November 21, 2023
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On November 21st, 2018, Bandai released Eevee x Tamagotchi – shaking all 90s kids to their very core. While not the first Pokémon virtual pet, it was the first time these two iconic 90s brands officially collaborated. Join us as we look back at this legendary milestone in 90s toy history.
If one thing’s certain, there’s a huge crossover between Pokémon and Tamagotchi fans. After all, both brands originated in Japan and feature fantastical virtual pets that 90s kids trained, cared for, and formed genuine attachments with.
For anyone who grew up with them, you’ve probably wondered why there was never a Pokémon x Tamagotchi collaboration at the height of the properties’ popularity. Well, our dreams were realized several decades later on January 26th, 2019 with the release of the Eevee x Tamagotchi!
Now the only question on our minds is: “What took them so long!?”
Why did it take so long to make a Pokémon Tamagotchi? One word: competition.
While Tamagotchi never directly competed with Pokémon, another of Bandai’s properties did – Digimon. Ironically, Digimon started as a Tamagotchi-like virtual pet marketed as a more masculine alternative to the Tamagotchi, chiefly because it let you connect with and battle with other Digimon.
Basically, Pokémon’s main competitor started as a combination of Tamagotchi and Pokémon!
However, in the decades since it has become clear that Pokémon ultimately won the duel with Digimon. With the cooling-off of the decades-long rivalry, it seems like The Pokémon Company was finally happy to collaborate with Bandai in making the first Pokémon Tamagotchi.
Eevee x Tamagotchi is a licensed version of the Tamagotchi Nano that came out back in 2010. While the familiar egg shape is smaller and chunkier than the original 90s Tamagotchi, its monochrome LCD still has the same pixelated charm you know and love.
Just like the original Tamagotchi, you have to pull the battery tab to start the device. Once the egg hatches, you’ll need to use the three buttons to feed your Eevee ‘Pokéblocks’ and clean up hairballs (a nice change from the mountains of poop we once had to deal with).
But what would a Tamagotchi be without some mini-games? Eevee x Tamagotchi has two pretty basic games. The first one is called “Berry Get” which requires you to catch falling fruit, while the other is called “Dance” which involves repeating a musical sequence sung by Eevee. (Source: Tamagotchi Fandom)
All of that was great for sure, but here’s the feature that really excited Pokémon fans: after 72 hours, you could evolve Eevee into one of 11 possible evolutions, eight of which follow the standard choices from Pokémon games, including Flareon, Vaporeon, and Leafeon.
The three bonus ‘Eeveelutions’ include Pop Star Eevee, Team Rocket Eevee, and Ditto Eevee. Which one you get depends on how you care for and play with your Eevee.
Unlike a standard Tamagotchi, Eevee won’t die if you neglect its needs. Instead, Eevee will ‘run away’ leaving you with an image of an open Poké Ball with text reading “バイバイ…” (“Bye bye…”).
While this is nicer than having your digital pet turn into a gravestone, it’s still just as devastating!
Unfortunately, the Eevee x Tamagotchi was only released in Japan with no plans to take it global. Pre-orders saw the device sell out in just 15 minutes before the official release date in January 2019, making it even more scarce.
If you’re really desperate to get your hands on an Eevee x Tamagotchi in 2024, you can find both the original and pink shell versions on eBay – but don’t expect them to be cheap! As of writing, most Eevee x Tamagotchi’s are going for anywhere from $100 to just under $200 (if you think that’s absurd, check out our guide to the rarest and most expensive Pokémon cards).
If you do manage to snag an Eevee x Tamagotchi, remember that the interface is entirely in Japanese. But with only three buttons and limited interactions, it shouldn’t take long for you to memorize what everything means.
As the star of the show, you would think that Pikachu would be the first to be graced with a Pokémon Tamagotchi, but so far, only Eevee has been granted the honor.
With that said, Nintendo did release the Pocket Pikachu back in 1998. This virtual pet pedometer featured different animations depending on the number of steps you’ve taken. It also had a fairly lackluster minigame. Unfortunately, this early attempt at a Pokémon Tamagotchi didn’t catch on with Pokémon fans.
Disappointingly, there’s no news as to whether any other Pokémon characters will get their own Tamagotchi. We can only hope Bandai and the Pokémon Company will choose to team up again soon.
Needless to say, our 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.
Hungry for more? We’ve got every Tamagotchi model covered in this guide.
Use an object with a sharp end (like a pen) to push the small reset button on the back of the device.
The Eevee x Tamagotchi has 11 evolutions (better known as Eeveelutions):
1) Flareon (Fire-type)
2) Jolteon (Electric-type)
3) Vaporeon (Water-type)
4) Espeon (Psychic-type)
5) Umbreon (Dark-type)
6) Leafeon (Grass-type)
7) Glaceon (Ice-type)
8) Sylveon (Fairy-type)
9) Pop Star Eevee
10) Team Rocket Eevee
11) Ditto Eevee
No, if anything, it’s more likely the other way around. The first Pokémon games (Pokémon Green and Pokémon Red) came out in February 1996. The first Tamagotchi was released in November 1996.
Pokémon was the first to popularize the idea of a pocket monster, but the Tamagotchi is more like a pocket pet. It would be fair to say that both ideas formed independently of each other.
Lee is curator of nostalgia and a long-time collector of loveable junk. An 80s baby, 90s kid, he knows he had it good when it came to Saturday morning cartoons. Spends his life trying to recapture the dopamine hit of playing Game Boy for the first time and believes Beanie Babies will make a fortuitous comeback. Obsessed with everything (and anything) retro, he is your trusted guide to a world of 90s toys, games and collectables.
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November 21, 2023
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