The classic Tamagotchi tchotchke has once again hit the Japanese market, in chibi (tiny!) form. Japanese toy company Bandai first released the gadget globally in 1997 (following a positive Japan-only release in 1996), selling over 76 million worldwide at the time. Due to its huge success, several knock-off versions by other companies were distributed across the world, but none are as iconic and endearing as Bandai’s innovative egg-shaped digital companion.
Not only was the toy groundbreaking in terms of the technology as a type of interactive pet rock, it also taught children (and adults too) how to feed and care for an animal including cleaning up their unmentionables. Additionally, players were able to name their pet, play games with it and more. If a player forgot about their little guy (or simply got bored with the toy) it would even pass on to Tamagotchi heaven.
For those who are longing to relive the 90’s, Tamagotchi can only at this time be purchased on Amazon Japan for ￥2,000 (about $18, £15, AU$24). The re-released styles are smaller than the originals, but this reduced size makes the toy easier to transport anywhere. Don’t forget to turn off the sound when in meetings or at events!