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Thread: What's with Bandai's marketing for the Ver. 20th's english release?

  1. #1
    Ain't got no mojo... Hanbei's Avatar
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    What's with Bandai's marketing for the Ver. 20th's english release?

    I found out about the Digital Monster Ver. 20th getting released through twitter, as i follow someone who posted TamaPalace's unboxing of the Ver. 20th, excited to find out it was in fact the Ver. 20th and not just a rerelease of the original V-Pet. Upon finding this out, i tried finding as much information about it as i could online, which led me here (i did lurk here a lot as a kid so i knew to look here). At first i chalked up the relative lack on info about it to the fact that it was a ways away from release, but now that it's already up for preorder on Amazon and allegedly is already even being sold in parts of the world, i have to ask, what's with the lack of interest by Bandai?
    I get that V-Pets are a relatively niche hobby, but this hardly justifies how silent they've been about its release. The Amazon page had incorrect information (in broken english, no less) that i watched almost drive someone away (and certainly has driven people away inadvertently), because it stated that the Ver. 20th was the "original version but in english". The only source we can point to that actually clears this up is a relatively obscure unboxing by TamaPalace, which you can't expect your random shmuck to know. And even now we know nothing about the version exclusive eggs (all the Amazon page had to say about the matter was something along the lines of "both version have same characters", but thankfully while i was writing this post the incorrect broken answers seem to have been taken down).

    I realize this probably sounds like some loser whining at Bandai (which, make no mistake, i am), but surely someone here also thinks Bandai's being pretty half-hearted in their marketing, right? Is this just for the V-Pets, or do you guys notice it with other aspects of the brand? (I didn't know Digimon Survive was even a thing until i created an account here, but i can't say for sure whether that's another example of them not caring or if i'm just blind to this sort of stuff)
    Is there some way of contacting Bandai about this issue? The petitions for Digimon games coming to the west had some effect on their judgment if that interview with Habu is to be trusted, so maybe they'd actually listen to our input on this? I just don't want the V-Pet to fail in the west and Bandai to go "whoops, the west doesn't like v-pets, time to never export them ever again"...

  2. #2
    I'm a Maniac Teddyzmon's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    I'm curious too. I'm still seeing the Amazon FAQ here though and it does raise more questions than it answers. I tried checking the Bandai America page but they only have Tamagotchi and no Digimon. Also, the packaging did not say anything about it being the 20th anniversary release though the Tamapalace video shows that it is. I have heard that they are being sold in Hong Kong stores already but I haven't be able to verify the news

  3. #3
    It's a niche product. They'll likely have minimal web ads, and more social media posts when it's out.

    When they aren't sure how much it'll sell, and stores don't have it, the marketing is minimal because most people will move on if it isn't immediately available.

    Fan input on things doesn't overly mean much in this case, because fans are terrible at marketing. (Fans also tend to be rather terrible at knowing what fans want in general.)

    The marketing for the Japanese ones is literally 'show them at events, post about them on social media, and maybe do a low budget livestream'.

    But they are also aware they have a dedicated audience for those who are watching to see what comes up.

    They know there is 'some' audience for them in the west, but what that is is reasonably unknown.

    But in general, no, these were never going to be items with heavy advertising, or even the kind of detailed websites fans want, because that simply isn't how it's done. (I mean, Bandai Japan only released a confirmed evolution guide for the X a couple weeks ago, and ordering that ended last year, and people have had theirs for months.)

    But that also means the goal isn't 'runaway sales success', they just want to see it be worth the effort.

    I have heard that they are being sold in Hong Kong stores already but I haven't be able to verify the news
    This kind of product, when it has a general release, you can always generally find in various Asian regions early (Hong Kong specifically.) It being out early is a sure thing, but any images that have gone up that I've seen haven't been in stores, but rather collectors who got ahold of a retailer case, so 'where' they got it from is unclear.

    I would expect they are in some retail stores there already though.
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  4. #4
    I'm going digital humulos's Avatar
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    I was discussing this with a few friends as well, it's pretty frustrating but as Marc pointed out, it's unfortunately to be expected for something like this. While Tamagotchi REALLY has the nostalgia factor going for it, the Digimon pets do not, as they were dropped pretty quick in the states. Digimon nostalgia comes from the cartoons for most people, so content like that is going to get a lot more attention from Bandai. Not only that, but Tamagotchi has been pretty well supported in the US overall, and saw two original releases, as well as at least Ocean and Angel in the US (maybe others? can't recall for sure), and then had the Connection series and many more. Digimon had the original version 1 in the US, and I think version 2 (I have never been super clear on that), but that was IT. No Pendulum, Progress, X, Accel, iC, Mini or anything. Because of this, a large part of the fandom doesn't even know that Digimon started life as a Vpet, and would assume that this is some sort of crossover. I'm really wondering what the general fans would even think of this. Imagine someone raising a Patamon for the first time and getting Orgemon, and discovering that they can't even get Angemon from Patamon, that's going to pretty confusing, and makes it hard to market it this to the anime fans.

    HOWEVER, here's where this is a positive story. No, Bandai isn't going to go out and advertise these in an overall meaningful way, but the fact that these exist is AMAZING. This means that we fans who have been religiously preordering the 20th devices and the DMX outside Japan have not gone unnoticed, and that based on the sales of these devices, they have reason to believe they can do reasonable well in other territories. It's a test run to be sure, but a very promising one. Bandai of America is taking it seriously, as while this is the same programming as the DM20, these aren't just leftover devices, they have different assembly and everything, showing that they were willing to put in effort to give this is a shot. Bandai is taking a gamble here, so if you want to make them care about Digimon pets outside of Japan, vote with your wallet like we've all been doing. Buy multiple devices if you can (because honestly, you gotta have at least 2!), tell all your friends about them, use them as gifts for birthdays, retweet everything you see about them: make this launch SUCCESSFUL. If you do, Bandai will see that, and we may very well see Digimon pets come back not just in Japan, but all over the world.
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  5. #5
    I'm a Maniac drtomoe123's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    I agree with humulos. Even though I grew up with the BoA electronics, I opted for importing the originals as soon as I got older -- all of the Premium Bandai releases just made that decision even easier. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that DM20 is getting released over here for $20 with two different colors than the Japanese waves is miraculous enough. Hopefully curiosity and word of mouth paired with the affordable price will do some good.

  6. #6
    Frankly, Bandai 'not' going hardcore on spending for advertising is honestly a good thing.

    Realistically, heavy cash spent in advertising won't move the needle on sales for these much.

    But not having that money spent also means the V-Pets don't have to make it 'back' in sales.

    Sales on these were going to be fans specifically looking for them, or people who stumble upon them. The bar not being artificially raised in an attempt to reach an audience who was (realistically) never going to buy them makes it easier for these to be a success, potentially leading to more.
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  7. #7
    Ain't got no mojo... AKluthe's Avatar
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    I've been kinda surprised by this whole thing; not the lack of marketing push but the way that Bandai's western wing seems to generally not understand the brand. IE: "Digimons" "DigiMon", calling this a "digivice", confusion on if it was a remake of the original or the 20th, etc.

    I would have thought -- at the very least -- some of the big Digimon fangroups would have gotten samples alongside TamaPalace.

    Then again, I'm also surprised they bothered to translate the 20th -- I thought we were gonna get a stripped down v20th made to work like the original v1. And I can't believe how cheap these are going to be compared to what Japan has been charging.

  8. #8
    Ain't got no mojo...
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    I'm just surprised that I can't even get any of the recent ones besides the English regular V-pet v20 because I missed the window, which I'm really sad about, as I'd love to have an X version

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