez. “And now, with the new BUMP feature, similar to what’s found in today’s smartphones, these lovable, whimsical friends can connect with each other for massively increased levels of interaction.”

The Tamagotchi products have sold more than 79 million units globally since Bandai first introduced the virtual pets brand in 1996.