The History of AquaPets

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OneSummerDream

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Here’s the history behind AquaPets:
aquapets-history1.png

In 2003, AquaPets were first released in Japan by Sega Toys under the name “Puku-Puku Water Angels”. They were a pretty hot toy, selling 500,000 in the first week of release. The 3 original characters are Puku, Kiko, and Tu. They even did licensed versions like the Postpet mascot and Disney characters (which oddly enough was never released outside of Japan). Outside of the ones mentioned and a promotional Water Angel featuring an air conditioning company's mascot (not even joking...), the line was silently discontinued in Japan shortly after.

disney-aquapets.png


You can find others by Googling “ぷくぷくエンジェル”

Their design seems to take inspiration from the Tomy Watergames line. This is a similar concept, only instead the figurine inside is more of a marionette, with movements according to which piece of string is pulled down. *There’s also the fact that you can’t refill an AquaPet, but more on that later.* The actual concept, though, is more like your typical virtual pet, only in a test tube! Each AquaPet has its own unique music and sound.

Sega Toys also made a spinoff called Puku-Puku Resort featuring toy fish that swim around in a tiny dome. Besides the name, it bares little resemblance to AquaPets.
https://www.yodobashi.com/product/100000001000357832/

Wild Planet, a US toy company, got the rights to release them outside of Japan. One of the unused names for AquaPets was “AquaAngels,” a reference to the original name. The same trio of AquaPets were released in 2003, featuring the original case designs. Wild Planet then went on to completely redesign them with the the infamous shell shape they’re known for... This design would be used until the line was discontinued around 2007, making way for PursePals. 24 total characters (not including licensed ones) were released in 4 different waves:

aquapets-history-2.png


https://breendirect.blogspot.com/2008/03/blog-post_11.html

There are also some character bios here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060813134017/https://www.myaquapet.com:80/

These toys are also notorious for easily forming algae (but this was fixed in the 2010 version):

//www.tamatalk.com/IB/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png
Fast forward to 2010, and Wild Planet decided to give AquaPets another go. The new design featured a teardrop-shaped case, and all of the characters were redone in different colors. They were discontinued around 2014, leaving 17 characters in total between three different waves. There were also Dew Drops: mini versions that came with a removable figurine and a case that would react to sound. Then, there were Droplets, which included a figurine and case, but no electronic parts.

aquapets-history-3.png


https://cargocollective.com/caseyschneider/Aquapets-Wild-Planet

Now, most AquaPets don’t completely work anymore because the water inside them has been evaporating over the years (yay science). Since Sega Toys and Wild Planet didn’t add a way to open and refill it, many don’t work because they don’t have enough water left for the character to properly float. You could theoretically just drill a hole in it and then refill, but some have said that this can actually damage the toy more. You can still play with the virtual pet portion, but it won’t have the cool animation/puppetry.

Fun fact: Wild Planet also localized Sega Toy’s Handheld Aquarium virtual pet, renaming them as “Aquapalz.”
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DTYT36

 
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Penguin-keeper

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This is a fantastic write-up about a series of virtual pets that I haven't seen mentioned very often.

Thanks so much for posting it - I always appreciate reading stuff like this, and I think that it's important for us enthusiasts to preserve this stuff as well as we can! :D

 

OneSummerDream

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This is a fantastic write-up about a series of virtual pets that I haven't seen mentioned very often.

Thanks so much for posting it - I always appreciate reading stuff like this, and I think that it's important for us enthusiasts to preserve this stuff as well as we can! :D
No problem :) Glad you enjoyed it.

 
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AnniChu

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I had a some of these when I was younger, and I probably still have them actually. The first one I owned came from a yard sale. I had no idea what it was, but I got it because I thought it was cute. I really loved it, despite it never having batteries in it! By the looks of it, I had Fizzie. :3

 

KidRetro64

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I had a some of these when I was younger, and I probably still have them actually. The first one I owned came from a yard sale. I had no idea what it was, but I got it because I thought it was cute. I really loved it, despite it never having batteries in it! By the looks of it, I had Fizzie. :3
Why don’t you get them back and run them! Hey.. you might just be able to pass them off as VPets, and even if the water is evaporated it’s still gonna be cute!

 

AnniChu

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Why don’t you get them back and run them! Hey.. you might just be able to pass them off as VPets, and even if the water is evaporated it’s still gonna be cute!

I actually found another one of mine a few days ago! It's one of the newer ones (teardrop shape). I turned it on but it didn't really do much. The poor lil thing can't move anymore, it just chirps, and sometimes plays a song. I know you can play games with them, but now they don't work sadly. I remember that there was a "Simon Says" type game where the pet would move to the left or right and you have to press the coresponding button, or something like that. I wouldn't really call them VPets, they're mostly just little toys. Not that that's a bad thing, they are super cute either way. I really wish there was some way of adding water, I would love to see the lil guys in action again. I'd totally be willing to try and fix one too, if there was a way. Oh well, at lest they still look cute sitting on my dresser.

 

OneSummerDream

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I actually found another one of mine a few days ago! It's one of the newer ones (teardrop shape). I turned it on but it didn't really do much. The poor lil thing can't move anymore, it just chirps, and sometimes plays a song. I know you can play games with them, but now they don't work sadly. I remember that there was a "Simon Says" type game where the pet would move to the left or right and you have to press the coresponding button, or something like that. I wouldn't really call them VPets, they're mostly just little toys. Not that that's a bad thing, they are super cute either way. I really wish there was some way of adding water, I would love to see the lil guys in action again. I'd totally be willing to try and fix one too, if there was a way. Oh well, at lest they still look cute sitting on my dresser.
Same thing happened to mine :( TBH I don't really think AquaPets count as a normal v-pet, but that's what Wild Planet claimed they are. The star button feeds it and heart button pets it, and the noises it makes indicate its status, etc.

-https://www.manualslib.com/manual/194721/Wild-Planet-Puku-Power-Sign.html?page=2#manual

-https://www.manualslib.com/manual/194721/Wild-Planet-Puku-Power-Sign.html?page=3#manual

 

AnniChu

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Same thing happened to mine :( TBH I don't really think AquaPets count as a normal v-pet, but that's what Wild Planet claimed they are. The star button feeds it and heart button pets it, and the noises it makes indicate its status, etc.

-https://www.manualslib.com/manual/194721/Wild-Planet-Puku-Power-Sign.html?page=2#manual

-https://www.manualslib.com/manual/194721/Wild-Planet-Puku-Power-Sign.html?page=3#manual
Ahh, that makes sense. I wouldn't really consider AquaPets as a v-pet either, since they aren't all that virtual. :p

 

Mametchimama

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I had one from about 2005 ish but the water went yellow! I threw it out about two years ago. 

 
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