Rarest Tamagotchi?

Help Support TamaTalk:

Bentobuff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
93
Reaction score
196
So I know there's been some debate over the years as to which tamagotchi and vpet is the rarest of them all, but I know there were limited editions also released, like the 2500 unit puma edition and the 2000 unit edition gold connection.
What is the rarest Tamagotchi? I'm sure it's honestly a prototype, but, like, what about ones actually released? Or given to staff/employees?
 

iAM

TamaTalk Angelgotchi
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
533
Reaction score
1,098
Location
Middle East
That’s a good topic! :biggrin:

From Tamagotchi’s I would say Tamagotchi iD Conan version. It is a limited edition and said that there are only 100 versions of it. Just imagine the prices!:mellow:
And we can’t forget Ysashii, it is considered to be one of the rarest vintage Tamagotchi’s.

Other virtual pets will have to be Magical Witches, they are one of the rarest if not the rarest vpets ever existed! Also they are VERY expensive! :oo
I also came across this interesting flower like vpet and it’s called Hana Hana Mi. It is rare and not really easy to find. For a vintage vpet it has so many interesting features. :kasatchi:

I would love to see what people think. happy2
 
Last edited:

Penguin-keeper

TamaTalk Guides
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2017
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
2,748
What is the rarest Tamagotchi? I'm sure it's honestly a prototype, but, like, what about ones actually released? Or given to staff/employees?
How would we quantify the samples (which as far as I know weren't finalised) that were given out to Japanese youngsters during the original product-testing phase? :huh: Or is it best to avoid stuff like that and just stick with devices that actually reached retail?

If it's the latter, then I suspect that @iTamannadi has already named our prime suspect. :tongue:

As for any other kind of competing virtual pet, there were so many at one point that I think that it would be almost impossible to find out - what's documented online, even in big collections such as that of Tamenagerie, barely even scratches the surface of what was out there back in the day! :oo

I also came across this interesting flower like vpet and it’s called Hana Hana Mi. For a vintage vpet it has so many interesting features. :kasatchi:
The Hana Hana Mi is part of the Dinkie line! I've never seen one in person, but what I've read about it sounds pretty interesting. :smile2:
 

Bentobuff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
93
Reaction score
196
I'm on my phone and have no idea how using quote replies with it and the new site. I'll have to play around with that sometime because I have no idea where they got added when I tapped "+quote" to both of y'all because it sure wasn't this text box :biggrin:

And woah, yeah I'm willing to bet that there isn't anything rarer and official than that 100 piece release :oo I looked it up and while one isn't available, and with how popular conan is I'm suprised the last one sold on the bay went for less than $250!

I figure ones with an actual "head count" would be for the best to gauge this, namely because then it's a bit more quantifiable, although the shareholder versions could be estimated based on the number of significant shareholders of Bandai at the time of release. 🤔 (I will note that I don't know anything about Bandai and it's shares and all that, but for instance if they handed out shareholder exclusives to people who had at least 1k shares and attended meetings regularly and there were only 50 people who had at least 1k shares around that time, we can reasonably guess that number would be around there, but again that's purely speculation and hypothetical).

As for "off brands" yeah, there's loads out there, which would make it difficult to be quantifiable, but that's part of the fun ;))
 

Penguin-keeper

TamaTalk Guides
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2017
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
2,748
I'll have to play around with that sometime because I have no idea where they got added when I tapped "+quote" to both of y'all because it sure wasn't this text box :biggrin:
There should be an "Insert quotes" button somewhere underneath the text-box that will allow you to drop in your queued-up quotes. :smile2:

As for "off brands" yeah, there's loads out there, which would make it difficult to be quantifiable, but that's part of the fun ;))
Or it'd just be mindboggling! :biggrin:
 

Maritchi

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
11
Reaction score
10
I don't know about rarest shells, but the most rare models I think are the ID Conan, and the osutchi and mesutchi test version.
For now, I wouldn't considere the yasashii one of the more rare tamagotchis, since you can still find them on ebay, just very expensive.
 
Last edited:

Bentobuff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
93
Reaction score
196
I don't know about rarest shells, but the most rare models I think are the ID Conan, and the osutchi and mesutchi test version.
For now, I wouldn't considere the yasashii one of the more rare tamagotchis, since you can still find them on ebay, just very expensive.
Fair enough, I think part of it is people just don't talk about the yasashii either.

