Back in the 90’s, Bandai saw massive success with their egg-shaped digital pet toys, Tamagotchi. The 90’s and early 00’s saw the device become one of the biggest toy fads in history, with worldwide sales of the Tamagotchi crossing 76 million units sold in 2010. Kids loved these simplistic, small digi-toys, in caring for digitalized pets by pressing one of three buttons, and playing mini-games with their small digital pals.
It made sense that Pokémon became a popular franchise in this era of digital best friends. It also made sense for Nintendo/The Pokémon Company to capitalize on a crossover device with Tamagotchi, but that never really happened; the Pokémon Pikachu was released in 1998 in Japan and North America, without Bandai’s help, and was released as an exercise toy featuring a pedometer, motivating children to walk in order to collect “watts,” the device’s in-game currency, to purchase items used to make Pikachu happy. Sure, it was popular, but it wasn’t a Tamagotchi.
But now, in 2018, we’re getting a taste of what should’ve been done decades ago. Tamagotchi never truly died, as evidenced with newer models being sold at retailers like Urban Outfitters and Target. Per Serebii, leaked images from Japanese imageboards and Twitter have showed off a collaboration between the Pokémon Company and Bandai. The two companies will be releasing a special Eevvee edition of the Tamagotchi, which has the ability to evolve into one of eight evolutions. There’s also different variations of Eevvee, including a Team Rocket outfit Eevee and a Ditto Evvee. The Tamagotchi will release in two different versions – one brown/standard version, and one “Colourful Friends” version, which has images of its different evolutions along the casing.
These are unconfirmed images, so we’ll call this a rumor for now, but there’s a high chance these are actually happening. No word on any North American release date, of course, but we’ll assume Japan gets first dibs.
Kevin Cortez is a music journalist with bylines at Genius, Ambrosia for Heads, Mass Appeal and EARMILK. He plays video games in his spare time.