The Tamagotchi was, without a doubt, every ‘90s kid favorite toy. If you belong to that generation, keep reading: here’s everything you need to know about the popular Japanese game and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: Its Name Is a Combination of Words
The name “Tamagotchi” comes from Japanese “tamago”, meaning “egg”, and “tomodachi”, wmeaning “friendly”. “Friendly egg” or “egg-friend” would be the closest translations.
Number Fourteen: It Was Banned in Schools
Many schools in Japan, the Philippines, the U.S., Spain and other countries decided to ban Tamagotchis in schools because the toys kept beeping and it distracted the students. The game suffered from a drastic drop in sales in the early ‘00s for this specific reason.
Number Thirteen: It Worried Psychologists
When the toy was first introduced into the United States in the late ‘90s, psychologists nationwide claimed to be concerned for the children’s wellbeing after taking care of their cyberpets. A psychologist at the Dalton School in Manhattan told the New York Times that “the toy creates a real sense of loss and a mourning process”. However, they concluded that it could be a beneficial learning experience for teenagers.
Number Twelve: It Has Its Own TV Show
Tamagotchi was brought back in 2009 as an anime. The show was called Tamagotchi! and it follows the storyline of a previous movie (Tamagotchi: Happiest Story in the Universe!) made about the Japanese phenomenon. The series ran for three years and it gained several sequels and manga adaptations.
Number Eleven: You Can Turn your Phone Into a Tamagotchi
App developers would never pass a chance to profit on millennial nostalgia, and they finally graced us all in 2013 with a mobile app that turns your phone into the original tamagotchi game. For a little under $5 you can install Tamagotchi Classic on your iPhone or Android and relive your childhood.
Number Ten: Tamagotchis Could Have Babies
In the latest editions of the popular device (released in the late ‘00s), Tamagotchis could get married and even perpetuate the species. Those models, called “Tamagotchi Connection” versions 1 through 6, used infra-red technology that allowed nearby users to connect their gadgets so their pets could interact with one another.
Number Nine: The Matchmaker
Perhaps a reflection of Japanese society, tamagotchis were highly encouraged (even expected) to get married and have kids. If they didn’t do that by the time they were around 10, a couple arranger would pop up on screen and try to find you a Tamagotchi companion. No matter how many times you rejected her suggestions, she would always keep trying!
Number Eight: Over 76 Million Tamagotchis Have Been Sold
As of 2010, that was the estimated number of Tamagotchis sold worldwide. Over 44 different versions have been released, most of which were only launched in Japan. At its peak, around 15 units were sold in North America every second. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!