Throughout history there have been a bunch of trends that have taken off and even at the time, you can’t quite believe that they’re absolutely massive because the concept behind them is so fucking terrible and makes no sense that you can’t even believe that someone chose to invest time or money in them or that they captured the hearts and minds of the nation – or even the world – so quickly. Very often these fads are gone almost as quickly as they begin but for a couple of years or so they completely nail it and you can’t go anywhere without seeing them.
Here are a few of our favourites:
In case you’re too young to remember or somehow the craze swept you by, Tamagotchis were little handheld electronic pets that came on a keyring. The screen had three buttons that would perform different actions on your pet like feeding it and cleaning up its shit or some other crap and you basically had to help it grow up by feeding it and looking after it, until it would eventually die, either of old age or because you went away for the weekend and forgot to take it with you.
To be quite frank, the whole concept of Tamagotchis was fucking weird. This is probably more of WTF looking back on it now but at the time, the guy creating it must have had a severe screw loose. You’ve got to remember that it was probably 1994 when he came up with this but I can’t really imagine pitching this to a company who I was trying to get to invest in it: ‘So basically what we’ve got is a handheld electronic pet that people have to take care of, and if they don’t it will die. It’s pretty much just a real life pet, only electronic’. OK so maybe it doesn’t sound too bad written down but it’s still pretty radical, at least back then and pretty much everyone you knew had a Tamagotchi but it just seems so crazy that they could have got so huge in such a short time.
To illustrate just how big they were back then if you’re unaware, I recently went on a holiday with a bunch of people that willingly call themselves ‘LADS LADS’ and all of them rinsed me for not having a Tamagotchi and saying that Pokemon was cooler. Now, that’s open to debate of course (and to be fair you could probably include Pokemon on this list too until you realise that no, Pokemon was actually really cool) but the fact that they got so ratty and venomous about it really shows you how much Tamagotchis meant to people back in the day. I thought it was weird even back then though to be honest.
Amazingly, Tamagotchis are still going and there have been over 44 styles of Tamagotchi released with over 76 million sold worldwide. Admittedly most of these sales have come in Japan – and that’s where people are still into them – but those are still some pretty outrageous stats. Who would have thought eh?