If you were alive in the mid to late 90’s, there’s a very real probability that you got caught up in one of the era’s biggest fads: The Tamagotchi.
The little egg-shaped computers housed digital pets that had all the annoyance of real pets, but none of the snuggly charm. You had to feed them, keep them happy and healthy – and also clean up their digital droppings, all without getting anything remotely resembling love and affection in return.
I had one. I’m not convinced it was an original, Bandai-made one, but I had one. I had a love/hate relationship with my digital critter, a collection roughly chicken-shaped LCD pixels that demanded my attention. I was happy to see it go – but perhaps you may be happy to see the Tamagotchi return.
They’ve never really left of course, becoming a bit of a niche item that was last released In an updated form in 2015. There have also been attempts to revive the craze through mobile apps and games but they’ve not quite had the impact Bandai may have wanted.
In a world that seems to be taken by nostalgia at the moment – with the return of the NES and the Nokia 3310 – perhaps Bandai can reignite Tamagotchi interest with a return to its roots. In honour of the thing’s 20th anniversary, Bandai has released an old-school Tamagotchi that’s very similar to its original release (via Engadget), only decidedly smaller.
They’re only available in Japan at the moment, at a cost of ¥2,000, which is around R250. R250 to be annoyed? Hard pass.