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Elmo: A Star Is Re-Born?
Elmo embraces a child at the launch of “Let’s Rock Elmo.”

Elmo is back and he’s bigger than ever. At least, in person. In the Hotel Empire in New York on Monday, a giant Elmo hugged children for the launch of “Let’s Rock Elmo,” which costs $69.99 and comes with a drum, tambourine and microphone, or a total of $100 with all the accessories. Toymaker Hasbro hopes it will do what Fisher-Price’s “Tickle Me Elmo” did in 1996 – sell out in stores across the country.

But have the days of hot holidays toys come and gone? The three-year-old kids who went gaga over Elmo in 1996 are now 18, and today’s children are busy with toy tablet computers like Leap Frog’s Leap Pad Explorer tablet and Vtech’s InnoTab Interactive Learning Tablet. Hasbro is betting on this Elmo. Jerry Perez, senior vice-president at Hasbro, says the new Elmo is updated for the modern kid, and more interactive than previous models. Plus, “Elmo is a beloved character,” he says.

The field is still wide open for a hot Holiday toy. As Pay Dirt reported last month, Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of, said retailers expected there to be a clear frontrunner by September. Thus far, there is no one break-out toy. Bob Friedman, spokesman for Toys “R” Us, says Moshi Monsters – a family of “adoptable” cuddly toys – may also give Elmo a run for his money. (Toys “R” Us is stocking both monster brands.) Silver sees Redakai 3D trading cards from Spinmaster as a possible big item, too.

What has your child asked you for this Holiday season? And do you think $69.99 is good value for Let’s Rock Elmo?


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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.