southeast asia

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The Tastemakers author, David Sax and A Vegetarian Food Journey

The Tastemakers coverAfter 25 years in the toy and novelty business I still scratch my head thinking about the items that capture the arms, hands, feet, and minds of kids and the wallets of parents.  Some goofy products like pogs enjoyed a brief, but meteoric rise in popularity before vanishing.  Beanie Babies were the rage for awhile, and sports cards had their moment.  Other franchises-Lego, Barbie, Pokemon, Pooh, Star Wars-made an indelible imprint on the culture, and continue to find avid consumers despite the changes in technology and lifestyle that have occurred in our society. 

Why did Cabbage Patch dolls become so popular?  How do collectible card games like Magic:  The Gathering, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! entrance enough players that Wal-Mart devotes 18 feet of shelf space to them?