One thing I feel I should clarify is that I don't specifically *dislike* said basic mons such as Piplup/Eevee, just that I'll never get excited over them. I don't know that I could ever "bond" with one if that makes any sense lol. I don't groan when I see them get the spotlight or merch though, I know its mostly a marketing thing and I see their appeal, it just isnt MY appeal. Another thing I thought about too is that im a merch/plush collector, I don't do much cards these days. So seeing 20 plushes of Eevee vs seeing 20 different Eevee cards doesn't quite have the same translation I don't think, but maybe. Plushes just get so expensive, I know cards do too but I guess this really depends on just what kind of collector you are. I'll definitely be significantly less excited for *another* new line of Eevee plush than I would for something more unique (for example, the new line where every Kanto mon gets a plush). Also yeah I consider Fennekin to be more the spotlight starter because of the anime and merch, Froakie really wasn't all that much. Greninja is in its own kind of tier, im only really counting stage one starters. Again its kind of a merch thing, if you look at certain lines of figures, toys, plush, etc you can usually see an obvious pattern in who's the favorite. Its harder to do this with cards because the TCG is a lot more diverse and spread out/certain Pokemon like starters always release together. I will say this though, gen 6 was pretty well-rounded so it could have easily been even. Also the "spotlight" starter is often the one that never evolves in the anime, not always, it became more a pattern after gen 3.