R2-D2 — Star Wars’ beloved droid — is now officially a Tamagotchi toy, letting you take a pocket-sized, pixelated virtual pet version of the iconic astromech with you wherever you go.
The R2-D2 Tamagotchi comes in two colors: a white model that more accurately resembles R2’s chassis, and a more retro translucent blue version that harkens back two decades to when people actually bought Tamagotchis.
As for the actual gameplay experience, the R2-D2 version of the digital pet appears to be virtually identical to the same Tamagotchi gameplay loop that has existed for over 20 years. Using a 24 by 30 pixelated LCD display and three physical buttons, you’ll be able to train your R2-D2 pet in 19 different skills, take care of the droid by charging and cleaning it to keep it happy, and play nine different mini-games (including Dejarik and a firefighting game).
Technically, the new R2-D2 toy is the first official Tamagotchi to feature the popular droid. But all the way back in 1997, Tiger Electronics released a Giga Pet toy starring R2-D2 (along with two other licensed Star Wars models featuring Yoda and the Rancor).
It’s not clear that the new R2-D2 model is any more technologically advanced or materially different than the original Giga Pet version, given that virtual pet technology appears to have advanced at an even slower pace than TI-83 calculators.
Given that the virtual pet fad also ended sometime around the turn of the millennium, it’s also not immediately obvious why there is a Tamagotchi R2-D2 being released in 2021, nor why Tamagotchi and Disney felt the need to spend nearly three months teasing said product.
But the new Tamagotchi R2-D2 is, well, an actual Tamagotchi this time around, complete with the familiar egg-shaped case. It’ll also presumably be more affordable than the Giga Pets version, which can cost $35 to $50 on eBay.
Tamagotchi has yet to announce a price for the pocket astromech pet, but the company currently sells branded Tamagotchi toys for other franchises for around $25, so it’s likely that the Star Wars model will land somewhere in that price range, too. Preorders start later today at 12PM ET, ahead of a November 11th release date.