Tamagotchi Mini Plush - Mametchi

Partly inspired by the Game Boy game, Pokemon (which was released in Japan in February of 1996, but would not see localisation into other languages until 1998 and 1999), BanDai's keychain virtual pet toy, the Tamagotchi (which was soon followed by Digimon, which was even more inspired by Pokemon, and also beat its inspiration to market in the West), was released in Japan in November of 1996, and became an overnight success.

This success came partly from following some golden rules of game-design;

1: It appealed to a very wide audience due to tapping into human nature.

2: It was simple to pick up but difficult to master.

3: It was very affordable - something that, in the console space at that time, only the Game Boy could really lay claim to.

These factors helped the Tamagotchi to pummel the much more expensive console video games against which it was essentially competing.

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This must be what Tamagotchi thinks of the games it competed against...

Recently, an official simulation of the original toy was released on Android and iOS under the name of Tamagotchi Classic (or Tamagotchi L.I.F.E. in some territories). That's the source of the above screenshot. I picked it up recently, and am hooked all over again, so, to mark the occasion, here's a post about a little Tamagotchi plush.

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This is a quite recent plush of Mametchi, which was the most healthy, intelligent, and long-lived of the pet evolutions present in the original game. If you were good at looking after your Tamagotchi, this creature was what you'd get.

Though it's not the case for all Tamagotchi characters, the art-style that Mametchi is represented in has never really changed very much. This means that, even though this particular plush is quite recent, it's still an accurate representation of how the character looked in his earliest appearances in promotional artwork.

He's a lot higher in quality than the Tamagotchi beanbag plushes that were sold alongside the virtual pets back in their Western heyday in 1997!

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This Mametchi originally came from a small pass card/credit card holder, though I removed the card-holding wallet part, and the hanging ribbon, when I got him, as I felt that he was the ideal size to be a simple plush Tamagotchi.

Though there have been many variations and competitors since its debut, the original, simple Tamagotchi (and the simulated phone version mentioned above), not complicated by later additions such as item-collecting, marriage, and raising entire families of creatures, is still the best virtual pet game there has ever been. It's still just as fun as ever, too!

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