November 22, 2021
December 27, 2021
Japanese manufacturer Bandai has released many editions to the Tamagotchi collection since the 1996 original, but it was the Pokémon Tamagotchi collaboration which turned the heads of 90s kids. We take a look back at the 2018 release.
It isn’t the first time Pokémon explored a virtual pet crossover with a ‘Pocket Pikachu’ in 1998 and a PokéWalker pedometer twelve years later. Finally in 2018, it took a 90s dream collab with Tamagotchi to realize the potential – enter the Eevee Tamagotchi.
The Eevee Tamagotchi is as you might expect it to be. A digital pet encased in its signature plastic shell, the design is somewhat smaller and chunkier than the 90s original, and its monochrome LCD hasn’t changed much either. Three buttons allow users to change the settings and interact with their Eevee, and once you pull the battery tab, you’ll find the experience mimicking your once-loved ‘Memetchi’ or ‘Maskutchi’.
When you set the clock, an egg will appear and begin to hatch into an Eevee which will evolve 72 hours from startup and has eleven possible pet outcomes, including its standard eight evolution variables from the Pokémon series. From here, you’re all set to feed it ‘Pokéblocks’, play one of two mini-games, and clean up hairballs – one obvious variant from the mountains of poop we once had to deal with way back when.
Eevee has four hunger and four happiness hearts with fullness lost at a rate of one heart per hour and hunger one heart every fifty minutes. Like the original Tamagotchi, taking care of your pet restores these to full health.
As always, the mini-games are a fun bonus. The first in this series involved collecting falling fruit, and the second repeating a musical sequence sung by Eevee. Basic games; but a decent boredom buster and nostalgia to boot.
The main difference in this collaboration and one that Pokémon fans remain most excited about is the added value of Eevee evolving into any form – Flareon, Jolteon, Vaporeon, Leafeon, Glaceon, Espeon, Umbreon or Sylveon – by performing specific actions. Lusting after a Leafeon? Then you’ll need to collect the corresponding icons when playing the fruit mini-game instead of your last piece of dropped fruit. Eevee will evolve in a few days if you continue to look after it.
Bandai didn’t stop there, however, and there are an additional three bonus evolutions to unlock: Pop Star Eevee, Ditto Eevee and the coveted Team Rocket Eevee – locking down one of these evolutions won’t be easy and certain conditions need to be met while caring for your character.
Despite the Pokémon x Tamagotchi collab launching several years ago, these are still hard to get your hands on outside of Japan. Initially available in all major toy shops, electronic and department stores in Japan, pre-orders saw them sell out in just 15 minutes before the official release date in 2018.
There is still little information as to whether the toy will have an official international release date or if the dynamic duo plans to feature any other Pokémon characters in the collection. Your best bet? Trawl the web for eBay listings and marketplace sellers, but don’t expect them to come cheap. Just a heads up, if you do manage to bag a bargain it should come as no surprise that the Tamagochi only offers a Japanese interface. But as there are only limited buttons and interactions available, it shouldn’t take long before you can memorise most. If you’re greeted by “バイバイ…” (“Bye, Bye”), don’t fret, a new egg should spawn shortly – Pokémon appear a lot more resilient than the original.
As the star of the show, you would think that Pikachu would be the first loveable character to grace the collab, however, at this moment, it seems like Eevee is the only Pokémon set to evolve. However Nintendo did release the Pocket Pikachu in 1998, a virtual pet pedometer – which featured certain animations depending on the number of steps you’ve taken. It also contained a fairly lack-lusture minigame.
Fingers are crossed for a full range of starter Pokémon Tamagotchis, but only time will tell. This pocket-sized throwback is the ultimate source of 90s nostalgia, so here’s hoping we can catch ‘em all.
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November 22, 2021
December 27, 2021