Discover  Fun  Lifestyle  Technology   ·   27 Nov   ·   03:11 PM   ·   5 minutes Read

#LocalBrandSPOTLight: How Can Tamagotchi Be Back If It Was Never Gone?

  
Credit: Fuzzy N Chic

Singaporeans who grew up during the 90s will surely remember the Tamagotchi. How many of us have had our precious, handheld virtual pet confiscated from us after it made one too many beeps in class? And how many of us never stopped playing with our Tamagotchis? For Rachel Liew, owner and sole proprietress of Fuzzy N Chic, it’s an ongoing love affair that began when she laid eyes on her first Tamagotchi as a child.

Rachel’s personal collection | Credit: Rachel Liew

Describing the birth of her business as “almost an accident”, Fuzzy N Chic was set up in 2015 after demand for Rachel’s one-of-a-kind knitted protective covers for the toys surged. Other than covers for Tamagotchi, Fuzzy N Chic also sells customized faceplates and Tamagotchi accessories. The website also serves as a resource for fans of virtual games looking for how-to guides and translations for Japan Only releases.

Credit: Rachel Liew

Here’s our interview with Rachel, condensed for clarity.

Hello Rachel, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am an avid video gamer and Tamagotchi lover. I work in IT by profession. Outside of work, my passions are, in no particular order, my cats, Tamagotchis, video games, good food, Netflix, arts & crafts, music, and travelling. Tamagotchi is just one of my many hobbies. I also enjoy creating handmade resin crafts, doing intricate manicure nail art, and playing the Kalimba, a handheld musical instrument.

On your website, you mention that you are a HR Technologist by day. Do your friends and colleagues know about Fuzzy N’ Chic?

Yes, as a HR technologist, I configure and implement HR systems. Yes, of course everyone knows. I am proud of what I do! I also bring my Tamagotchis with me to the office. They’re good companions and provide good emotional support especially during stressful times at work.

Do you have many local friends who are into Tamagotchi?

Yes, in fact, I got to know them precisely through this hobby. We used to have a Whatsapp group for Tamagotchi owners in Singapore which started with 3 people but grew to 50 people at its peak.

Credit: @fuzzynchic_rachel

We also used to have gatherings once a month but it has died down now.

Your Business Development and Creative Director, Grace, is also a Tamagotchi fan. I think it’s really sweet how the Tamagotchi played such a big role in both of your childhoods. How did you get to know her?

She was in the Tamagotchi Collectors Facebook group, which is an international Tamagotchi community. It consists of mostly Americans and Europeans but there are Singaporeans inside too. That’s how I got to know Grace. She also stood out to me because of her handmade Tamagotchi covers!

When I talk about Tamagotchis, the Zoomers in my office look so confused. They’re probably thinking, “Why would anybody want to play with a calculator?”

That is one of the biggest misconceptions which I wish more people would be aware of! Tamagotchi is still alive, and the latest Tamagotchi model was just released by Bandai last month. People think Tamagotchi is ancient and died a long time ago, but Tamagotchi is actually still very much alive!

What are your best-selling products?

When I first started Fuzzy N Chic, it was primarily focused on selling handmade Tamagotchi covers.

The Tamagotchi Zipper Pouch with Window  |   Credit: Fuzzy N Chic

But ever since we came out with our own line of products, the Tamagotchi Zipper Pouch with Window became the ultimate best-seller!

Recently, the Melbits Pod, which is an augmented reality virtual pet, has also been selling really well. It’s only been only 1 week since I announced it and it’s almost sold out as of today!

Which Tamagotchi character is the most Singaporean?

Mametchi is probably the closest?

Mametchi and Kutchipatchi | Credit: Bandai

He is an intelligent character who loves science and innovation, reflective of our smart nation.

Modern Tamagotchis can go on vacations, marry and do all sorts of cool things. If there was a Singaporean Tamagotchi, what would it be able to do?

It would be able to apply for a BTO flat after getting married! Then if the player doesnt marry it off by age 35, it would be able to get a BTO flat under the Single’s Scheme.

What generation Tamagotchi is your favourite?

Tamagotchis can be broken down into 3 main generations: the Vintage, which relates to toys released from 1996 to 1998. Then, the Connection series, which were released from 2000 to 2010. Finally, there’s the Modern generation with full colour displays, basically anything released from 2010 onwards till now.

A modern Tamagotchi | Credit: @fuzzynchic_rachel

The Modern generation is definitely the most attractive and the toys themselves also have the most content. So, I definitely enjoy playing with them but it doesn’t have the same charm and nostalgic as the Vintage series. Speaking of the Vintage ones, they don’t hold my attention for too long because they are so simple.

So my favourite generation would be the Connection series. I first played with them as a teen and they’re still in black and white – so there’s definitely that sense of nostalgia. My favourites are the Connection V5 and also the Tama-Go.

Which Tamagotchi character is your favourite?

Oh, definitely Kuchipatchi!

Credit: Bandai

He is one of the 3 original characters that were first introduced with the first Tamagotchi. Hence, he is also considered one of the oldest characters in the Tamagotchi world. Initially, I never really thought much of him but my husband told me he likes Kuchipatchi, which made me realise his appeal.

He also has a lazy personality and enjoys eating, which is reflective of my personality as well.

To be frank, I feel that the characters Bandai has released in recent years are not as appealing. It’s like Bandai is trying too hard to make them cute but instead they just look overly complicated and fanciful.

Credit: Bandai

Kuchipatchi is very simple looking and his whole body is one colour. His artwork is simple too, reflective of how the vintage Tamagotchi is: simple without any unnecesary fluff.

Finally, which Tamagotchi are you currently using as your EST (Emotional Support Tamagotchi)?

Currently I am running 3 devices, the Human Player, the Sumikko Catch, and the Melbits Pod.

None of them are Tamagotchi although I intend to do a Christmas run with my friend to raise Tamagotchis on the Tamagotchi 4U+.

Rachel at the Bandai HQ in Japan | Credit: Rachel Liew

Thanks so much again for doing this interview! Before I end this, anything else you’d like to tell our readers? 🙂

Did you know that there are some in the Tamagotchi community who use the devices as a way to cope with their mental health issues? I know it’s still very taboo to talk about mental health in Singapore, but I think if Tamagotchi can be a coping mechanism and if we can talk about Tamagotchi, then we can segway into talking about mental health.

And finally, I want to say: Tamagotchi is not ancient!! Anytime I see or hear people talk about how Tamagotchi is back, I get really triggered.

How can something be back when it was never gone in the first place?

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That’s the end of our interview with the founder and proprietress of Fuzzy N Chic. We hope this article gave you some fuzzy childhood memories. Intrigued by Rachel’s shop? Why not stop by her Instagram or Facebook page? If you like our content, follow our Facebook page so you won’t miss any of it!