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Is Bandai killing off Tamagotchi?

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:16 PM ( #18 )

I do think up to a certain price point they would have trouble selling in western markets, especially if they were just marketed to children. However, the Japanese retail price of color screen tamas is currently pretty reasonable, and there are a ton of dedicated adult collectors with more disposable income as well. If an English version couldn't strictly be made available in other countries' stores, they could at least create one with an official English patch and some means to make it easily obtainable. Then the tama could still be imported from Japan to anywhere in the world. Shipping, customs fees, etc would still be an issue, but it does solve the language problem.


I would also say that most toy collecting hobbies probably have similar trends in general, but tama's uniqueness is that the more complicated the features are, the more language becomes a barrier. The only analogous thing I can currently think of is stuff like model assembly instructions.


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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:17 PM ( #19 )

The actual price of color tamagotchis isn't all that bad. Remember that the prices we are paying are NOT retail prices, but inflated prices.They're a bit over 30$, while toys like hatchimals are like 50$.

Edited by Jhud, 16 January 2018 - 05:17 PM.

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 07:56 PM ( #20 )

Those are all good points. I guess I wonder if it just comes down total population of tamagotchi collectors in the US and outside of Japan. It's hard to compare to other things considering Tamagotchi's current low presence in the US (and really, nonexistent for the last couple years before the mini, it seems) on store shelves. I guess one of the ways you could dig further into it is looking at unique visitors here and on places like the Tamagotchi wiki, or in facebook groups.


I'd say it's logical to assume that there's also not really an effort to snare fans in the US right now, and maybe that's half the problem, but the support of the mini shows--as you're saying--that fans exist. Still, to make it sustainable, how many of the people who bought the mini are fans and how many were just bit by the nostalgia bug that's hyper-common with our generation? $14-18 dollars is a pretty easy price point to swallow. I probably would spring for a $40-50 tama in a US store (even before I jumped back into collecting), but I can't say a lot of people would. That said, you're right, a lot of more technical, popular toys are also around that price point, BUT, Hatchimals are popular with a lot of younger kids (I hear my niece ask for them all the time) while in the current retail climate, those same kids have lived sad, tama-deprived lives.


By the same token, Bandai is starting to put more of their model kits in places like Barnes and noble and releasing a lot of their small figure lines in Toys R Us (though Toys R Us is on the verge of failing as well). This is a double-edged sword, because in the eyes of Bandai, THAT'S what people want over here. On the other hand, success in those fields might embolden them. The tough sell there is would the same japanophiles who buy Gundam Converge, Gunpla, and Figurarts stuff also be iterested in Tamas, especially considering none of the former need translation? (It's worth noting that most gunpla does have english in the instructions now, but it's unnecessary 99% of the time because of the pictures) Maybe, maybe not. I would, but then, I'm not the normal demographic representation for a 33-year-old male.

...Sorry, getting rambly. Long day. I hope Bandai is emboldened by the mini, but I think it'd behoove them to launch both the 20th anniversary P1/P2s as well as something with less complexity than a M!x and more graphical power than a Connection or something along those lines. Again, my experiences are different, because I've never really gotten my hands on P's or ID's or 4U's or anything in between those two points. Maybe there's something there that would already scratch that itch, and maybe translating an old tama that the US has never experienced would do just that.


Edited by Hoky, 16 January 2018 - 08:44 PM.

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