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Tamagotchi Digital Pet Returns As An App

Big in the 90s, the Tamagotchi is a handheld digital device that's a robotic pet. Owners press certain buttons to feed it, to play with it and get it medical attention. If neglected, the digital pet dies. The company is releasing a new breed of pet — a mobile app.

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Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today's last word in business is: '90s nostalgia strikes again. And here's what it sounds like.

(SOUNDBITE OF DIGITAL DEVICE)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is not a Casio calculator watch. It's a Tamagotchi. And its beeps are cries for attention.

MONTAGNE: A Tamagotchi is a handheld digital device. It sort of looks like a plastic Easter egg with a little digital screen. And that little egg-shaped toy is a robotic pet. Owners press certain buttons to feed it, to play with it, get its medical attention - you get the idea. If you neglect the Tamagotchi, the digital pet dies.

WERTHEIMER: The Japanese toy became a sensation in the U.S., right along with Beanie Babies and Furbies. Tamagotchis are still selling, but now the company is releasing a new breed of pets - a mobile app.

MONTAGNE: Just like the original ones, you have to take care of them. But instead of living in a plastic egg, these virtual pets are kept in smartphones or tablets.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

WERTHEIMER: And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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