As a relatively unknown affiliate of their parent company SEGA TOYS has an interesting history that encompasses both Dreamcast development & publishing as well as SEGA’s oft-overlooked PICO systems. The company was established as SEGA TOYS, Inc in February of ’91 and they were based in the Tatio-Ku district of Tokyo, Japan. Initially the company focused on products for the Japanese market leveraging various SEGA properties as well as licensed & original products. Currently the company is known as SEGA TOYS Co.,Ltd and develops a wide range of products from global brands such as Disney, My Little Pony & Pepper Pig.
It’s debatable to which product can be considered to be SEGA TOYS best known certainly in the mid ’90’s to the early ’00’s it arguably would’ve been the SEGA PICO edutainment system. SEGA TOYS weren’t involved in the systems development as it was initially an internal SEGA project but by the late 90’s they had become the SEGA division responsible for the PICO system. SEGA TOYS were also involved in the PICO’s successor the Advanced PICO Beena system which unlike the original PICO system which debut in most major markets it was a Japanese exclusive release.
Personally, apart from the company’s Dreamcast releases i was familiar with SEGA TOYS through their range of Homestar Planetarium systems. The Homestar line was first introduced in ’06 and seems to have been a successful product line for the company so much so at least in Europe it seems the the various Homestar systems are retailed as a separate entity under their own Homestar brand rather than the general umbrella of the SEGA TOYS brand name.
Even through SEGATOYS is a wholly owned subsidiary of SEGA the company for all intents & purposes operates as an independent company. This explains why their Dreamcast titles had been released with a third party catalogue code of T-4180- rather than the official SEGA designation of HDR-.
SEGA TOYS developed two titles for the Dreamcast both of which were based on licensed properties and realistically i assume they’d be relatively unknown outside their native Japanese market at the time of their release. The first of SEGA TOYS Dreamcast releases was ビックリマン2000 ビバ!フェスチバァ! or BIKKURIMAN 2000 which was released on the 2nd of May 2000 & it retailed for ¥4,800. The games entry on the archived Dreamcast catalogue states that its genre is Variety Entertainment. Personally, i’d describe the game as a mini game collection but if you’d like some basic technical information about the game its Dreamcast catalogue entry is linked to below. ©ロッテ／BP・小学館・テレビ東京・NAS copy;SEGA ENTERPRISES,LTD.,2000
Before i give my opinion about BIKKURIMAN 2000 i feel it’s only fair to state that before i researched the game i was completely unaware of the licensed property it was based on. BIKKURIMAN was & indeed still is something of a cultural phenomenon that is exclusive to Japan. While there are similar products elsewhere even here in the United Kingdom none have had the longevity and popularity of the BIKKURIMAN brand. The only licensed product that i’m aware off that has a similar random collectable element comparable to BIKKURIMAN is Panini’s various licensed stickers & associated books. But a more realistic comparison would be bubble gum or sweets with transfers or stickers based on licensed properties. But the staggering amount of different finishes and limited card types the BIKKURIMAN brand incorporates simply isn’t replicated outside of Japan.
A comprehensive history about the BIKKURIMAN franchise is well beyond the scope of this article but i’ll try to give a very brief overview of the franchise and how through its different incarnations has successfully managed to continually reinvent itself for successive generations.
The BIKKURIMAN property is the brainchild of Lotte Co.,Ltd who established the brand in ’77 essentially by producing a chocolate coated wafer which contained a random sicker. The random sticker is what i’d describe in my ignorance as a parody character image based on various deity’s. The brand was an instant success and by the late ’80’s to the early ’90’s the BIKKURIMAN craze was arguably at its peak of its success. The franchise has since expanded in to other confectionery products each with their own exclusive stickers which in turn increased demand for these new product lines. The brand has also transitioned in to various media products to capitalise on the popularity of the franchise these include anime tv shows, various consumer software as well as collaborations with other licensed brands & real life celebrities.
As the Brand reached fever pitch in the early ’90’s the brand started having negative connotations due to the addictive nature of collecting the BIKKURIMAN stickers and also by the highly inflated secondary market where certain select stickers were commanding exorbitant prices. By the Late ’90’s the brand successfully rebooted and this new incarnation of the franchise was known as BIKKURIMAN 2000 named on the upcoming millennium. This new version of the brand had a coordinated media campaign to support its release including a new BIKKURIMAN 2000 tv show and various games based on the 2000 incarnation for the Dreamcast, Game Boy & NEO GEO Pocket systems.
