Contents of the Pixicade Pets kit | Source: BitOGenius/The Toy Insider

It seems that no matter how far away we get from the ‘90s, the legacy of virtual pets lives on. 

Whether you’re a ‘90s kid who dreams of being decked out in Lisa Frank or a kid today who has their own smartphone and knows how to use it better than boring millennials, the one thing we can all agree on is that virtual pets are some of the most fun toys out there.

BitOGenius puts a new twist on the virtual pet game with their brand-new Pixicade Pets. This kit lets kids design their own virtual pets — and accessories, but more on that later — IRL on paper (old school) then scan them into the free app and watch them literally come to life digitally. Kids can then take care of their digital pets, take care of them, and more inside the app. 

Kids can draw their own pets, scan them into the Pixicade Pets app, then customize their accessories, houses, worlds, and more! | Source: BitOGenius

Kids start out by drawing their pets. The set comes with washable markers, stickers, and a pencil for them to create! The included Learn to Draw Pets book takes kids step-by-step through different animals such as cats, dragons, and unicorns, but kids can freehand draw whichever pets they want — whether it’s one they imagine up or their very own pet they have at home. The drawing instructions are very easy to follow; I am no artist and am quite proud of the dragon I drew. Kids can also draw their pets’ eggs and accessories such as treats, toys, and even their own house.

Then kids can scan the QR code that is included in the $19.99 kit to download the free app and scan their pets, eggs, and accessories into the app. Once they’re in the app, kids can take care of their pets. The creativity doesn’t stop once you jump into the virtual world: Kids can continue to get creative as they customize their pets’ personalities, houses, and worlds. (Additional content can also be unlocked in the app for an additional cost.)

While kids will love to draw in the real world and watch their creations magically come to life on screen, parents will love that this play pattern mixes the physical and the digital, resulting in meaningful screen time as opposed to mindless scrolling or games that provide no benefits. 

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Whether they’re ready to train a dragon or build up the perfect virtual world for their IRL Goldendoodle, kids will absolutely love to jump into the virtual pet world with Pixicade Pets!

Pixicade Pets will be available this Friday, Sept. 16!

About the author

Ali Mierzejewski

Ali Mierzejewski

Ali Mierzejewski is the editor-in-chief at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider. With more than a decade of industry experience, Ali is a trusted source for parents, gift-givers, manufacturers, retailers, and more on the latest trends and hottest products. Whether you’re shopping for the best toys for kids — or looking for the latest in geek culture and entertainment for yourself — Ali’s expertise has you covered. When she’s not building LEGO sets or unwinding with a puzzle, Ali is obsessing over the latest season of The Bachelor, scrolling through Gritty’s Twitter, or rewatching The West Wing (for the 100th time). She is also a self-proclaimed expert on the history and lore of the entire Bachelor franchise. Ali has been featured on TODAY, The Wendy Williams Show, Yahoo Finance, Fox & Friends, HLN, The Weather Channel, ABC World News Now, and more. You can follow her on Instagram @hashtagtrendy.