Bandai breathes new life into Tamagotchi

If you grew up in the 1990s, you will remember the craze that was Tamagotchi, and those little digital lives are about to get new life thanks to a new line of products and a dedicated website from Bandai.

If you grew up in the 1990s, you will remember the craze that was Tamagotchi, and those little digital lives are about to get new life thanks to a new line of products and a dedicated website from Bandai.

 
The Japanese toy maker set up a website called Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. (Love is Fun Everywhere), where users will be able to read and share stories about Tamagotchi, watch webisodes, engage in charity, and even download an upcoming Tamagotchi app for iOS and Android, set for release in Spring 2013. A blog will detail the latest news on Tamagotchi, including details on a new line of “lifestyle products.”
 
Bandai is capitalising on the fact that the original Tamagotchi devotees will now be in their early 20s and will perhaps feel a bit of nostalgia about their digital pets, but might not be so keen to engage them if they are still considered “toys.” The solution is Bandai's emphasis on Tamagotchi as a kind of fashion accessory, with the website focusing on the “lifestyle” of Tamagotchi as opposed to simply the products themselves.
 
 Bandai breathes new life into Tamagotchi
 
“This is an exciting and important step in the evolution of the Tamagotchi brand,” said Naomi Tobita, Chief Tamagotchi Officer (yes, that is a real title, it seems) at Bandai. “We’re delighted to provide the young adults of today with an updated presentation of the brand they loved as children in a fashionable, fun and fabulous new way to experience Tamagotchi.”
 
Tamagotchi launched in Japan in 1996 and in the US a year later, selling over 78 million units in 54 countries to date, and creating one of the icons of the 90s generation. It takes its name from a portmanteau of the Japanese word for egg, tamago, and the English word watch, and it is a word we will likely hear a lot more of in the coming months and years.