Check to see if the batteries are still live on your virtual pet and try to remember the last time you fed it, because Tamagotchi just turned 15. Bandai's egg-shaped toys have sold some 78 million units since being introduced in November 1996. To mark this, on November 23 Bandai released a special anniversary version, "Tamagotchi iD L," priced at ¥5,040.
It hasn't been an entirely rosy history for the little fellows. Sales of Tamagotchi plummeted after its debut and sales of 40 million units, causing Bandai to post 6 billion yen in extraordinary losses in fiscal 1998. After it temporarily suspended production, Bandai released a new version called "Tamagotchi Plus" in 2004 with an infrared communication function. Design was refreshed again in 2009 with the cellphone-integrated "Tamagotchi iD."
via Asahi Shimbun