I just did a little digging and when looking online it looks like the only way to know for sure if you're buying a test version of the osutchi or mesutchi is if you have the original packaging(as most people might not know what they have if so). That said, I'm going to keep my eyes peeled as an osu and mesu have been in my wish list! 😲


Also, I figured out the quote thing, whoo!
 

purple pyonkotchi

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
823
Reaction score
1,156
I agree about the conan iD, that one is DEFINITELY rare. This is an interesting thing to think about though! I'd love to see a ranking of what the rarest tamas are if anyone ever bothers to put that together lol. Also I'm not sure how rare it is, but another tama that comes to mind is the english iDL... it seems like they're never for sale anymore anywhere. Speaking of iDLs though, the wiki says that the iDL SPOT (and also the iD SPOT) are the rarest tamas in existence, but I'm not sure how much those count since they're just connectable displays and not actually buyable apparently... i feel like that's kind of cheating to count them lol
 

hwd45

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
653
Reaction score
509
Location
Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Conan iD is definitely a strong contender. Other especially rare devices - the GLAY Expo Plus, PUMA V2, prerelease Osu/Mesu - I’ve seen quite a few times, even in their rarity, but the Conan iD is one which seems to persistently evade people’s collections. I think if we’re just talking devices that got a public release and how many of these devices were produced, the Conan iD easily wins.

There’s also quite a few contenders for devices that aren’t so much rare as they are difficult to obtain. Did you know that there’s a Russian version of the Tamagotchi Friends? A Brazilian Tama-Go? Latin American versions of V1-V6? There were plenty of these around at the time of their releases, but they’re not especially easy for the English world to locate, and are even less common to find in their original packaging. I’ve never even seen what the packaging of a Spanish language V1 looks like! While not quite comparable to the Conan iD in numbers, even the Spanish V1 seems to appear in the wild about as frequently as that version does, to the English-speaking world, at least.

Each version has its own hardware and firmware variations too, and since you can’t really tell which variant the device is from the shell alone, tracking down those variants is especially tricky. There are some rather uncommon US V1s which use similar hardware to the European releases - and if the device in question is running ROM version 4.1 or 4.2, it’s also possible to activate a couple of unused Deka versions using the jumpers on the device’s board. Devices with this specific hardware layout have a few extra jumpers which allow the user to switch the character on the Deka version too, just like a real full-sized Deka. But good luck trying to locate one of these devices when you don’t get to look inside until you’ve received it!

Similar things can be said about several of the very early and very late ROM versions for each device. The Tamagotchi P’s is notorious for having a whole bunch of firmware versions, which MrBlinky needed to account for when making the English translation hack. The two most common versions were colloquially referred to as “Firmware 1” and “Firmware 2”, with an earlier “Firmware 0” being found later on, due to its rarity. As it turns out, there was another version - a version between 0 and 1 - which was so uncommon that it wasn’t identified until years later. And that’s only scratching the surface! Even after three years of research I’m still learning about new versions of the V1 and V2, and over time I intend on making some really thorough documentation going through all the various changes each version introduces… but before I can get there I still need to try finding some of those especially rare versions. Most notably, the V1 seems to have at least one more European version that’s not been identified yet - a particularly late release that wouldn’t have seen many sales due to the V2’s release happening at the same time. If you’ve got a European V1 which was purchased at any point from 2005 onwards, it could very well be this rare version, and you could certainly help us understand this version further.

Cheating or not, I think it’s interesting to think about the rarity of devices that were never intended for general purchase too! Store Dekas are extremely uncommon already, but even amongst them some are more common than others. The Tamatama Market Deka seems to be most common, shortly followed by the Game Centre Deka. The Jukutama, Tamagotchi Shopping Centre, Tamagotchi Plus Deka and Tamagotchi Friends Dekas are a lot less common but have been seen in the wild a few times. The Gotchi King and Royal Market Dekas seem to be all but extinct at this point, and there was supposedly special edition Jukutamas and JAL Dekatamas at one point too, the latter of which we’ve never even seen a photo of. The colour series had a few “Stations” too, which functionally served the same purpose as Dekas, and most have not appeared in the wild thus far. Smaller store-exclusive devices - like the Tamagotchi SPOT variants and the Otokitchi Omiai Famitama device are also assumed to be totally extinct by this point.

