Bandai America Incorporated today revealed its offerings for 2007, on the eve of the 2007 American International Toy Fair in New York City (February 11-14). The new year holds a number of milestones for the company, including the 15th anniversary celebration of the Power Rangers toy line, the expansion of the popular Ben 10™ action figure brand, and the debut of the most technologically advanced Tamagotchi ever, created with Tamagotchi Connection V4.
Two new properties are also joining Bandai America’s portfolio: Girlz Connect, a girls’ electronics lifestyle brand that builds on the company’s strength in the category with Tamagotchi and features interactive social play; and Team Galaxy, which is based on the Cartoon Network show from leading French animation company Marathon Media (Totally Spies).
Additionally, the company will showcase a number of toys that offer online interactivity as a way to increase the overall play experience. These products include the Mega Mission Helmet, the first Power Rangers role-play toy to include a USB drive that allows kids to download secret missions from Bandai.com; Tamagotchi V4 and V4.5, which connects to the magical world of TamagotchiTown.com via special passwords; and Girlz Connect’s Destiny, which also offers a USB that allows girls to download their own quizzes from the brand’s Web site.
TAMAGOTCHI CONNECTION V4
With V4, everyone can “live the Tamagotchi life” 24/7 by controlling the future of their favorite Tamagotchi characters. By playing the new mini games and going to school, players earn different Skill Points, which affects what jobs (doctor, rock star, fashion designer and more) you can choose from. An expanded world of TamagotchiTown.com debuts as well. The infrared “connection” technology, which has made the toy extremely popular with kids today, is upgraded to allow kids to continue connecting with their friends, no matter which version they have.
TAMAGOTCHI CONNECTION V4.5
Then in Fall 2007, Bandai America launches its first mid-year refresh with Tamagotchi Connection V4.5, featuring new careers, mini games and design styles. Plus, the brand expands with three new products: plush; the Decoration Kit which allows you to “bling” your Tamagotchi; and software. The Tamagotchi PC Pack comes with an exclusive Tamagotchi Connection V4.5 toy and accessories to decorate your home computer. Load the included CD-ROM disk to access fun wallpapers, games, printable graphics and a customizable desktop Tamagotchi character. Additionally, the tree-shaped microphone features a voice-response system that allows kids to interact with their character as it fetches their email, goes to the Internet, dances onscreen and more.
Taking a page from the interactivity of Tamagotchi, Bandai America is expanding its youth electronics with the exciting new Girlz Connect brand. Featuring LocketPal and Destiny, these colorful and portable tech toys offer endless hours of interactive play. Both feature a touch screen and stylus that puts activities like games or quizzes, horoscopes and more at the player's fingertips. Reminiscent of a PDA device, LocketPal is a first tech toy for younger girls 5-8 years old. Destiny is for tween girls 8-13 years old, allowing groups of friends to connect both offline and online. After taking the 20 different personality quizzes in the toy, they can log on to the Girlzconnect.com Web community to compare their results with others, as well as use the USB drive to create and download new ones from the site.
POWER RANGERS OPERATION OVERDRIVE
To celebrate the brand’s milestone 15th anniversary at retail, Bandai America debuts a new toy line for Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, including an expanded lineup of treasure hunting themed figures, vehicles, Megazords and role-play toys. Two key products that demonstrate new transforming action, collectibility and interconnectivity include the Overdrive Tracker Morpher (Spring), with its unique black light for decoding secret clues, and the Mega Mission Helmet (Fall), which is equipped with lights, sounds and a USB drive. This functionality allows kids to download multiple, three-minute long missions from Bandai.com directly into the helmet so they can act out their favorite action scenes from the TV show.
Fans can expect lots more aliens from the Cartoon Network series – both good and bad – to be put into action figure form for the first time, as well as new products such as the 12” Epic Alien Figures, Transforming Alien Ships, and the realistic Deluxe Omnitrix with its own LCD game screen. Kids can use the Omnitrix role-play device, with its Alien Voice Changer, to sound like an alien, while the Transforming Arm Set allows them to look like one. In addition, Bandai America is taking a humorous page from the show – where Ben is obsessed with collecting hard-to-find Sumo Slammer cards – to introduce the unique Sumo Slammer Battle Sets. While it comes with 6 sumo-sized figures, each set also includes five collectible cards that can be used in a Japanese Menko battle, a play pattern considered as a forerunner to the modern card game phenomenon.
Set to blast off into the retail stratosphere in the Fall, Team Galaxy is a new Cartoon Network adventure series for boys 6-11 that combines 2D and CGI animation. Colorful humans (with their own pets), alien characters, cool vehicles and high-tech gadgetry will all feature in Bandai America’s toy line. Intergalatic fans should lookout for 5” figures, miniature and transforming vehicles, playsets, and role-play toys with different light and sound effects.