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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 February, 2004, 08:05 GMT
Tamagotchi reborn as an adult
Tamagotchis have grown up
Tamagotchi, the interactive robot pet, is to get a new lease of life.

Bandai, the Japanese toy firm behind the egg-shaped plastic toy, has said it plans to relaunch the Tamagotchi robot next month.

But the new Tamagotchi's habits will be more grown up than the original version; it will be able to go on dates, marry and have babies.

The original pocket sized Tamagotchi toys won hearts by beeping to demand regular attention from their owners.

But their demands for affection were more limited, focused largely on food and drink.

Tamagotchis that did not receive enough love died, shutting down their screens.

The new Tamagotchi Plus will be able to mingle, chat and date with other Tamagotchis using infrared portals, according to its makers, Bandai.

Tamagotchi was first launched in 1996 and had sold 40 million units within a couple of years.

Tamagotchi Plus will go on sale on 2 March priced at 1,980 yen ($19).

Bandai's other products include Power Rangers dolls and Hello Kitty games.

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