Bandai, producers of the world’s first cyber pet Tamagotchi, has appointed a licensing agency to extend the brand into several other product areas.
Beanstalk Europe, the agency behind Coca-Cola, Jim Beam and Apple merchandise, is currently negotiating contracts with companies to produce branded goods, ranging from sunglasses, watches and toiletries to clothing, footwear and confectionery.
Tamagotchi will be the first toy which has not been advertised on television or born out of a television series or film to experience a brand extension of this kind, claims Bandai.
Bandai, Japan’s largest toy maker and producer of the hugely successful Power Rangers, signed the contract with Beanstalk last week and the merchandise is expected to be launched in the autumn. CD-Rom and Gameboy versions of the virtual pet are also being launched later this year.
The LCD machine, an attention-seeking cyber pet, has taken the toy market by storm since its UK launch in May. Worldwide sales are expected to reach 30 million by the end of this year.
Darrell Jones, product manager for Bandai, says no television advertising is planned for Tamagotchi, since the publicity surrounding demand for the product has been more than sufficient.