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 and iOS devices (in the form of the app "Tamagotchi L.i.f.e.").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.
The toys and franchise 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.
Allegedly Free Game: Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Tap and Hatch, a free puzzle game that offers in-app purchases. Some of the levels are nearly (if not outright) impossible without buying extra moves and power-ups, the worst offender being Level 59.
Anyone Can Die: It's grim, but a Tamagotchi can die as a teen, child, or even as a baby should the user neglect it enough.
Back from the Dead: On the Keitai and Akai toys, the user can summon the soul of a previously deceased Tamagotchi (if one had died before) to save their current Tamagotchi from death.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Later toys included items that allow the Tamagotchi to lose weight rapidly, stay happy for longer periods of time, prevent illnesses, and even live longer. Subverted, however, as these items are expensive; it would take a long time to earn enough money for them, and the only way to get so much money is to raise a healthy Tamagotchi in the first place.
Played straight with Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Tap and Hatch; incredibly difficult levels can be beaten in seconds with the in-game purchases.
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.
On the Keitai and Akai toys in Japan, the player can give sake to teenage characters. One sip makes them immediately get dizzy and throw up.
Cap: The Keitai and Version 2 toys, which introduced money to the toys, capped the money at 9999. The cap got higher for each succeeding version, with the Music Star's cap at 9~ billion. Generation and age numbers, meanwhile, always cap at 99.
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.
Face Plant: On the Version 1, failing at the "Jump" game will make the Tamagotchi trip over a hurdle.
Follow the Leader: Their popularity in the 1990s spawned legions of virtual pets, one of the more prominent being Tiger's Giga Pets.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Each new toy introduces a number of new characters. According to the Wiki, there are over 700 different documented Tamagotchi characters.
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.
Thankfully averted with the Japanese Entama and Uratama toys. While they did have the online website, logging in and out of it required a 14-digit number to be entered, generated by the toy. The patterns used to generate the login and logout codes was cracked, and now a freeware program known as Enwarehouse is readily available online.
Averted again with the Family line of pets (Version 5, V5 Celebrity). While it does have web connectivity, each item has its own unique item number, and a list of the codes has been made available online.
Never Say "Die": In all English toys, the Tamagotchi is referred to as "returning to its home planet", and the gravestone and ghost from the Japanese version is replaced with a UFO and stars. The sequence, however, was left completely unchanged, making it clear that the pet was dying.
Nobody Poops: Averted; your Tamagotchi leaves messes for you to clean up. Not cleaning them up will make it sick, and could kill them.
One-Hour Work Week: The Entama/Uratama and V4/V4.5 all have the Tamagotchi growing up and getting a job, but the Tamagotchi can only go when you tell them to. Furthermore, they'll only be there a few minutes, and on the English toys, the job is a minigame.
Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The Mesutchi (girl) and Osutchi (boy) toys initially came in pink and blue, respectively.
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.
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.
Unrealistic Black Hole: In the first movie, Mametchi and his friends encounter the space-vacuum-cleaners variety not far from the Planet. Justified as it's not a real black hole, but rather a living black hole called Blackholetchi.