If you’re over 30, you probably remember your Tamagotchi — and now you may get a chance to not kill them this time.
Parent company Bandai has announced that a “limited quantity” of Tamagotchis will be sold this holiday season in the U.S., celebrating the toy’s 20th anniversary. (Yes, 20 years.) They will be available in the six classic models, egg-shaped with a pixelated LCD charm that will look quaint next to today’s modern graphics.
Lined up alongside such toy crazes as Furby and Tickle Me Elmo, Tamagotchis were “digital pets” on a keychain, selling 82 million units since its release in 1997. Famous for causing trauma, it was a “realistic” electronic pet in that it would die if you forgot to feed it, and it had to be tended to every 15 minutes.
“Everyone’s favorite virtual pet (to murder) from the ‘90s is back,” declares Adam Rosenberg of Mashable.com.
Tamagotchis have remained available for sale in Japan over the years, as shown by pop star Katy Perry carrying one to the Met last year. Its appeal was largely focused on the ability to take the game anywhere — much like today’s mobile games — and the fact that it appealed equally to boys and girls, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“The enduring power of Tamagotchi is its clear expression that nurturing and love never goes out of style,” said Bandai America marketing director Tara Badie. “It’s such an honor to bring back one of the most beloved toys in a way that captures the magic and joy of a generation while embracing the sensibilities of new generations.”
It may come as a shock to some ‘90s kids that the Tamagotchi craze was 20 years ago. Others will note that it’s still as much of a time-suck as it was before: cleaning up its messes and paying it attention is necessary on a regular basis - though some of the play options were left out of the new version, including training and discipline.
The needy little Tamagotchis officially go on sale Nov. 5, but preorders are being taken already at some retailers. Do remember to feed it this time.