Prototypes are an interesting point of discussion, too. I expect that a lot of early builds were produced internally - especially for playtesting purposes - but sadly hardly any of these have ever seen the light of day. The Osutchi and Mesutchi had a limited release of a thousand or so test devices with slightly different sprites and animations to the standard release, and fortunately these devices can occasionally be found for sale. On the other hand, the Tamagotchi Garden seemed to have received a limited playtesting release in English too before being cancelled, but none of these devices have surfaced so far. The announcement event for the Tama-Go also showed shell designs that never released, alongside some differences on the device itself which suggests this was some kind of prototype build. Hopefully there exist more of these out there, else this would be a piece of history which was sadly lost to time. There’s also some completely white shells for the V5 and V5C which are commonly referred to as prototypes - they do seem especially rare, but I’m not sure whether they’re true prototype shells or if they served some other purpose.

All in all, there’s a really surprising volume of unique and uncommon Tamagotchi devices!
 

Bentobuff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
93
Reaction score
196
All in all, there’s a really surprising volume of unique and uncommon Tamagotchi devices!
Holy SMOKES that's a heck of a gold mine! Thanks for all of this! 😍

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for some of those really rare versions too. I'm still fairly new to vlogging, but if I could get my paws on any of those, it'd let a whole lot of people see what makes those units special(I can hear my bank account crying tho, if I even managed to get my hands on some of those with just how rare they are! :oo) brb making about 20 more ebay saved searches 😂 I'm more interested in stuff with different characters and animations(like the tester osu/mesus).

But seriously, this is huge, I'm especially interested in the play test limited releases. I don't read or speak japanese particularly well, so I think a lot would be lost on me if I pursued a deka. 😅
 

hwd45

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
653
Reaction score
509
Location
Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Oh boy, so, those test Osutchis / Mesutchis, I don't think I'll fully be able to do them justice but here's what I've been able to dig up from the chats I've had about them before.

According to the Tamagotchi Wiki,

In August 1997, market test versions of the toy saw a limited release in Japan. They only came in the blue and pink shell design, and around 1,440 pairs were produced. The packaging for them is nearly identical to the final version, except there is a red oval at the top left corner reading "新登場!!" (Shin tōjō!!, meaning "Introducing!!") in white. The back of the packaging also shows Bunbuntchi and Bunkotchi in futons. Included with the instructions is a two-sided survey sheet; those who received the test versions were meant to fill the survey out after running the pets and send it back to Bandai.

Functionally, they were identical to the final versions, save for a few animation differences:

  • TMP was instead called "Kenami" (けなみ), a colloquial term for "lineage".
  • When disciplining the pet, a hammer would appear hitting its head.
  • When giving medicine, a syringe would appear.
  • When breeding, Ojitchi and Otokitchi would appear and provide a futon to the pet.

If you think this sounds really weird, that's because it is.

600
600


Hopefully TamaTalk's image embedding actually works correctly and you're not seeing a couple of grey blobs above this text - if they are working, these are what the packaging would have looked like, just subtly different from the final product. If they don't work, then the wiki page for the Osutchi and Mesutchi should be able to provide the images.

While digging up info on this version I found this lovely Tama-Zone thread from 2009 detailing a whole bunch of interesting and obscure devices with unusual differences! Every single image on this page is broken too, brilliant. On the other hand, the page links to this absolutely ancient page showing actual photographs of some of the unusual animations on the device! This site is actually quite fantastic and seems to have been kept alive since 1997 - it's really interesting seeing these early pages demonstrating the test mode and version screen.

Between when I posted my previous comment and this one, an interesting revelation was made on the Tamagotchi Collectors' Discord - recently a new V2 ROM version - VER A.0 - was brought to our attention. Previously, the earliest known version was VER A.2, and it wasn't exactly clear why the version numbers didn't start at A.0. Initially we assumed this was a standard version which was just especially rare - and maybe that's still true to some extent, but we now have what might be a much clearer explanation.

You see, articles from early 2005 describe how early devices for the V2 were given out to reviewers in around February 2005, a little bit ahead of the official release (digging through old TamaTalk posts, it seems the original plan was for a ~March 2005 release in the US, but this was pushed back to June, for some reason - the early US devices seem to have then been released in Europe instead, retaining their original packaging). Generally, review builds of games are slightly pre-final and feature a few differences from the finished product. It seems the V2 was no exception in this regard.

A.0.png

The manufacture date on this device suggests it was produced in January 2005, over a month earlier than the earliest V2s we've seen before. Additionally...

