Pokemania was lightning in a bottle, but Harry Potter and My Little Pony G4 came close. But nothing is ever like the first craze, diminishing returns and all that, plus the changes in society.
Children were still actually being born in the 90's, and companies made products that catered to the interests of children, the ideal whiny, naggy, pestering consumers, whose parents have money.
As usual, I'm gonna ramble around and get "off topic" because it's fun and interesting. Tamagotchi ("warrior"?) was also a big fad, along with the whole "digital pet bandwagon", like Gigapets and Digimon. I remember this one ad with a big tuff, hardhat-wearing coal miner guy showing off some little pink kitty gigapet thing.
Tamagotchis were just some primitive LCD "game" type thing, and there were also gimmicky little watches with "yes/no" "games" put in them. Tamagotchis were also bafflingly designed - so they're for 6 year olds, right? You know 6yo's have school and get dragged along to errands and places, and this toy thingy goes off every 10 minutes, and "dies" if you ignore it for an hour. Teachers haaaated these things, but dumb children (like me) thought they were neato. They would fill up the screen with poop and then die and have wings or something.
Something on my mind but I kept dropping the thought during the School Rambles, is how children felt like victims, and that it was them against the world. Which is just how it is, the world isn't the way it should be. "Adults" who never had puberty, are unbelievably cruel to children. Messing with their heads is really fun, yeah, but the "adults" had genuine malice to it. They truly wanted children to be dumb little zombies. And usually... they eventually had their way. There's so much to say, it's hard to stay on track. Remember how children often start off friendly and well-meaning, inquisitive with a sense of adventure and fun? A sense of wonder and curiosity and exploration, baffos hate those things, and hate children for coming into this world, with a clean blank slate, and seeing castrati and bearded women for what they are, asking why women like their moms and sisters and neighbors aren't shown on TV, wondering why dinosaurs didn't fall over, wondering how the sun and moon and sky actually worked.
The story "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a very good illustrator of how society works. Did the populace just humor the Emperor? Did they delude themselves and their brains mentally photoshopped in "clothes" that exist only in their imaginations? But it all hinges on one little child pointing out the obvious. Children will criticize people very harshly, in a matter-of-fact tone. They're usually not being malicious or mean (certainly not to adults, but maybe peers, if these are baffo kids we have in mind). But they'll still call someone "fat" and upset that person.
Out of the mouths of babes, comes the truth. Children ask questions, children are inquisitive. They ask why things are how they are, and baffos don't want to let their secrets out.
"Children should be seen and not heard" is a common statement. Yeah, their obnoxious, shrill voices and general idiocy because they don't know better, yeah those are grating. Their vocal qualities are literally for actual real, on par with nails on a chalkboard. Just how it is. But "children should be seen and not heard", is obviously a false statement. Their voices are deliberately pitched (intelligent design) to be HEARD. And grating. They love to explore. Exploration is fun, but baffos hate it when you explore. They want to shoot explorers. With rifles.
There are downsides to the state of children, their obsession with sugar, their careless, grubby obnoxiousness, their desire to hoard all the toys, their obsession with popularity (though popularity's more of a teen thing). But to be Saved, you have to become like a child again, realizing you know nothing. Back to the blank slate, and learning the real things, from a clean new start. But with the mental state of an adult.
There are many hazards out there, and some parents are overly paranoid and stifle their own children. Not sure what those overprotective parents think they're going to accomplish from preventing their children from getting cuts, scrapes, and bruises, or seeing a titty on a page, or a photo of a gun. Everyone has to get roughed up and cry and get over it. You see teens and 20somethings cry for dumb reasons? If they cried when they were much younger, they'd have gotten that over with. Some things only come out when they come out, and if they're delayed, they come out later. A child who had a lot of cries in the past, won't be so snively as an adult.
The "first world" is completely obsessed with class divisions. Everything that comes out and is talked about, is some haves vs havenots shit. Children want the shiny popular toy because the advertisements showed kids transforming into robot animals with fruit heads upon picking up the toy, or something. Guess what the rich kids had. Pokey men and consoles and cool toys. Guess what the poor kids had. Handmedowns and thrift store junk. As an adult, I'm way past caring, but children haven't reached that point yet. Learning comes from experiences and having things go wrong millions of times. Children haven't had experiences or hardships that much, yet. They view a toy or vidya or book or movie, as being important because they're told they're big deals, but haven't developed real life perspective.
Everything about life in the environment we live in, is about companies pandering to rich people, and giving poor people the finger. The cops defend the rich people, and view poor people as fodder to fill daily hassle and arrest quotas. No one defends the poor. The poor are easy targets. Doesn't help that many poor people are still completely money obsessed, and go to crazy insane lengths to get that money.
So, uh, how bout them Pokey Men. It became people's lifebloods. Adults with hidden agendas used pokemon as a lure for children who didn't know better. Adults also would scalp cards. I used to wonder why middle aged guys would buy 20 packs that they said they'd never open. As the Pokemon TCG was made by Wizards of the Coast, and Magic the Gathering cards are the most popular form of money laundering, I'm 100% certain that Pokemon Cards were babby's first money laundering.
Teachers HATED Pokemon more than anybody else. We children just wondered why they were so bitter and unfun and uncool. Today I understand. When that Pony shit got real big, the internet was just INTOLERABLE. You could search ANYTHING, and get nothing but pony shit for miles. Ponies everywhere. I then realized why adults hated pokemon with such a firey passion. I understood why adults got mad at the mere mention of mon of pokes.
Also, children love to yell catchprases in obnoxious voices, and Pokemon was overflowing with pokeymong characters yelling their own names in really stupid voices and having elemental battles, and seeing children yell "hitmonleeeeeee" while doing some air kung fu, that got tiring pretty fast. Hearing children repeat jingles and slogans all day long, was tiring enough.
We probably just had a general idea that adults inherently felt contempt and spite for children and our interests. We had no basis for comparison about the experience "boring old unfun adults that hate our passions and want us to do boring shit instead of cool stuff". We didn't understand why things were the way they were, and didn't understand that people were just doing their jobs, not making it a point to go out of their ways to oppress us. Pokemon or whatever other interests we had, were front and center in our lives.
MANY, many children had really rough home lives, alcoholic parents, parents going through nasty divorces, unpleasant older siblings, cousins, uncles, aunts. Pokemon was the biggest escape that a 6-8yo could comprehend, sometimes. Other students had other interests, but pokemon's only barrier for entry was access to the base games that could be played on a classic Gray Brick. And that in itself is something you don't see much of anymore, the fact that you could play a 1mb new handheld game full of content and insane glitches and crazy bugs, on a 1989 handheld device.
Gotta repeat that: the fact that you could play a new 1mb game on a 1989 handheld. That's just not a thing anymore! Console wars were some idiotic big deal for stupid children in the 90s, but now planned obsolescence and lack of backwards compatability is a really big thing now, in $currentyear!