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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pick Pocket Elmo AKA Elmo Live being released

A singing and dancing Elmo Live said hello to the world on Monday at the Toys “R” Us store in Times Square.

Elmo Live is Fisher-Price’s latest version of the Sesame Street fixture, after Tickle Me Elmo in 1996 and TMX Elmo in 2006. Fisher-Price is a unit of top U.S. toymaker Mattel Inc.

Though consumers are expected to remain squeezed for cash this holiday season, toy executives have said that parents will manage to spend for their kids even if it means cutting back on gifts for themselves. The National Retail Federation has predicted U.S. holiday sales in November and December will grow at 2.2 percent — the slowest pace in six years.

Other tracking firms say holiday spending could emerge the weakest in about a decade.

On Monday, Elmo Live made its case to shoppers as to why cash-strapped parents might want to buy their kids their very own Muppet this holiday season – it sang, danced, told jokes and stories and laughed at various stages of a nearly half-hour presentation. The toy can even wave its arms and cross its legs.

Toys “R” Us is selling the $59.99 toy exclusively in its store today, ahead of the U.S. launch on Oct. 14.

Not many parents seemed perturbed by its price.

“With things costing what they do, I think it is fair,” said Asha Jefferson, mother of nearly 3-year-old Ava. Jefferson said she never exchanges gifts with her husband, so they do not hesitate to buy gifts for their daughter.

But a little after 10 a.m., there did not seem to be any huge rush to snap up the latest Elmo — cash registers were relatively free and parents sauntered around the store with no particular hurry to grab an Elmo.

Things will pick up closer to Thanksgiving, maybe?

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