Although the latest "craze" of Tamagotchi has died down a bit since its revival in 2004, these toys still make worthwhile presents to children of all ages. They particularly appeal to girls - what little girl wouldn't love an egg shaped device that would let her raise a cute pet, play with her pet, and go shopping with her pet, all in the one device? A genuine Tamagotchi roughly goes for $25, and they're worth every cent and will keep your child entertained longer than most current toys.
You may have been a victim of seeing a "Tamagotchi" for a very cheap price (say, $1.99) and thinking, "Wow, $1.99? BARGAIN!" Once it has been devlivered to your doorstop, your child opens it up... And is disappointed. The characters aren't like her friends' Tamagotchi at school, they can't connect with the infra-red connection, the games are unplayable, and the battery lasts for no more than 3 days. So, you have a further look at it, and there are minute differences to show that they aren't the same - this is a counterfeit product! I'd like to list for you these minute differences so you can become an expert Bandai Tamagotchi identifier from this guide to make shopping a safer experience for you on eBay!
The Bandai Logo (pictured below) is an obvious dead give away. If there is no Bandai logo, it's not the original Tamagotchi! Always look for the Bandai Logo when buying a genuine Tamagotchi!
There have been three versions of Tamagotchi released so far, all with different packaging. Further, there have been American and Asian releases with differing packaging as well! Eep! So many different packages! How are you going to tell which one is right or not?
Again, the Bandai logo is a dead give away. The spelling of "Tamagotchi" is also something to look out for - there have been counterfeit products known as "Tanogotchi" or "Tomagotchi" floating around eBay. z
Other than that, another dead give away is the sticker on the screen itself. Counterfeit Tamagotchi will not have a sticker covering the screen. Version 1 Tamagotchi have Mimitchi covering the screen, and Version 2 and 3 will have Mametchi and revised Mametchi on the screen respectively.
So, do you have some more information now about purchasing a genuine Bandai Tamagotchi? Well, let's have a look at some obvious fakes, shall we?
These are ALL taken from eBay Australia auctions currently listed on eBay. These auctions do not point out that the Tamagotchi is NOT GENUINE, and is a NON BANDAI product, deceiving the consumer into thinking that it is a real Tamagotchi. I do not condone these auctions, and neither should eBay, which is why I'm hoping to protect you from them. However, to protect the IDs of the eBayers, I will not post their IDs or the locations of these auctions - Hopefully this gives them an encouragement to at least edit "NON-BANDAI TAMAGOTCHI" into their auction. There are also cases of sellers not knowing that they're selling fake Tamagotchi as well, leaving both the seller and buyer frustrated with the incorrect product, so I hope this is a good guide for sellers as well!
Spelling is wrong (Tamogotchi), there is no sticker on the Tamagotchi itself, and there is no Bandai logo. A cheap rip-off that steals the use of Bandai's images, and such a colour of Tamagotchi has never been released.
Packaging is COMPLETELY different from the Australian release, though it is similar to the European release. Again, no Bandai logo, no sticker on the Tamagotchi, language is completely different, and Tamagotchis have not been released with a logo attached to them. These were listed as Version 4 Tamagotchi - Bandai have only released up to Version 3!!
This one isn't even trying to be a Tamagotchi! It was listed as one anyway.
While Tamagotchi have been released in pairs (see the True Friends Tamagotchi product), Version 3 hasn't been released as a set. Again, lack of Bandai logo, lack of sticker on the Tamagotch, and the packaging is completely wrong.
More hints to look out for on eBay auctions:
- Avoid "bulk lot" auctions - they're cheap counterfeit items trying to offload their Tamagotchi to unsuspecting businesses.
- Avoid Tamagotchi that are not in their packaging. However, a LOT of GENUINE Tamagotchi are sold by their previous owners who no longer want to play with them. Contact the seller to ask if the Tamagotchi they're listing is genuine (ask if it has Bandai on the back of the unit). You can normally tell with the normal Tamagotchi shape and straps attached to the product. If you're not sure about the colouring, Google for Tamagotchi images till you find an official Tamagotchi that has the same colours, or look on Bandai's website for the colouring.
- If it has "Tamagotchi like pet" anywhere in the listing, it's not genuine!
- Look out for characters that are not genuine on the screen. Again, look at Bandai's website for genuine characters.
- If a seller has several listings (so many listings that it's nearly a page worth of the same product!) for the same item for a very cheap price, it is most likely a counterfeit item. This goes across ANY product (i.e. Final Fantasy, anime, etc).
- Something going as cheap as "$0.99" will usually have an overpriced shipping cost (say $26.99) and will be from overseas. AVOID THIS! If you can, try to buy from an Australian seller.