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Thursday March 11 9:04 AM ET Japanese Furby On The Way

Japanese Furby On The Way

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tomy Co Ltd said Thursday it would launch a Japanese version of the talking interactive ``Furby'' toy in Japan at the end of May.

Major Japanese toymaker Tomy said it hoped to sell more than one million of the Furbys in Japan in the business year to March 2000, at a planned sales price at 3,980 yen.

Demand for Furby, a furry, gremlin-like electronic ``pet'' made by Hasbro Inc. (AMEX:HAS - news)'s Tiger Electronics Ltd, was crushing during the last holiday sales season in the United States. It led to massive lines at many toy retailers as customers scrambled for each store's limited ration.

``The Furbys sold on overseas markets talk in English. We plan to market a Japanese version, which means they talk in Japanese,'' a Tomy spokeswoman said.

Tomy has a contract with Tiger Electronics to market the Furby exclusively in Japan, the spokeswoman said.

Tomy, which debuted on the over-the-counter market in September 1997, plans to be listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on March 15.

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