Some childhood toys instantly bring on a wave of nostalgia when you think about them, even after all these years.
Take Teddy Ruxpin, for example. Or Polly Pocket. And, of course, for any kid alive in the ’90s, there was the Tamagotchi. I don’t care who you were — the moment you laid your eyes on that sweet little virtual pet on a keychain, you just HAD to have one.
Which is why I honestly got giddy with excitement the minute I heard the news that the Tamagotchi is making a comeback — and it’s happening soon.
The kids’ toy brand Bandai Namco apparently brought the Tamagotchi back earlier this year, but only in Japan. After all the fanfare, though, it’s set to make its (second) debut stateside on November 5. In other words: Just in time for millennials everywhere to start freaking out, and for their kids to add it to their own holiday wish lists.
According to the brand’s website, the 2017 edition will look pretty similar to the original Tamagotchi, but will sport a sleeker profile as well as some different colors and designs.
I don’t know about you, but just the news of this is bringing back all sorts of elementary school memories …
The Tamagotchi became all the rage back in ’97, when I was 12. Suddenly, kids were coming to school with their little plastic egg babies in all sorts of snazzy colors and designs. They were hanging theirs from their belt loops, or off the backs of their Jansport backpacks, and giving them names. Some kids had two, maybe even three Tamagotchis at a time (for reasons unknown). And they were somehow keeping them all alive — feeding them, putting them to bed, playing with them, and even picking up their poop with just a few clicks of a button.
It was all very high-tech and impressive. Surely, I could do this too, I thought. I could be a good Tamagotchi mom.
I wound up getting my Tamagotchi around the same time I got most of the toy crazes of the ’90s: Just about when they were starting to be uncool. I got the boring-looking white one with blue buttons — but I loved it as though it were my very own. That is, until the day I accidentally left it in my backpack and discovered it had pooped and peed itself to death in there while I was watching Ricki Lake (true story).
As it turned out, these tiny little digital pets were needy AF. (Who knew?!)
They wanted you to play with them when you would much rather be coloring in your Barbie coloring book. They needed to be changed when you were right in the middle of a really good episode of Dawson’s Creek. And they still weren’t asleep when you were trying to sign on to AOL and stalk your crush.
Sigh. My Tamagotchi would go on to do a lot of dying that year, which led to a lot of guilt on my part. (And it also turned out to be a strong foreshadowing of my inability to keep potted plants alive.) But you know what? I don’t regret any of it. And I still maintain that the Tamagotchi was one of the best ’90s toys there was.
Maybe I’ll have to buy a new one, just to prove to myself I can actually keep the damn thing alive now that I’m an adult woman in her thirties who is way more responsible than that. (LOL — never mind, who am I kidding.)