Just when it seemed a bad memory, here is yet another version of the ridiculous red monster-doll that overtook the 1996 holiday season, Elmo. Not satisfied with that year’s profit, Mattel is launching He Knows Your Name Elmo, which parents can program to say their child’s name and spew other personal information, like his or her favorite color or birthday. “It is pure magic for a child,” says the president of Mattel Brands. It may be magic for Mattel shareholders. The rest of us will get to watch parents and grandparents make idiots of themselves fighting in public over a $40 toy, should this Elmo make the 2005 “Hot Dozen” list compiled by Toy Wishes magazine. So far, that list includes a bilingual talking Dora the Explorer kitchen from Fisher-Price and an updated version of Hasbro’s Furby, that disturbing 1990s fuzzball, who now has all sorts of facial expressions.
—Posted by Celeste Ward