A poster for the current Tamagotchi anime series; several of the current Tamagotchi characters are present
Tamagotchi is a series of handheld virtual pets by Bandai.The first toys were sold on November 11, 1996. The company didn't expect much, and produced them in small number. But the toys became a big fad overnight. By the time they were producing enough to meet demand, the popularity had died down and Bandai ended up suffering financially. In 2004, they relaunched the toys with new infrared technology, allowing two Tamagotchi toys to communicate, letting them play games, exchange gifts, and even marry and produce children.The relaunch has proven to be successful, spawning countless other Tamagotchi-related material. Two anime movies (one got dubbed), two anime series (a series of shorts, and a half-hour anime series, which is currently running; both have been dubbed at one point), music, a line of Nintendo DS games, and even two department stores in Japan. In its home country, Tamagotchi enjoys success to this day. In other parts of the world, however, the franchise has lost its popularity, slinking back down to post-1998 levels. Bandai is attempting to revive the franchise worldwide by releasing it free for Android devices (in the form of the app "Tamagochi L.i.f.e."), and an iOS version is in the works.The Digimon franchise was Bandai's effort to create a Spear Counterpart to Tamagotchi, in order to tap into the male market. It... succeeded, shall we say.
This game contains examples of:
Aborted Arc: The US release of Tamagotchi Garden (a vintage Tamagotchi product) was cancelled after the fad ended.
A successor to the Music Star, called the Music Star: World Tour Edition, was meant to feature raising a Tamagotchi, forming a band, and then travelling around the world to become internationally famous. It was planned for a fall 2009 release, but never materialized.
Can't Hold His Liquor: The Tamagotchi Planet, which itself is a living Tamagotchi. It's roughly the same size as Earth, but one sip of sake is enough to get it drunk.
Cash Cow Franchise: In Japan, anyway; the franchise brings in a steady stream of income there.
Cross Over: With Aikatsu. The Tamagotchi toys get an add-on that feature Aikatsu characters, while Aikatsu's Datacardass game features a Tamagotchi stage.
Do Well, But Not Perfect: Because the critter your egg grows into is based on how you care for it, getting a specific creature can be a tricky task. The second-best character is reputedly the hardest to get.
Dummied Out: Looking into a Tamagotchi's ROM typically results in seeing characters that never made the cut to the final toy, but can still be accessed and raised if hacked.
Expansion Pack: The Tamagotchi P's in Japan feature items called a "pierce", which downloads new characters, items, destinations and backgrounds into the toy. The Tama-Go in the US had a similar thing with the "Gotchi Figures"; when plugged in, they added new games and items.
Follow the Leader: Their popularity in the 1990s spawned legions of virtual pets, one of the more prominent being Tiger's Giga Pets.
Lost Forever: Many of the modern toys involve connecting with an online website or, in some Japanese cases, an arcade machine or cell phone game in order to obtain certain items. Without them, the unlocks on the toy are no longer available.
The most jarring example is the Music Star toy. In order to earn the special items to get the toy's secret characters, the player needs to visit the Tamatown website, earn points, buy the items, and transfer it to their toy. The website was taken down in February 2013, making them impossible to get.
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Chamametchi, Kikitchi, and several other teen characters were popular enough with the target demographic that Bandai bumped them up to adults, so that the kids could play with the character longer. Though now this means Chamametchi, who is a very young girl and still in diapers, can marry and have children.
Spaceytchi: R-relax, you don't have to say that....
Haunted House: In one episode, the Spacey Brothers find an old mansion with the usual moving furniture and windows that suddenly fly open. Of course, Akaspetchi is terrified, but as it turns out, the house itself was actually mechanical, used for a set in an episode of Gotchiman
Come on, he wore a dress for a costume festival once!
Love Hurts: Spaceytchi had to learn that the hard way. Twice.
When he first met Agetchi, he was instantly smitten. In fact, she was all he could think about to the point where he ended up ignoring his own brothers! But at the very end, it turns out Agetchi already had a boyfriend, much to Spaceytchi's dismay.
There was also Himespetchi, who ended up forgetting all about him even though they were together for a long time and fell in love with Mametchi.