There are few things I treasured more as a child than the blue Apollo mountain bike delivered by Santa Claus when I was six, which my parents later tried to take credit for, and scribbling stories about dragons that had margins so big they made the word count look thicker than the kid at the back of the class with his trousers down and his finger up his nose.
The Pokémon Blue Gameboy Colour cartridge I won for being well behaved at after-school club, however, was up there at the top of the list.
Pokémon provided an otherworldly haven to a kid whose angry pet hamster was just a bit too much of an anarchist to earn the love or respect it so craved. Why get clawed in the face by a rodent when you could train up a Rattata?
I went all-in on the Pokémon craze, as did those around me. One of my best days as a youth was when I found a stack of 100-odd Pokémon cards in the giant holly bush at the end of the road; a holly bush which only those under 4ft could gain entry to without getting maimed by thorns. And the television program only extended the fervour; becoming a cornerstone of my childhood viewing alongside Jungle Run, a show where nine-year-old contestants would regularly leave their friends stranded in a cave rather than lose five seconds of time in their hunt for a pogo stick.