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‘Tamagotchi’ Digital Pets Make a Nostalgic Return on May 13

Bandai America is bringing the nostalgia-infused virtual pet craze of “Tamagotchi” to a 21st century audience with “Tamagotchi On,” a revamped take on the keychain-sized plastic egg toy that launches May 13.

Like the original toy from 1996, “Tamagotchi On” lets users raise a virtual pet from an egg, feeding and caring for it as it ages over time. The upcoming title will also feature in-app play, allowing players to access seasonal events and games, and earn “Gotchi Points” to be used in its virtual store.

The “Tamagotchi On” app functions as a hub to communicate with friends, trade gifts, and find characters for your Tamagotchi to marry and create a new generation of virtual pets with. A cross-device feature also allows two players to link their pets up in person. With each new generation of Tamagotchi pet, physical features are passed down, leading to an unlimited number of possible pets.

Nearly 50 versions of the Tamagotchi have released since the toy’s launch. In 2013 an enhanced version was released as a free mobile app called “Tamagotchi L.i.f.e.”. A sequel, “Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Angel”, launched in 2014. Tamagotchi was originally invented by Bandai’s Aki Maita. She later won the 1997 Ig Nobel Prize in economics for its creation.

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