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Bandai is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the hit toy by releasing a special version of its Tamagotchi in the US. — AFP picBandai is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the hit toy by releasing a special version of its Tamagotchi in the US. — AFP picTOKYO, Oct 12 — Bandai is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the hit toy by releasing a special version of its Tamagotchi in the US. The original model was released in Japan in 1996, coming to Western markets in 1997.

This anniversary edition keeps the basic design and retro technology of the original Tamagotchi, but the updated ovoid gets a smaller screen (16 x 16 pixels vs 32 for the original).

Available in six colours, the compact egg-shaped keychain still has the same features as the original model, and still involves feeding, cleaning and playing with a pocket-sized virtual pet to keep it alive.

Released in 1996 in Japan and in 1997 in Western markets, the Tamagotchi was a schoolyard sensation, with 82 million of the virtual pets sold. Each egg-shaped keychain had a small screen displaying a digital creature that the owner had to take care of to keep it alive and well. Neglecting the pet caused it to die.

A limited number of the mini 20th-anniversary edition models will go on sale in the USA from November 5, priced US$15 (RM63) each. — AFP-Relaxnews

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