It was the late 90s and everyone who was anyone had a Tamagotchi. Tamagotchis were such a thing that when our elementary school teacher rolled out the bulky television for movie time (the best part of school), she would tell everyone in the class to feed their Tamagotchis so they could leave them at their desks. Tamagotchis were so major that teachers had stopped giving a fuck.
If you grew up in a post-Tamagotchi world (or if you were homeschooled or something), a Tamagotchi is an egg-shaped computer that houses a tiny digital pet. As its owner, you must play with it, feed it and clean up after it, all with the press of various buttons. You also had to discipline it when it misbehaved, which seems a little messed up in hindsight, but whatever. Over time, the thing grows and evolves.
I did not have a Tamagotchi.
Naturally, when Tamagotchis blew up, a million other knockoff toys hit the Toys-R-Us shelves. The most popular wannabe Tamagotchi was the Dinkie Dino. In practice it was essentially the same thing, but kids knew the difference. Anyway, I didn’t even have one of those. I had a Nano Baby, a distinctly shittier toy that didn’t even offer a cool dinosaur-like digital creature. It was a fucking dog. Thanks mom. To make matters worse, when I went away to sleepover camp for the first time, I left my mom with specific instructions on how to take care of it. She didn’t – when I returned just ten days later, my digital pet had “run away.”
At last, I can bury these dark memories because Bandai, the folks that bought the Tamagotchi back in 2014, is rereleasing the OG Tamagotchi in honor of the toy’s 20th anniversary. You can buy me one right now on Amazon Japan for a cool $13.55.
Can you believe this was our must-have technology? Nostalgic sigh.