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MomTalk.com November 24, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Extreme Elmo Makes Me See Red

BY LENORE SKENAZY

Have you grabbed the new TMX "Extreme" Elmo? Don't.

Ten years ago, Elmo was like a cute little kid. Tickle, tickle, giggle, giggle. Today? He's a desperate exhibitionist heading for a breakdown.

Tickle Elmo now and he doesn't just giggle, he slaps his knees, doubles over and falls to the ground. He pounds his paw against the floor and rolls around, racked with laughter. He is considered a marvel of modern engineering -- no other toy has ever done all this -- but it's just too much. He's becoming a parody of himself! Elmo is the new Elvis.

BY LENORE SKENAZY

Have you grabbed the new TMX "Extreme" Elmo? Don't.

Ten years ago, Elmo was like a cute little kid. Tickle, tickle, giggle, giggle. Today? He's a desperate exhibitionist heading for a breakdown.

Tickle Elmo now and he doesn't just giggle, he slaps his knees, doubles over and falls to the ground. He pounds his paw against the floor and rolls around, racked with laughter. He is considered a marvel of modern engineering -- no other toy has ever done all this -- but it's just too much. He's becoming a parody of himself! Elmo is the new Elvis.

Thanks, Fisher-Price, for the downfall of another American icon.

Oh, come on -- I know that Elmo's just a toy. I know he won't actually end up facedown in a pool of furry vomit. I even know that, for all his foibles, he's still pretty cute. (So was the fat Elvis.) If he weren't, he wouldn't already be THE hot toy for Christmas, flying off the shelves at $39.99 a pop -- and twice that on eBay. He's so cute, in fact, that a dad who didn't manage to scoop one of him up threatened to shoot another dad who did in Florida. That's the holiday spirit!

What's disturbing is that toymakers took a wonderful thing and ran it into the ground.

In 1996, when Elmo debuted, he sold a million units. Once Fisher-Price realized what a hit it had, it just wouldn't let go. So every year since, it has rolled out a new Elmo, often scraping the bottom of the barrel with headache guarantee-ers like Chicken Dance Elmo.

But you don't stop flogging a good thing, or even an incredibly annoying thing, if there's still money to be made. You just keep coming up with ever more baroque brand extensions, like diet black cherry vanilla Coke, or chocolate Double Stuf Oreos. (Actually, I don't disapprove of those at all.) Or Hokey Pokey Elmo.

Eventually you come to the end of the line. With nothing left to add or tweak that would actually make your product better, you take the final leap. You go "extreme."

This explains why we now have Extreme Clean Aquafresh and Extreme Sour Berry Blast Pop Rocks and extremely dangerous sports on the extremely nuts Extreme Sports Channel.

Still, you'd think some categories just might be exempt, like toys for the youngest tots. After all, it's not like this year's 3-year-olds are tired of the Tickle Me Elmo from 10 years ago. So why do they need this Vegas version?

Because, of course, Fisher-Price is hoping that kids will REALLY love this one.

Which they will. But they'd love a mildly amused Elmo just as much. And they'd love their parents just as much, too.

Remember that when some guy with a gun asks you to give up yours.

Lenore Skenazy is a columnist at The New York Daily News
COPYRIGHT 2006 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE



Categories: Toddlers, Advice, Ideas & Stories, Children,


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