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Pikachu. Jigglypuff. Diglett.
There is a strong chance that these words sound like gibberish or glossolalia to anyone over the age of 13. These words are names, the names of only three of the more than 150 pocket monsters known as Pokémon.
The Pokémon Phenomenon. We've seen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, pogs, and now Pokémon. These little characters now appear in video games, trading cards, movies and a television show.
Pokémon fever is everywhere, spreading like a virulent strain of viral anti-boredom toxin. Within a month of its debut, the Pokémon TV series - less a cartoon than a half-hour exercise in product placement - became the highest-rated children's show in the country, first in syndication and now on the WB network. Nintendo sold 2.5 million Pokemon Game Boy cartridges in seven months, making it the fastest-selling product in company history. In just four months, 850,000 Pokémon trading-card sets were sold in the United States, and kids began flocking...