A.0-AllegedPackaging.jpeg

The owner received the device in V1 packaging. Could the packaging have been swapped? Perhaps, but given how all these circumstances align, it certainly it a bit weird isn't it?

As such, the running theory that this device could be some sort of review prototype. Time will reveal how true this is, though - it may very well be the case that especially rare very early devices used this version, too, and that these devices have just managed to evade our research so far. Whatever the reality of this is, it's really quite a bizarre case of a very unique and very rare Tamagotchi, and it's exciting to see what might be yet another prototype Tamagotchi make it into the wild.

What differences does this device have from the later VER A.2? We don't really know, but it sounds like it could mostly be the same aside from the fact that region changing the device does not seem to work yet (i.e. the corresponding European version - which would probably occupy VER A.1 - does not seem to exist yet at the stage this device was produced). This is extremely similar to the V3 versions, the earliest of which are A3 0 (which cannot be region changed and seems to be quite uncommon) and A3 2 (which can be region changed into VER A3 3).
 

iAM

TamaTalk Angelgotchi
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
533
Reaction score
1,098
Location
Middle East
@hwd45 - thank you for the the links and the information! This is really interesting knowing that testers/prototype versions exist and people still have them. I’ve seen people trying to sell the tester versions of Osu/Metsu more than the final ones!

What surprises me is that it could be in anyones collection and they may never know they have a “special” release lol.
 

Bentobuff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
93
Reaction score
196
@hwd45 - thank you for the the links and the information! This is really interesting knowing that testers/prototype versions exist and people still have them. I’ve seen people trying to sell the tester versions of Osu/Metsu more than the final ones!

What surprises me is that it could be in anyones collection and they may never know they have a “special” release lol.
Yeah! People might not know they have a special one at all because the packaging for the one they have is long gone! 😱 It's hard to find ones where they have the package AND that label! They didn't have any special colorways or anything like that.

@hwd45 beat me to it! And yooo, bookmarking that link to comb through 🤩 Also, now that I think about it, I think I've seen you around in the discord! Thanks for helping me get back up to speed with tamas and such in there!
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
21
That’s a good topic! :biggrin:

From Tamagotchi’s I would say Tamagotchi iD Conan version. It is a limited edition and said that there are only 100 versions of it. Just imagine the prices!:mellow:
And we can’t forget Ysashii, it is considered to be one of the rarest vintage Tamagotchi’s.

Other virtual pets will have to be Magical Witches, they are one of the rarest if not the rarest vpets ever existed! Also they are VERY expensive! :oo
I also came across this interesting flower like vpet and it’s called Hana Hana Mi. It is rare and not really easy to find. For a vintage vpet it has so many interesting features. :kasatchi:

I would love to see what people think. happy2
Another thing to add about the Hana Hana Mi, the male version is much more rarer than the female from what I've heard, so it's harder to have to breed them together. There is a way around this however and a female can breed without a male. There's a more detailed guide on that here.
 

hwd45

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
653
Reaction score
509
Location
Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
They are the pink and blue versions of Osu/Metsu and could be found on eBay.:blink:
Specifically the ones with the special packaging though - most pink / blue osutchis / mesutchis are the normal variety. Not all pink / blue osumesus are test versions, but all test versions are pink / blue.
 

hwd45

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
653
Reaction score
509
Location
Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
I'm double posting here, but there's one other especially rare version I want to talk about - I've been searching for this one for quite a while now and I figure with how rare and mysterious this version is, it'll only get found if I start reaching out to people to help me out.

For a little while now I've been wanting to own as many variants of the V1 as possible - so what are those variants?

Things get a little bit more complicated if we look at hardware variants - they're an interesting topic too, and I'll probably make a thread about them at some point, but for this post I'll gloss over them. Instead I'll be focusing on each of the firmware versions:

image.jpeg
image.jpeg


0.0 and 0.1 correspond to Japanese versions - 0.1 is exceptionally rare, being the GLAY Expo Edition. Things get a bit more complicated from this point onwards, so strap in:

image.jpeg
image.jpeg


2.0 and 2.1 are standard European versions of the V1, and most of the European V1s are one of these two versions. After this point, US and European versions became paired in a sense, in that a US version and a European version would both be included on the same circuit board and could be switched between depending on the way in which jumpers on the board were shorted. The default state - an unshorted jumper - gives the US version, whereas a shorted jumper gives the European one. This is often called "Region Changing", and is generally thought to only be possible to do using the US hardware, as the jumper in question can be shorted on those devices. However, on European boards it's possible to locate the exact jumper which causes the region changing, and I believe with a bit of soldering you can undo the effects of this change (and in fact some rare devices seem to have never had this jumper shorted due to a factory error, resulting in US firmware being used on European devices). I expect deep down these ROM pairs are essentially the same version with some functions and sprites switched out between each of the versions, but the differences between the European and US devices are so broad for the V1 it's hard to be sure.

