Kids want to take their favorite cartoon characters to school with them. And retailers are rolling out the branded merchandise to take advantage of the trend. America's Research Group surveyed the school-age set to find out which personalities, both real and fictional, are most popular. For more insights on the back-to-school season, see our story on page 30.

Fictional Faves
SpongeBob SquarePants
Pokémon
Spider-Man
Dora the Explorer
Harry Potter

Nonfictional Faves
WWF Wrestlers
Christina Aguilera
Britney Spears
Michael Jordan
Dale Earnhardt