You begin the game by choosing either 星天使タケル or 天助ポーチwhich are the games playable characters. The point of BIKKURIMAN 2000 is to collect over eighty different virtual stickers. The way to acquire the stickers is by amassing coins which have two functions the first of which is unlocking new areas. The second is by competing in a wide variety of mini games which forms the bulk of the main gameplay of BIKKURIMAN 2000.
All of the mini games featured in BIKKURIMAN 2000 are simple to pick up & play and considering the target market for the game would probably be children surprising frustrating. Perhaps it might just be me but i found even the easy games fairly strict certainly no pushover as i had anticipated. The mini games themselves have impressive variety from target shooting, fishing, rhythm-based games & skill based challenges as well as many others.
After you acquired some coins you can try your luck on the slot machines to try to win some of the exclusive stickers. Just like a real slot machine there’s reels that will either help or hinder you but generally its fairly easy with patience to unlock the stickers. You’ll need to open all the areas to be able to have a chance of collecting all the stickers.
Unsurprisingly, given the collectible nature of the license BIKKURIMAN 2000 had a pre-order campaign that featured an exclusive gold & silver sticker set of the DreamCat character which was designed exclusively for the game. You had to pre-order the game between the 1st of May & the 16th at Toys’ R Us, Lawson & Jusco to be eligible and stocks were limited. Unfortunately, i don’t own this pre-order bonus but the BIKKURIMAN 2000 archived site has a picture if you curious and i’ve reproduced it below.
As well as this set a much rarer variant was distributed at the Next Generation World Hobby Fair 2000 this set was identical to the previous store reservation version apart unlike the gold & sliver set it was plainly coloured. Personally, i would’ve assumed the distribution method would’ve been reversed but i honestly i still don’t really understand the meaning of the different sticker types.
The BIKKURIMAN 2000 franchise also appeared on other manufacturers hardware most notably Nintendo’s Game Boy system where it was published by Imagineer & more importantly for this article SNK’s NEO GEO Pocket handheld system. I assume to enhance the collectable nature of the licence and create synergy between the various titles the NEO GEO Pocket version of the game was compatible with the Dreamcast version by way of the NEO GEO Pocket link cable. I do own the NEO GEO Pocket system and its link cable but i don’t own the system’s BIKKURIMAN 2000 title and in all honesty i don’t expect to any time soon. Since i’ve not experienced the connectivity between the systems i can’t really say much more about the subject, the admittedly brief research i conducted it seems that you could transfer coins from the Pocket version over to the Dreamcast i can’t state if there was any other functionality due to not have played it for myself.
The Second and final title that SEGA TOYS developed & published from the system was ぼく ドラえもん or Boku Doraemon which was released on the 25th of January 2001 and retailed for ¥5,800. Unlike SEGA TOYS previous title at least aware of the Doraemon character due to it appearing on previous titles on other systems but i certainly wasn’t familiar with the characters source material.
Simply i’ve never played Boku Doraemon and the amount of titles i have to give my opinion on for the site realistically precludes me from experiencing the game anytime soon. I will however update this section once i’ve experienced the game for myself. If you have an interest in the Dreamcast version of Boku Doraemon i’d recommend the games archived official site for information relating to the game which is linked to below. © 藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日 © SEGA TOYS
T-41801M BIKKURIMAN 2000 Viva! Festival!
T-41802M Boku Doraemon
SAMPLE T-41801M BikkuriMan 2000 Viva! Festival!
SAMPLE T-41802M Boku Doraemon
(NOT FOR SALE) 非売品 discs & other media
I’m not personally aware of any individual Not for Sale discs for either of SEGA TOYS titles. I don’t believe that there’s any content on compilation discs like Dreamcast Magazine or Dream Preview i might be wrong i still need to catalogue their contents. As for any other media i’m aware of printed media mainly posters for both titles but no soundtracks or guide books. The only other media that i know of relates to BikkuriMan 2000 & it’s two exclusive pre-release Dreamcat sticker sets.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article on SEGA TOYS and their two Dreamcast titles if you have any information about either BikkuriMan 2000 or Boku Doraemon please get in contact i’d appreciate it. You’re able to contact me either directly through the site or on Twitter @dreamcastcollector