Toy company Bandai had already captured the imagination of kids with their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers franchise, but they had something else up their sleeve. It was Tamagotchi, a pocket-sized digital “pet” that kids needed to feed and nurture or risk learning some harsh lessons about life and premature death. Join Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy as we revisit this craze and find out how this pixelated and chirping dependent became the hottest toy of 1997.

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