As Tamagotchi makes a comeback, you now have another chance to murder a pixelated horse with your crippling neglect.
I remember the first time I committed murder. Worse than outright slaughter, it was the kind of loss so arbitrary and sudden it could have been born of sabotage, negligence, chance, or all three. I would never know the true culprit, but I remember the soon-all-too-familiar feeling of failure when I forgot about my Tamagotchi for three days. For three days, 6-year-old me lived a blissful life whilst she starved in the digital stratosphere, aching with neglect, till I turned on my little pod and saw a pixelated horse on its back, legs up, with Xs for its eyes.
My mom would not buy me another one, but this July, I’ll finally have a second chance at my Tamagotchi dreams.
As part of the retro revival trend reinventing '90s toys for modern markets, the famous Tamagotchi digital pet is making a comeback – and it’s #newandimproved.
Tamagotchi Returns This July
The Tamagotchi On, produced by Japanese manufacturer Bandai, will hit North American markets this July 27 to reawaken your millennial nostalgia.
Shortly after its launch in 1996, Tamagotchi became a best-selling toy and iconic staple of '90s childhood. The small keychain-sized pod contained a few basic buttons and a simple grey screen where you could interact with a rudimentary pixelated pet. The pets, which varied from horses to fish to dragons, would eat, sleep, and play. They required regular feeding and would beep when they were hungry. Occasionally, they required medicine. To be honest, other than that, they didn’t really do much.
While the principle of the toy is essentially unchanged from its earlier rendition, this new and improved Tamagotchi model does more than eat, sleep, and beep. According to toymaker Bandai, the new all-color Tamagotchi for 2019 can get married, “breed,” and inhabit different lands – “more of a character than a pet.”
“We wanted to keep aspects of the original Tamagotchi gameplay but make it more relevant for today's users by adding a colored-digital screen, new ways to connect and millions of different characters," Tara Badie, Bandai America's Marketing Director, said in a statement. "The new experiences and social connections raises the fun factor and provides users with endless hours of entertainment,"
"We couldn't be more excited to see new users' reactions as they experience the magic of caring for their digital pet," Badie added.
What We Know About the New Tamagotchi
While Tamagotchis never went out of circulation in Japan, they’ve disappeared from shelves in the U.S. since the early 2000s. The Tamagotchi On will launch in North America markets this July 27, Bandai representatives announced this week.
New Tamagotchi Features
- Decreased Risk of Murder from Neglect: In accordance with today's busy lifestyle, the new Tamagotchi Daycare Dropoff Feature allows you to deposit your digital pet in the hands of a caretaker during regular business hours or for the occasional night out. This allows you to do normal things like attend 2nd-grade classes or go to your job as an executive at Merrill Lynch so you don't have to become a stay-at-home mom for your digital loved one.
- Matrimony: As the medieval overlords we are to our digital serfs, we may now arrange marriages for our Tamagotchi, even building extensive genealogical pedigree networks with the Family Tree feature.
- Consumerism & Commerce: As you travel the digital landscape, you may purchase souvenirs, trinkets, and home goods to pamper your digital pet.
- Global Tourism: Socialize your Tamagotchi by exposing her to other cultures. The new Tamagotchi comes with the ability to travel to different lands, digital cities, and more.
- Camaraderie: Make friends in the digital world by connecting with locals in each town you visit. Chat with other Tamagotchi owners. This feature most definitely will not go wrong.
- Excretion: Train your Tamagotchi to use toilet facilities, or probably see a sad graphic when it ruins your pixelated carpet.
- Illness: Provide your Tamagotchi with top-tier medical treatment when a Tamagotchi-wide virus or digital plague strikes. You can even call an ambulance and transport her to an advanced care facility thanks to the socialized Tamagotchi Healthcare System, where she probably gets better healthcare than you.
- An App for That: It integrates with an app on your phone or tablet where you can play with it, travel, meet new characters, or earn something called Gotchi points.
- More Than Two Colors: The Tamagotchi On is equipped with a full-color screen because no one would buy a three-pixeled horse pod in 2019 anyway.
Tamagotchi On Features
Infographic displaying new Tamagotchi On 2019 features, including Featured Illness, Excretion, Matrimony, and Consumer Shopping. (Courtesy of Bandai America)
How to Get It:
Date Available: July 27, 2019
Price: $59.99 (Sold Individually)
Available Retailers: Amazon, Target, Urban Outfitters, GameStop, Barnes & Noble, and EB Games
Website: Tamagotchi On
"Our fanbase is already very excited and has done pre-orders," Badie says about the response to the announced release of Tamagotchi On. "With over 82M units sold globally and over 22 years in the market, Tamagotchi is a brand that is truly known across generations.”
The Tamagotchi On will be available through Amazon, Target, Urban Outfitters, GameStop, Barnes & Noble, and EB Games on July 27.
The toy is targeted at ages 6-12, but if you’re older than that, no judgment.
The original Tamagotchi of your childhood. (GIF Courtesy of Pedestrian)
Do you remember Tamagotchi? Am I the only one who killed my digital pet? Share your best '90s toy memories in the comments.