5 Toys Similar to Tamagotchi

A collection of Tamagotchi with a hand holding one.

Smaller than a Game Boy, but certainly less entertaining, the Tamagotchi quickly blew through toy stores in the 90s, exciting children around the world. Children were allowed to raise a digital pet, as if it were a real pet, working to feed, train, and exercise the little moving black digital dot on their screen. Because of the popularity of this Japanese toy, several similar toys were designed.

Below, let’s take a closer look at other toys similar to the Tamagotchi and better understand their similarities and differences. 

Table of Contents

What Is a Tamagotchi?

Tamagotchi pink Angel Gotch on wooden background.

If you were a kid in the 90s, then you undoubtedly have heard of a Tamagotchi. This fun, virtual, and completely interactive toy allowed children worldwide to care virtually for their pets. The actual toy was no bigger than a few inches and was often attached to a keychain for safekeeping.

Featuring all the video graphics technology the 90s could muster, the Tamagotchi was a graphic image that had to be fed, played with, and taught, so that it could grow into a healthy adult. 

The Tamagotchi, created by Bandai America, was the first of this type of virtual pet, with many similar toys to follow. Kids around the world patiently played with their digital toy and interrupted school rooms worldwide. The Tamagotchi pets were battery-powered and came in several available colors.

Like other popular toy crazes, this 90s toy quickly flew off toy shelves everywhere as people tried to purchase the original Tamagotchi toy. 

What Toys Are Like a Tamagotchi?

A pile of Tamagotchi virtual pets

Because of the immediate popularity of the digital pet craze, several other companies soon created similar Tamagotchi toys to appeal to kids. Parents could now choose from different animals, dragons, aliens, and even babies to purchase for their kids to digitally raise. Below, let’s take a look at some other available toys like Tamagotchi that were also popular through the 90s. 

Giga Pet

Tiger green Giga Pets Floppy Frog version

The Giga Pet toy was a similar toy designed to rival the popularity of the Tamagotchi device. This toy featured an animal character, and often kids could choose between a cat, dog, or monkey. The line was later expanded to include other character options like the popular T-Rex.

Kids could work with their pet to digitally care for and raise their small virtual pet. Kids would have to feed, play, train, and walk their pet to keep him happy. Failure to pay close attention to the game would cause the pet to die.

Although, a quick reset of the game could easily allow the child to start over again with a fresh, healthy, and new pet. 

Nano Pet

Nano Puppy Transparent Clear Orange Playmates Virtual Pet 1998

Source: eBay

To rival the Tamagotchi virtual pet, Nano Pet was created and quickly became a popular toy. Kids had the option of choosing between a nano kitty, dog, and even a baby to raise digitally. This toy featured many of the same components as the Tamagotchi, allowing kids to feed, train, exercise, and play with their digital pet.

However, compared to some of the other digital pet options, this was the least satisfying digital toy, with few features and limited options. Like the Tamagotchi, this digital pet was the size of a keychain and was largely controlled with just four small buttons. 

Pokemon Pikachu

Young man playing pokémon let's go pikachu on a nintendo switch red and blue.

Certainly not one to miss out on the virtual gameplay the Tamagotchi offered, Nintendo created its own version capitalizing on the popular Pokemon Pikachu character. Just like the Tamagotchi, children were able to care for their digital pet as if it were a real pet, working hard to care for and raise their Pikachu. Kids would have to train, feed, and exercise Pikachu to keep him healthy and happy. 

Digimon

Virtual Pet 20th anniversary edition of the Digimon franchise

Also created by Bandai, Digimon featured a virtual pet that was geared more toward boys. This pet was similar to the Tamagotchi but featured a battle mode for your pet. The pet could fight against another player to increase his experience and allow him to grow into a more robust and more ingenious monster.

Like other digital pets, this game had limited entertainment levels and could be lacking if you didn’t have another pet to battle. 

Think Ways Virtual Friends

True to form, Disney was not about to miss out on a popular toy and marketing opportunity. The answer to the Tamagotchi toy craze was to create the Think Ways Virtual Friends collection. Children could choose between various themed Disney toys to raise and care for pets on their own.

The Little Mermaid toy had children grow fish in a fish tank, allowing them to care for the digital pets as if they were their own. 

FAQs

Green Tamagotchi on fur background.

For nostalgia’s sake, many parents are seeking out digital pets like Tamagotchis even today. This toy was fun, entertaining, and featured the latest technology. Because of the popularity of the Tamagotchi, several other digital pets were created, creating a deluge of options. To help sort between the available options, we have put together a list of commonly asked questions related to the Tamagotchi and other similar digital pets popular throughout the 90s. 

What’s another name for Tamagotchi?

The Tamagotchi was the original digital pet, and often many other brands of digital pets were wrongly called a Tamagotchi. Other names for the Tamagotchi style toy could include digital pet or virtual pet. These names referred to the gameplay designed to train, treat, and feed a digital creation on a small, portable screen. 

What is better, Tamagotchi or Giga pet?

When it comes down to it, the Tamagotchi and Giga pet are very similar, both featuring digital pets that could be trained, fed, and cared for. The Tamagotchi was the original digital pet, while the Giga Pet followed shortly after. While the Tamagotchi featured the initial gameplay, several people preferred the Giga pet because of improved options and functionality.

Those that couldn’t relate to the alien-style creature of the Tamagotchi found a level of familiarity with a Giga Kitty or Dog. 

How much is a virtual pet?

When the virtual pet craze hit its peak, it was still possible to buy a virtual pet rather easily. These toys cost around $20, with the original Tamagotchi priced at $17.99. Other competitor toys came in around the same price point and were usually just under $20. 

Can you kill a Tamagotchi?

To teach children the complexity and seriousness of caring for a pet, it was entirely possible to kill a Tamagotchi. If you forgot to feed your Tamagotchi or neglected the small digital alien, your Tamagotchi would die. The alien spaceship would come and collect the tiny creature and bring him back to his home planet.

Of course, it was possible to restart the game and start fresh with a new, baby, healthy Tamagotchi to care for. 

What Tamagotchis are worth money?

The Tamagotchi was in production until as late as 2019, making this a long-lived toy. The original Tamagotchis may be worth some money to the right buyer. Some of the rare Tamagotchi toys, like the rare blue “Tamagotchi Ocean” toy, could be worth a few hundred dollars to the right buyer.

In general, though, the typical, readily available Tamagotchi toys are not worth much money today in the resale market.

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