20 years ago, Bandai/WiZ released the Tamagotchi’s macho cousin, the Digital Monster. The Digital Monster, or Digimon, was the seed that bloomed into the franchise we know today. The original Digital Monster came in 5 different versions, only the version 1 was released in the US, each with its own unique egg, monster roster, game play features and an array of fruit flavored color schemes for the device, combined with the ability to duel your friends and rivals to the frigging death, literally. Yes, your little dinosauric, beastly, fireball spitting, poop throwing creature can deliver a lethal blow to your opponent’s “partner” or their critter could send yours to the grave. That would mean hours, days or even weeks of training and care would fade and disappear into the aether along with the sound of the special death beeps coming from your device. Not to worry! If you truly cared for your partner and treated it well, it would leave you a “traited egg”, an egg that carries some of the data of your old Digimon into the new egg, increasing the likelihood of it making it to its highest, strongest forms. Even if you didn’t get a traited egg, you’d be able to start from scratch with a brand new egg. The original devices game in five different version, each with its own way to train, monsters and device color schemes. They also would only go up to their ultimate level for, “perfect”level in the Japanese lore.

This summer, Bandai released the 20th anniversary edition of the original Digital Monster! The device will come in classic blue and red with 3 other color schemes made to represent fan favorite Omnimon (Omegamon), the 20th anniversary Digimon by the name of Zubamon and my homeboy Alphamon gets a color scheme of his own, too. They’re similar enough to originals to really please the most seasoned Tamer and simple enough to get the ball rolling for first timers or the inexperienced. The updated features and functions of this new digivice will have everyone going digital, newbies and veterans alike! Each device is now equipped with all the eggs and Digimon from all 5 original versions along with a number of new, hidden and exclusive eggs. In addition to this awesome update, another new feature is the ability raise the standard single Digimon pal or 2 digital buddies to compete in tag battles with in game Digimon and your friends digital champions. You can also get your Digimon to its final Mega form, called Ultimate in Japan. The original gizmos would only go up to the for prior. This means you get to witness the awesome might of Digimon like WarGreymon and Jesmon in the traditional 16×16 dot art style! Chibi Alphamon for the win!

This latest release of Digimon gadgetry will not only connect to the original versions of the V-pets, original releases and 15th anniversary editions of the Digivice, D-3 and D-Ark, but one of the most significant features they’ve added is the online battle function. That’s right. You can now battle your friends and foes in the real digital world using your Digimon Partner’s special data code! More information is to be released on this feature 6/26. You can bet this something all Tamers have wanted for the longest time. Perhaps with the upgraded battles systems and features would it be possible to, dare I say, create a competitive Digimon Community?! I guess we’ll find out! The only real bummer about this is the fact it’s Bandai Premium item. Meaning it’s only available through the Bandai Premium site and its a Japanese release. There’s no real language barrier, a pleasant common trait of the Digimon devices. The online feature has yet to be released, so it’s hard to say how that will work just yet. But, at about $35 USD, its more economical than the 15th Anniversary edition Digivices ($100+). There’s a lot of middleman services out there, too. So, getting your hands on the latest digigadetry is as easy as shopping online! Here’s to our newest adventures in the Digital World!