When the original Tamagotchi virtual pet key chains appeared back in late 1996, they were an instant hit, with their popularity lasting into the early 2000s. We have bought more than 76 million of them, and now we have a chance to look after/neglect them all over again.
Bandai Namco decided the world was ready for Tamagotchi again in its classic form to celebrate the 20th anniversary. According to Engadget, the new ones are very much like the original in so far as they use a black-and-white display, offer six characters and come on a key chain. However, they are much smaller as the image below shows.
Tamagotchi never really went away. The original release and iterations of the devices happened between 1996 and 1998, then from 2004 onwards we've seen several versions of the Tamagotchi Connection devices all of which add extra or different features. The 2017 Tamagotchi takes things right back to basics.
For now, the new Tamagotchi is a Japan exclusive. They cost 2,000 yen each, which is around $18. Amazon Japan is selling them, so it's possible to import, but there will be extra charges attached.
It's probably worth waiting to see if Bandai Namco decides to expand the release before deciding to buy. And let's face it, most of us are probably remembering Tamagotchi through rose-tinted glasses. In reality, they were noisy little pets you eventually ended up ignoring, right?