For those nostalgic for the 90’s, the Tamagotchi phenomenon is back to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bandai, the world famous Japanese toy manufacturer.
In Japanese, “tamago” means egg, while the pronunciation of the English word “watch” gives “chi”. Released in 1996 in Japan and in 1997 in other countries, the Tamagotchi caused a sensation when it was launched. For the younger generation, or those who might have missed the phenomenon entirely at the time, the Tamagotchi is a small egg-shaped device with three buttons and a small screen. The goal is simple: the owner must take care of a small virtual creature from its birth to its death. You have to play regularly with your Tamagotchi, feed it, wash it and take care of it, however virtual it may be. And if by misfortune it was abandoned, the creature died in atrocious suffering.
Back then, all the kids were begging their parents for it. This little Japanese toy was then sold in Mauritius at Rs 200 (when it was not out of stock). So after the recent release of the Nintendo Classic Mini, it’s Bandai’s turn to please its early fans with a special version of the famous Tamagotchi.
Tamagotchi: a phenomenon that quickly became an addiction
The purpose of this toy was to keep the screen constantly on and to keep the virtual creature in check. If the little watch was virtual, all young people, in Mauritius as elsewhere, were literally addicted to it. This simple gadget quickly became popular among young people at the time, with a million copies sold in France alone, competing with the Game Boy. After this period, Tamagotchis continued to sell and evolve, but like many toys, they gradually lost their popularity. What’s more, they never really came back to the forefront despite some attempts at imitation. With this release, Bandai does not intend to generate the same interest as it did back then but wanted to mark the twenty years of the franchise that still exists today.
20 years, that’s something to celebrate!
For its 20th anniversary, Bandai will publish a new version of Tamagotchi. The Japanese brand has indeed released in France on October 25, six mini versions of Tamagotchi declined in five colors. In the United States, a mini version will be sold in limited quantities starting November 5. This new version is smaller than the first one, but has exactly the same features and gameplay. Sold for $14.99 (or €12 available on the net), we can only hope that the virtual pet won’t die of neglect because of a certain Facebook.