One of the benefits of reviewing gadgets, is the joy of getting them before they hit the market. And if they actually happen to be electronic toys, then, I am as happy as a kid in a candy store. That was the case as I got the opportunity to explore Bandai’s latest and greatest Tamagotchi toys. Yes, I will admit that I am a big kid at heart if not in spirit. The Tamagotchi Connection, V5 and the Tamagotchi Lama Leash, are two hot items that are bound to elicit a few “gotta have stares” among the 8 year old and over crowd. My first impressions of the Tamagotchi V5 virtual electronic pet is that it takes off where the Tamagotchi V4 left off, in that it adds a few more features to its virtual kingdom. Such as having the ability to grow their family using a myriad of styles such as celebrity, athlete, model, paparazzi and royal families. I was impressed with the jazzier multi-colored design of the V5 that conjures of thoughts of a rainbow or a beautiful arrangement of pretty flowers! Also, three buttons align the unit for various play functionality and a reset button adorns the back of the V5 unit. Also, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention Bandai’s kid and parent friendly website. Continued kudos goes to the folks at Bandai for leaving the battery compartment located on the back of the unit as a “parent” only task (in order to access the back of the unit, one has to use a screw driver to replace the battery). The V5 is solid in craftsmanship (sturdy plastic), and it appeared lighter in my hands. Additionally, the V5 includes a metal lanyard like key chain which can be attached to the new Tamagotchi Lama Leash. The Lama Leash is available in three vibrant colors and each Leash comes with an adorable charm that can be attached to the metal lanyard. I can even see teachers using the Lama Leash too, perhaps, to attach plastic name tags for when classes go on field trips (if anything the bright colors will be noticeable). All in all, I think the Tamagotchi Connection V5 and the Tamagotchi Lama Leash will strike the right cord with the young crowd. Just ask the happy and proud recipients of these new gadgets; my darling nieces. It seems that they have got a jump on the rest of the crowd, since these items do not debut until later this summer (August 2008). These fun toys, will be definitely worth the wait!
Update: V5 is already available in stores, the celebrity edition of Familitchi will be available in August