Cult 90s toy Tamagotchi to make US comeback with smaller version in November

The smaller versions of the original device will be priced from US$14.99 (S$20) each.
The smaller versions of the original device will be priced from US$14.99 (S$20) each.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/BANDAI AMERICA

Tamagotchi - the virtual pocket pets that were all the rage in the 1990s - is making a return with toymaker Bandai America announcing its release of a smaller version of the device on Tuesday (Oct 10).

The smaller Tamagotchi toy will be released in limited quantities on Nov 5 this year, as part of celebrations for the 20th anniversary of Tamagotchi in the United States, Bandai America said in a statement.

Bandai said the new mini Tamagotchi devices would be sold individually from US$14.99 (S$20) each, and would have six shell designs, with six characters each.

Pre-orders for the devices can be made from Tuesday at select North American retailers.

The company has sold more than 82 million Tamagotchi toys worldwide since its introduction.

The Tamagotchi was released in 1996 in Japan and rolled out to the rest of the world in 1997.

The device was egg-shaped and came in various colours, with most of the versions having only three buttons. The virtual creatures could be fed and played with, among other features.

The word "Tamagotchi" is a portmanteau of the Japanese word for egg (tamago) and the English word "watch".

"For many Generation X kids, the Tamagotchi device can be considered America's first and favourite digital pet," said marketing director for Bandai America Tara Badie.

 

"The enduring power of Tamagotchi is its clear expression that nurturing and love never goes out of style. It's such an honour 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."

The original version of the Tamagotchi toys were re-released on Amazon Japan in April this year for its 20th anniversary.