On Christmas morning, it can be pretty hard to bear the face of a disappointed child who didn't get that one toy at the top of his or her list. During the 1996 holiday season, parents raced to the malls with one name in mind: Elmo. Who can forget that high-pitched giggle that penetrated homes on Christmas day (and would try the nerves of parents for the rest of the year)? Give the red Sesame Street character a rub, and the robotic stuffed toy breaks out in peals of laughter. The silly response delighted the younger set but also left parents looking for a mute button.
Since then, Elmo has gone through a number of makeovers. This year's Elmo Live from Fisher-Price is the culmination of two years of development work on the toy [source: Casey]. What's new? Well, this Elmo is more talented than his predecessor He talks, sings, sits, stands and even blows kisses. Another new feature is the steeper price. The $60 Elmo Live costs twice what people paid more than a decade ago for Tickle Me Elmo. Tighter budgets may steer parents toward cheaper toy options, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a holiday toy wish list for 2008 without Elmo smiling at the top. Whether that wish comes true may depend on how long a parent is willing to wait in line for the fuzzy little red guy.