Once again, Elmo is here to take over the holiday, causing parking lot brawls between otherwise-normal parents. Back in 1996, Tickle Me Elmo flew off store shelves. 12 years later, Elmo Live tells jokes, sings songs, plays games, and tells stories. Oh, and he still laughs too. The biggest change, though, is thatElmo’s mouth actually moves when he talks, along with the rest of his body. He also moves his arms, nods his head, stands up, sits down, among other things, all with a squeeze of his foot. I was at Target the other day, and almost every shopping cart with a kid in it had one, and at one moment, I literally heard 7 of these things going at once, simply due to the carts being in close proximity. This is one of the big toy gifts this year. Elmo Live sells for $65.99, but we found it on Amazon for 9% off, at $59.88.
You know we love the hot electronic toys, so we ran, not walked to get an Elmo Live for our kids. We have to admit that if you want something your toddlers (and cats) will love, but will drive you bonkers, this is the toy to get. The bugger doesn’t move his legs, and sometimes the noise he makes is louder than his guffaws, but still we think that he will keep your kids amused for at least a couple of hours while you take a nap during the holiday hubbub. Besides, you can always try to sell it on eBay for a big chunk of change ($750.00 worth) like this person thinks he/she can. For the rest of us, Elmo goes for about $60.00.
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Walmart is trying to keep that economy flowing with their 12 Toys of Christmas. The list includes the hot Elmo Live for $59.88 (which is really not that terrific a deal as Fisher-Price’s MSRP is $60.00,) Fisher-Price’s Portable DVD Player for $149.88, the EyeClops Night Vision Infrared Stealth Goggles for $68.88 and Air Hogs Zero Gravity R/C Mini SUV for $25.00. Shop early. We found the Air Hogs already sold out online and you have to actually hit Walmart in the real world to get an Elmo.
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The Holidays are practically upon us, at least according to the Toy Industry. The last generation began using computers in grade school, and Fisher Price would like to begin this one right after potty training. Their Easy Link allows toddlers to place smart keys into a “launch pad” to hook up to kid-friendly sites such as Sesame St., PBS Kids/Dragontales, and of course Fisher Price. The nice thing about it is that it also blocks access to your hard drive and PC (not for Macs.) The system includes a USB cable and software for easy installation. Recommended for tots 3 and up, it’s available for $30.00, with other keys sold separately. Just don’t lick the Cookie Monster.
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It is nearly impossible to ignore the fact Mattel is seemingly paying for their manufacturing sins as another recall was announced yesterday by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It includes 9.3 million play sets that have small magnets that are can be swallowed by toddlers in Barbie, Polly Pocket, and Tanner Playsets, as well as Batman and One Piece toys. The company is also recalling their die-cast “Sarge” Jeeps from the movie “Cars” that contain lead paint. For a list of recalled items in question, you can visit their website or call 888-597-6597 for information about the recalled toys with magnets, or 800-916-4997 for information about the recalled cars.
Two weeks ago, items from Mattel’s Fisher Price line were also recalled. What bothers us, aside from the negligence and finger pointing between the overseas companies involved, is that so far Mattel’s CEO Bob Eckert has only issued an apology. After reading about the effects of lead poisoning and noting that Mattel has set up a Children’s Foundation as a means of funding for health-related issues, we suggest that they take this money to offer free testing and/or treatment for any of the kids that owned the recalled toys.
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