This page will answer the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) we receive so you won't have to ask them and wait for a reply. It also allows us to spend our time updating the site instead of answering the same questions over and over.
First things first:
We are no longer responding to letters asking the above questions.
We are no longer responding to letters asking the above questions.Sorry we can't help you with the above issues but there is only so much we can do. We are trying to provide top quality information about virtual pets and the virtual pet industry, but we spend a lot of time answering the above questions over and over and over.
Our Robotic Dogs Store and our Virtual Pet Store offer several virtual pets and related merchandise for sale through Amazon Books.
Tamagotchi, Giga Pets, Nano Pets, Nano Fighters and almost all other keychain virtual pets - EXCEPT talking Nano's used two 1.5 volt LR44 size "button batteries". One or more less well known keychain virtual pets used three of these batteries. They can be found at Wal-mart, Radio Shack, many Drugstores and most places batteries are sold. They come in Alkaline and Silver Oxide versions. Either one will work fine for your virtual pets. Do not mix them in the same pet. Also do not mix new and old batteries.
They are sold under a variety of part numbers. Several of the Silver Oxide batteries have the letter "S" in their model number. All the model numbers below should fit in typical Tamagotchi, Giga Pets, Nano Pets, etc. (but NOT talkling Nanos). Most cost about $1.00 to $2.50 each depending on type (Silver Oxide is more expensive), brand and the store you purchase them in.
A list of LR44 battery sized numbers is provided below. Although the long list of model numbers below may look confusing. If you will just take it along with you to the store and browse the button batteries for those with the numbers 44, 76, 303 or 357 on their card and then check them against this list and you should do just fine. Again - we do NOT guarantee they will fit you pet. We are just trying to provide some helpful suggestions. You can get an adult to take your batteries out and try to read part numbers off them with a magnifying glass before you go to the store if you do not have a copy of the pet's instructions. If it is a keychain pet, other than a Talking Nano, there is an extremely high probability that any battery on the list below will fit it and work fine.
Model Numbers Duracell PX76A (PX76A675A) ( Alkaline) labeld 76A on the packaging Duracell LR44 (Alkaline) Duracell MS76 (Silver Oxide) Eveready 303 (Alkaline) Eveready A76 (Alkaline) Eveready S-76 (Silver Oxide) Eveready EPX-76 (Silver Oxide) Eveready Energizer A-76 (Alkaline) Eveready Energizer 357 (Silver Oxide) Kodak KA76 (Alkaline) Kodak KS76 (SIlver Oxide) Mallory MS-76 Maxwell SR44SW Maxwell SR44P (Silver Oxide) Panasonic LR44 (Alkaline) Panasonic G-13 (SIlver Oxide) Panasonic SP76 (Silver Oxide) Radio Shack Model: 357A (says 357A on the packaging) Alkaline Radio Shack Model: 23-104 (says Silver Oxide Battery 303 on the packaging) Radio Shack Model 23-105 (says Silver Oxide Battery 357 on the packaging) Radio Shack Model: 23-009 (Says Silver Oxide Battery 76 1.5 Volts on the packaging) Ray-o-vac LR44 Ray-o-vac RS-76 (Silver Oxide) Rayovac 357 (Silver Oxide) Renatta LR44 Typical generic battery numbers LR44 (Alkaline) L1154 A76 (Alkaline) 357 SR44 (Silver Oxide) G13 V76PX (Silver Oxide) D357H (Silver Oxide) PX76A (Alkaline) A76 (Alkaline)Now its time to actually change the batteries. You should follow the battery changing instructions that came with the pet. Again, if you lost them, you may be able to find them on our Virtual Pet Instructions Page.
We provide a few tips here. You need to follow the instructions for your pet. We are not liable if you purchase the wrong batteries, damage your pet or are injured by them or your pet. Get an adult to help you or change them for you.
Do not change batteries near very young children, they may play with them or eat them.
The batteries are normally behind a small plastic cover held on by one to three very small phillips head screws. Make sure you are looking at the battery cover screws and not looking at the larger deeper screws that hold the pet together. A small phillips screw driver will be needed to remove them. In most of the early units, the screws can fall on the floor and be lost. Do not drop or lose the screws. A small cup is often useful for storing the screws and cover in while the batteries. Some later units retain the screw in the cover (it stays with the cover and minimizes the problem of losing them). Most keychain virtual pets use a bent flat blade of metal to act as a spring below the batteries to force the batteries up against the cover to make good contact. Nano Fighters used a small spring instead of the flat blade design.
Install the batteries in the proper direction (Most go in nose first). Put the battery cover back on. It often has a couple tabs on it you must insert first, before it lays flat. Put the screws back in and try the pet. If it does not work after you install the new batteries, take them out and make sure you have them installed the proper direction. You may need to slightly pry up one of the small flat blade springs beneath a battery, wipe off both ends of the battery, put the cover on and try it again. You may need to try this a few times. If it still won't work (and you are sure the new batteries are good), your pet may be broken. Some were pretty fragile.
Properly dispose of the old batteries after you remove them.
Talking Nano pets use two AAA batteries. They are available about anywhere batteries are sold. You can read about their batteries in the Battery Section (near the bottom of our Talking Nano Puppy Page). If you replace them you need to follow the instructions that came with the pet. Our Virtual Pet Instructions Page has a scanned copy of Talking Nano Baby battery changing instructions. For some unknown reason, the instructions we scanned appear much clearer when viewed using the Netscape browser than when using Internet Explorer.
We hope you found these instructions helpful.
