By definition a fad is any form of behavior that develops among a large population and is collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period, generally as a result of the behavior's being perceived as novel in some way. A fad is said to "catch on" when the number of people adopting it begins to increase rapidly. The behavior will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone. One fad that comes to mind is the “Digipets or “Pocketpets” of when I was in elementary school. It was an electronic version of owning a pet dog, cat, farm animal, or even a dinosaur.
I remember that this novelty item came from Japan, a place where more electronic innovation takes place. I really didn’t understand the point in having an electronic pet if I already had 2 dogs back home and a younger brother and sister. This was an era before Ipods and cell phones, and fellow students would be distracted in class by watering their pet, or feeding them or taking them for a walk. Quickly schools banned them from campus grounds. But never the less it seemed as though it were a hot item, some people had a whole key ring full of them.
This fad went on for some time, it was a “Bennie Baby” in electronic form with a birthdate and name. The product life cycle of this fad was typical for a fad, the beginning innovators made this item a desired product and then it gained maturity as sales increased at an increasing rate; then once the market potential was reached, the sales began to decline. And similar to Bennie Babies, this fad too came to an end (though Bennie Babies are different in that they hold a value, due to their tangible feel- they are collector items and may be sold for a higher value—these digital pets had no value due to over production and lack of tangible value). Consumers became tired of feeding, watering, and walking a digital LCD pet. The novelty faded, sales dropped thus ending sale of products in the US market.
Arena, Barbara (2001). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money with Your Hobby. Alpha. ISBN 978-0028638256.