I don’t think I’ve seen a revival like this since Mary Lambert’s Stephen King adaptation.
Bandai America began online preorder sales for new, smaller version of its 1997 Tamagotchi on Tuesday to mark the digital pet’s 20th anniversary.
“Like the original Tamagotchi device, the mini Tamagotchi includes six different shell designs from the initial Japanese launch and each one includes six characters,” the Tamagotchi Friends website states. “To pay homage to fans, the mini Tamagotchi will also feature the iconic packaging design of the original Tamagotchi device. Now, both original fans and new fans can obsess over caring for their Tamagotchi character, and as they do the character will uniquely grow and develop.”
Love them or hate them, folks about my age (and maybe a tad bit older) still remember the craze for the keychain-sized, egg-shaped digital pet that taught kids that the key points to animal care involve feeding, attention and cleaning up poop. And the consequences of neglect involve tiny, heart-wrenching digital death.
In fact, I still remember hearing about the physical fights that broke out during holiday shopping when parents insisted they needed one of a certain color. According to Tamagotchi Friends, since its 1997 release, more than 82 million units have been sold worldwide.
But is this a piece of nostalgia that still appeals to my generation? I’m thinking no.
Since 1997 there have been a vast number of new digital trends that have been made for us to “obsess” over, let alone nurture. Let us not forget what “FarmVille” did to our friends, family and loved ones.
I also have a lot less leisure time now than I did then. There’s a difference between getting called out by an elementary school teacher for playing with toys in class and your boss calling you out at work.
And personally I now have my own real, living pets to care for.
But maybe some newer parents are thinking about passing this “obsession” onto their own kids. I’m not against it, but there are so many other options out there.
Then again, I could just be bias. I never had a Tamagotchi growing up. I had a Nano Pet. A puppy, whom I lovingly called Steve.
The Tamagotchi reboot will be sold individually and at limited quantity beginning Nov. 5 for the suggested retail price of $14.99.
Catherine Wong is a Eureka resident and an avid fan of Blizzard, Bethesda and Square Enix games. She is the night editor of the Times-Standard and can be reached at 707-441-0503.