A Little LR44 battery technical info Silver Oxide batteries have a more stable voltage, than the Alkaline batteries plus they have a little higher voltage (1.55 volts). 357 batteries work better in situations with pulsing loads, 303 batteries are same size but not as good with pulsing loads). Virtual pets do not have pulsing loads so it does not matter which type you get.
We are a bit of purist, in that we think it would be nice for a new user to experience pets types in the order they were released (such as not starting out with a talking or a linking pet).
In terms of age, most of the pets are labeled with a recommended age level. We have found that most children (at the recommended age level) can handle the pets fine. Older children and adults may operate more than one pet at a time, while younger children will probably be focused on only one pet at time.
First Time Buyers
We recommend basic pets designed for sale in your country for first time pet buyers. First time buyers should find a well known pet being sold at a local store with a liberal return policy. Make sure the instructions (in your language) are included with the pet. Many first time buyers have had "health" problems with Giga Pets. We suggest Tamagotchi or basic Nano pets as good first time pets. Select an animal type (or human) that interests you and try to find it in a color you like. Be sure the pet can be "paused" and the sound can be turned off. The "hunt" for the pet is part of the pet ownership experience.
While tending to your "basic pet" for a couple weeks, learn more about the various features and kinds of pets. Our "Trends" article is a great place to start. Identify the characteristics you like in virtual pets and find a pet with those characteristics. Giga Pets offer several choices of pet types in an economical locally available pet. Have you noticed how much care the normal pets require? Some newer pets, such as the linking fighting pets and the giga pet "friends" series require less continuous care than earlier pets. A several-in-one pet, such as the Octo-Pets might be a good choice for an intermediate pet user. The new talking Nano Pets might also be an interesting choice. We suggest intermediate pet users stay with pets designed and packaged for sale in their country. If you get a linking pet, you will need to purchase a pair, or make sure your friend has the same one. Always make sure you get a set of instructions in your language. Try a few of these intermediate pets to widen your pet caretaking experiences. Perhaps you have some friends that would swap pets with you for a few days and both of you could learn more about these pets.
By the time you have owned a few "intermediate pets" and graduated to an advanced user, you will have began to form your own ideas of what is interesting to you. Trying some of the more economical and available foreign pets that are available from major suppliers. You will have learned about them by now. We also suggest you try some of the linking pets (built for sale in your country). Make sure you receive instructions in you language.
As you become an expert and are willing to take on greater challenges, you might consider purchasing some of the more exotic (and more expensive) foreign pets. Some of these have to be purchased directly from the far east and you need to be very careful about who you are dealing with and how the financial transactions are made. You will be "out of luck" in terms of warranty, instructions, and product support on most of these pets. Some offer a great deal of excitement and intrigue, but they require a lot of effort and money. We strong suggest you graduate through the various stages of ownership before trying these more exotic pets. You might find yourself specializing in certain kinds of pets and becoming a collector.
Many people collect all kinds of virtual pets. You might try to collect all of a specific brand, you might collect dinosaur pets, you could collect pets intended for sale in Japan, you could collect pets that are a certain color. The opportunities in collecting are almost endless. Some collect pets that sealed in original boxes and others use their collection daily. Just find what interests you and start your collection.
Here are some basic tips.
If you are writing a story on virtual pets, please feel free to contact us at Polson Enterprises.
Many of the early pets lived one to two weeks with good care. Some later pets can live for several months. Some live for exactly a certain number of days (Talking Nanos) after which they tell you the outcome of your pet. See the next question if you are interested in age records.
NO. It is too difficult to verify. People would have to go and see each pet. Also it is too easy to cheat the age on many of the pets by resetting the clock repeatedly.
In Japan, Bandai was surprised to find the Tamagotchi had a strong appeal to both sexes of children as well as to many adults of both sexes. Tamagotchi was a big hit with US girls and attracted several boys, but he entry of the more "boy toy" GigaPet alien, dog, T-rex, and monkey really got boys involved. As children began to need assistance running them while at school, many mothers became involved. Soon all kinds of pets became available and collectors entered the market as well.
Bandai announced that by August 15, 1997 it had sold 4.5 million Tamagotchi in North America and 14.5 million world wide. The total number of pets sold is unobtainable, as many small firms became involved.
Yes, but they also have some staying power. For more information on fads, see:
Forgotten Fads and Fabulous Flops by Paul Kirchner Encyclopedia of Pop Culture by Jane and Michael Stern The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste by Jane and Michael SternOne article on fads spoke of the familiar product life cycle curve (looks similar to a bell curve). Typically new products enter the market relatively slowly and gradually increase in sales till they reach their peak. After peaking, sales gradually decline as other new products take their place. Eventually sales level off at some residual level for a long period of time. In the case of "fads", sales of the new product take off very rapidly and after they peak, they drop all the way to zero, almost no residual sales remain.
Keychain virtual pets were perfect items for a fad. They were backed by a major company with solid world wide distribution (Bandai) with finances to "fuel the fire" as production rapidly increased. Most components involved relatively basic technology and were "farmed out' to several small producers. The assembly was "farmed out" as well. This allowed Bandai to rapidly ramp up production.
Bandai also did a great job of capitalizing on the press of the "craze" in Japan. It was rumored Bandai kept the supply of pets in Japan artificially low in order to keep demand high and generate more press coverage of the pet.
We have seen several new designs that have not yet been released that may "rekindle the flame" some. Plus many commercial uses (movie tie ins, training, advertising) may give it a new birth as well. We hope that keychain pets will remain alive and we will continue to see new products in all areas of virtual pets.
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