From the makers of the hit pet toy from the 90’s the ‘Tamagotchi’ – Bandai has whimpered back into the market with its newest toy – the ‘TechPet’. The TechPet is a robotic dog that uses an iPhone as the facial interface.
Like Tamagotchi, you nurture your pet by feeding, grooming and playing. However unlike the Tamagotchi, the TechPet will cost you $59.99 and will tie up the use of your iPhone.
Bandai says its target market for the TechPet will be tweens. This seems like a huge error in judgment of the tween market. Look around at tweens these days – they’re not kids anymore. Tweens are on facebook, twitter, instagram – just like adults are. Except, they’re even more active on social networks than adults are.
A tween in the 90s didn’t have an iPhone. They didn’t have much electronic entertainment available on the go. A Tamagotchi was a cute, $10 solution to that problem. Now that they’ve got iPhones, there’s no end to how much entertainment they have available on the go. They’re texting, uploading, sharing and tweeting. Ask any tween, they’d tell you they would have an anxiety attack if they didn’t check their iPhone every 10 seconds.
Is a clunky, expensive gadget that ties up the use of the iPhone going to be something that appeals to phone-addicted tweens? Nope.