Who is this furry, red Sesame Street monster that has parents lining up at dawn at the local Wal-Mart and cyber sharks making $100 by selling them on ebay? I haven’t seen this much hype since the original Cabbage Patch Dolls debuted in the 80’s. The media has made TMX Elmo a holiday must-have for every well-loved child in America. And parents are just desperate enough to place that ebay bid to get one. So what exactly is the attraction to this little red furball?
TMX Elmo is the anniversary edition of the original Tickle Me Elmo that debuted ten years ago. The odd TMX spelling is in reference to the tenth anniversary edition of Elmo, with the “X” signifying the Roman numeral for ten. Kids that had to have the original Tickle Me Elmo are now teenagers, so Fischer Price decided to repackage Elmo with some “top secret” enhancements. Good Morning America and countless news channels announced TMX Elmo last month, giving shoppers plenty of time to grab one for the holidays. Unfortunately, TMX Elmo is hard to find at a retail store these days for the $40 advertised price. Many are turning to the inflated ebay prices to bring home a TMX Elmo.
The Facts about TMX ELMO
TMX Elmo is red, furry, and funny. He resembles the original Tickle Me Elmo, but brings with him a whole new bag of tricks. Underneath the red fur is the hard body of a robot. Maybe not an actual robot, but he is programmed to do many different acts. The hard plastic body is more like the hard shell of an old fashioned baby doll, with the fur as a cover. This Tickle Me Elmo is not for cuddling. His hard body is designed for the physical stunts that he demonstrates during play. TMX Elmo even comes with a talking box.
TMX Elmo is wired with the help of six AA batteries. The main trigger for TMX Elmo is, naturally, the tickle. TMX Elmo becomes giddy and animated when he is touched on the belly, chin, or foot. What follows next, after the tickle, is a round of giggles, followed closely with a series of spastic movements that sends TMX Elmo reeling on the floor. Once on the floor, TMX Elmo continues having a shaking attack as he rolls around and gives the floor a few punches. Eventually, the fit ends and TMX Elmo picks himself up off the floor and reverts back to a standing position
This is the kind of toy that every four year-old will think is funny, and every parent will eventually regret, after nights of Elmo’s giggles and tricks. This may be one of those toys that parents have to secretly de-battery at some point until they are up to hearing TMX Elmo’s antics again. Aside from the constant laughing when tickled, TMX Elmo also talks in simple phrases. He wants to be tickled, so he will encourage kids by occasionally blurting out the word “again,” and a few other quick words or phrases.
When he’s not frolicking around on the floor, TMX Elmo is able to remain in a standing position, for placement on a shelf or in a toy bin. Perhaps the best use of TMX Elmo is for display, though I know that most kids will disagree with that at first. In the long run, however, TMX Elmo’s cuteness needs to be questioned. The play factor will wear off for many kids after the first few days of tickling TMX Elmo and watching him do the same routine. I wouldn’t recommend TMX Elmo for babies to play with, but I would bet that children under 2 will enjoy Elmo’s tricks a little longer. The first time watching TMX Elmo is definitely funny though. The six batteries really pump him up with energy and endless giggles. TMX Elmo actually seems to get louder when you continue to tickle him more.
The Final Word
The nagging question in many shoppers’ minds this holiday season may very well be whether or not to purchase the furry red acrobat known as TMX Elmo. I fell for the hype early this year and scored a TMX Elmo through the generosity of a friend who has sold a few on ebay. The reason that I bought TMX Elmo was mainly for the security of knowing I had one in my possession if the gas bills ran high this winter and I needed to make some quick money. Aside from that, I do have a five year-old who likes Elmo and who will find one under the tree this year.
After the fascination with TMX Elmo is over, and the belly rolls and giggles have stopped, I will probably box TMX Elmo and save him for my grandkids to marvel at one day. I thank my own mother for saving those Cabbage Patch Dolls when I abandoned them for Barbies. TMX Elmo is much like the toy that is funniest and most played with during the first week. Since the TMX Elmo isn’t soft like a favored teddy bear or purple Barney, he probably won’t be the toy that kids drag around all day or sleep with at night.
TMX Elmo is definitely going to be one of the most written requests on Santa lists this year. The publicity that TMX Elmo has received has sky rocketed the sales of these giggling monsters right off of the shelves. With that in mind, my recommendation for potential buyers is to wait for the TMX Elmo at a local Wal-Mart around 4 am or wait until the masses have stopped bidding triple digits for TMX Elmo on ebay.