The first of these pairs are version 2.2 and version 4.0 - oddly, no European device seems to have ever used version 2.2 by default, and so we've only ever seen this version by region changing a 4.0:

image.jpeg
image.jpeg


The next pair is 2.3 and 4.1 - again, 2.3 has never been seen by itself on a European device:

image.jpeg
image.jpeg


The final pair for the V1 is 2.4 and 4.2 - we actually didn't know these were paired until relatively recently, as 4.2 had previously been observed to region change into a different version (which I'll explain below). Unlike 2.2 and 2.3, the 2.4 has been observed to have been used on European (and Australian / Asia-Pacific) devices. Funnily enough, 2.4 was basically just a rumour amongst some of the Tamagotchi researchers for a while, due to an old thread that mentioned the version - it wasn't until much later that we actually found a device using this version though, since they're a bit less common. Certainly not as rare as once thought, though:

image.jpeg
image.jpeg


A few years ago we found out that region changing a 4.2 would result in the device changing to an unused Deka version called 3.0 - except, that's what we thought. Somehow - possibly just due to some of our attempts at shorting the jumpers not working - this actually isn't correct; the device will change to 3.0 if the JP2 jumper is shorted (or, on the rare devices using slightly different hardware with jumpers J1 - J8, any of J2 - J8 will activate it, with each combination revealing a different character), but will not if JP1 is shorted. If only JP1 is shorted, the device will become version 2.4, and if both JP1 and JP2 are shorted, it becomes another unused Deka version, 5.0:

image.jpeg
image.jpeg


It turns out these versions can also be activated similarly on version 4.1, but supposedly not on 4.0.

The final V1 version is 4.3, the Spanish language version. What happens if we attempt to region change this version? Nobody knows yet because they're quite rare, but maybe it could reveal yet more unused V1 versions:

image.jpeg


So where am I going with this, and how is it relevant? At some point it was noted in an Instagram post that European devices use different close-up animations - the ones used on the V2:

9a4ba7b47fba91d62031f7767a2f64ae.jpg


This is... not completely true. Certainly the European versions use different animations, but this one? All the devices we'd encountered so far always used the V1 animations, rather than the ones from the V2. So what's happening here? Is it just a gutswap?

This, combined with the fact that there was some overlap in production between the V1 and V2, does seem to make it possible that they botched an updated version of the device in early 2005. This is further supported by the manufacture date on the shell - every device has a string of numbers printed into the plastic somewhere on the battery door (usually on the inside for the V1). Speaking with the owner, this V1 seems to have been produced in April 2005, the latest I've ever seen for a V1. She's not had time to check what specific version this is yet, though.

So it's simple, just find devices from ~April 2005, right? Problem is, they seem to be very uncommon. I've been reaching out to a lot of different V1 owners in the hope of learning more about this version, with very little success. A rough estimate suggests that fewer than 3% of European V1 devices seem to use this version, with the true number likely being a fair bit lower than that figure.

Maybe not Conan iD levels of rare! But extremely difficult to identify nonetheless. If you've got one of these versions, treasuring it is probably a good idea. This is actually the version I briefly touched upon in one of my posts above:

Most notably, the V1 seems to have at least one more European version that’s not been identified yet - a particularly late release that wouldn’t have seen many sales due to the V2’s release happening at the same time. If you’ve got a European V1 which was purchased at any point from 2005 onwards, it could very well be this rare version, and you could certainly help us understand this version further.

The latter bit is quite important - if you do have a European V1, and you want to join in in this search, shoot me a message with the number written inside the battery door on the back of the shell - from that I should be able to tell how likely it is to be this elusive version.

As ever, there's so much obscure Tamagotchi knowledge left to learn :)
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
21
It's so interesting how many different variations of Tamagotchis are there! On a similar topic, I wonder if there are any specific language Tamagotchis that are particularly rare to find?
 
Top