Tamagotchis Are Back, and Way Glitzy

Photo: Bandai

Tamagotchi — the digital pet that taught a generation about life, death, and responsibility — is getting a glamorized reboot. Once, the little bulbous toys were designed to look like recently hatched eggs. Now the Japanese toy company behind the Tamagotchi is putting on the glitz. The names of these new breeds of LCD pets are like those of flashy prints or fancy jewels: Wild Hearts, Amethyst Gem, Blue Dalmatian, Colorful Leopard, Sapphire Gem, and Pink Diamond Gem.

Preparing for a release in the fall of 2014, Bandai is rebranding the digital pet as Tamagotchi Friends. Customers will be allowed to select from a series of characters, which even have professions and/or hobbies, listed as: beauticians, robots, musicians, chefs, sewing, and pet stylists, in that order. It all seems to be far more gendered than the 1996 version that enchanted many an 8-year-old. Many are glowing pink, with fancy headbands, bows, and bedazzled caps. Lots of gentle pastels and eye-crystals. No more faux-dinosaur, alien-creature blobs here.