Pet fads

11 Feb

When my kids were little, they each had a 「たまごっち」(“Tamagochi”)… the Japanese electronic “pet” toy.

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I hadn’t thought about those toys in years.
But I was talking to my kids today. I asked them if they remembered their old Tamagochi toys (they do).

So I told them about some of the “pet fads” that were popular in America when I was young (these never caught on in Japan though).

When I was little, there was always an ad in the back of comic books for “Sea Monkeys”.

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I convinced my parents to buy these for me once.
What a disappointment!
They were nothing like the picture!

Another big fad of the 70s was the “Pet Rock”.

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I was never interested in having a pet rock. The name wasn’t a joke or ironic … it was simply a stone in a cardboard box!

It was popular for a short time though … so I guess many people had one.

Another pet fad that didn’t interest me was the “Invisible Dog”.

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It was simply a stiff dog leash with no animal.

I don’t know if they’re “fads” or not, but I also had a Venus Flytrap (ハエトリグサ) once and an antfarm (蟻の農場) another time.

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16 Responses to “Pet fads”

  1. blissflower1969 February 12, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    I had the sea monkeys too. What a rip! I had forgotten the ad said you could train them. Train them to do what, exactly? I have to admit I had the invisible dog too. I thought that was hysterical. And we had our share of Tamagochis when Andrea was younger. One of the places we had to stop in Harajuku was at the Tama store on the corner.

    • tokyo5 February 12, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      >I had forgotten the ad said you could train them (Sea Monkeys).

      Yeah, I guess the standards of “false advertising” were looser in the ’70s.
      They also said the “Pet Rock” could be “trained”!

      >I had the invisible dog too. I thought that was hysterical.

      It’s a humorous idea. But I don’t think I could actually take it out for “a walk”.

      >we had our share of Tamagochis

      Did you have many? Your daughter must have like Tamagocchi a lot.
      My kids only had one each.

      • blissflower1969 February 12, 2013 at 8:41 am #

        She had three. One first generation, two second generation. She liked the different colors, and they were only $10 a piece, so….

      • tokyo5 February 12, 2013 at 8:49 am #

        >She had three

        If she remained interested in them for a long time, that’s good.
        My daughters liked them a lot for a short time.

  2. lovelycomplex22 February 12, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    Don’t forget furby! I remember that was quite big right after tamagotchi. Actually speaking of tamagotchi, apparently they’ll be realising an iPhone and android app soon. Fashion always recycles itself lol

    • tokyo5 February 12, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      >Don’t forget furby!

      Oh yeah! I can’t believe I forgot about that one.
      My kids had a “Furby” when they were popular too.

      >an iPhone and android app (for Tamagocchi) soon.

      They have a smartphone app for everything…so that doesn’t surprise me.

      > Fashion always recycles itself

      Yes, that’s true.

      By the way, I saw your blog.
      You were born in Africa, raised in France and you currently live in England. And you’re interested in Japan.
      Right?
      That’s interesting!
      How many languages can you speak?

      • lovelycomplex22 February 12, 2013 at 8:58 am #

        Haha yeah that’s right. People often find it confusing when they ask me where I’m from lol.
        I’m fluent in English and French, did a bit of Spanish at school, and now have conversational ability in Japanese. Hope to be fluent one day (*^^*)

      • tokyo5 February 12, 2013 at 9:09 am #

        >I’m fluent in English and French

        That’s great. You could be an interpreter or translator!

        >did a bit of Spanish at school

        I “studied” Spanish in high school too…but I remember very little of it.

        >now have conversational ability in Japanese.

        How did you learn Japanese?
        Do you understand written Japanese too?

  3. cocomino February 12, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    My daughter is addicted to たまごっち。 She always check ゴッチ to clean and take care of her I’m worried about it

    • tokyo5 February 12, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      > I’m worried about it

      It’s probably good that she takes care of it like a real pet, I’m sure.

  4. Musings February 13, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    I remember having a “pet dog” screen saver at one time.

    • tokyo5 February 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      It was probably a better “pet” than something like the “pet rock”! ;)

      I just remembered another pet fad…the “Chia-pet”.
      Remember that?
      ChiaPet

  5. Alice February 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Believe it or not, a friend’s son once fed bits of bacon to his venus fly trap or pitcher plant (can’t remember which one he had)!.

    • tokyo5 February 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      That’s not surprising.

      I fed small pieces of uncooked hotdog to mine.

  6. Alice February 16, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Good thing it didn’t bite the hands that fed it!
    Read this today in Japan Times: Tamagotchi returns as app -http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/02/16/business/tamagotchi-returns-as-app/#.UR96f6VvD54

    • tokyo5 February 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      Venus Flytrap don’t hurt if you touch inside.

      Did you install the Tamagochi app?

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