How Long Can Bandai Keep Those Cute Little Pets Alive?

Investors are worried that the Tamagotchi fad will fade

They hatch. They eat. They grow. They peep. They make tons of money. They're the Tamagotchi virtual pets, brainchild of Japan's largest toymaker, Bandai Co. This year, Bandai expects worldwide sales of its digital pets to reach $330 million--more than double the 1997 amount. And that does not include the expected windfall from film, game software, and cartoon royalties. "It has been the biggest boost ever to our business," says President and CEO Takashi Mogi.

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