Skip to comments.Mattel Gambles on Pricey Elmo for Holidays ($60 Elmo doll)
Posted on 10/10/2008 4:00:43 AM PDT by SilvieWaldorfMD
For nearly two years, designers at Mattel Inc.'s Fisher-Price toiled to hide a maze of copper wires and microchips under the plush red fur of the company's newest Elmo toy. The resulting "Elmo Live" is its most advanced ever, able to cross its legs, flap its arms and fluidly mimic the famous television Muppet.
All that wizardry, however, comes at a steep price. When Elmo Live arrives in stores on Tuesday, it will cost $60 -- about a third more than last year's model, and above the $50 tag that once was the high-water mark for most toys. Elmo Live hits stores as economic uncertainty is gripping consumers and prompting retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and KB Toys Inc. to pitch low-cost toys to lure customers.
Higher prices are an inevitable consequence of toy makers' attempts in recent years to compete with videogames by embracing sophisticated electronics. Coupled with rising transportation costs and labor inflation in China, the result may be the untimely release of high-priced toys.
There is an unusually rich slate of expensive items coming to market this Christmas. In addition to Elmo, Mattel is bringing out a duo of robotic dinosaurs: a $150 toy called D-Rex and another priced at $130 called Spike. Hasbro Inc. is offering a $180 robotic dog called Biscuit that responds to voice commands and wags its tail. Jakks Pacific Inc. is selling a new pair of night vision $80 goggles that let kids see in the dark.
"When we were talking about it even a year ago, the economy was in a different place," concedes Mattel Brands President Neil Friedman. Elmo Live still costs "less than a tank of gas," says Robert Eckert, chairman and chief executive of El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel.
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Would you spend $60 for an NPR, Chinese Elmo Doll that has been dipped in lead?
able to cross its legs, flap its arms and fluidly mimic the famous television Muppet.
Sounds like NoBama.
Mortgage Me Elmo
I guess I could afford a $60 Elmo if I didn’t pay my mortgage. . .
Tickle me wallet.
I could afford a $60 Elmo because I saved a lot of money by switching to Geico!
Haha, I dig it:
a young Algore checks to see if this earlier Mattel product is loaded.
if it were an animal, kermit, gonzo or a rowlf, maybe. but i can’t stand elmo.
I bet there are people standing in line at the toy stores already.
Instead, he LOVES his $.97 Hot Wheels cars and various rubber balls, which he can throw and kick at will. We also have a couple of foam pirates swords that I got real cheap at Kay-B-Toys for our nightly light saber battles in Mommie's kitchen. :)
$60 Elmo? No thanks!
Government Bailout Elmo? “Ha ha ha, we’re all socialists now. Ha ha ha, tickle me again, comrade.”
Sales of these dolls will fall like a drunk on a three day bender.
“Paying taxes is patriotic! I want a stimulus check!
Tickle me, comrade!”
My 7-year-old has always loved the most inexpensive & cheapest toys.... and my husband and I would never buy him such an expensive toy, even if he were kicking & screaming at ToysRUs.... if he gets a Nintendo DS or a VTech in the future, it will have to be with gift cards given by family members for his birthday and/or Christmas.
The doll is probably dipped in lead and says “Death to America. LOL
Did you see the cable coming out its back??
I’ll be suspicious if the description says “for bathtime fun”.
“Elmo can’t verify income. Give me a mortgage! Now! or I will sue you racist b-tards! ha ha ha.”
At least Elmo doesn't hide the fact that he's red.
Just put it on plastic.... the folks with enormous credit card debt are next in line for a bailout.
Yes!!! Time to short Mattel.
It depends on at least two factors. One is where the toy is produced. Another is the actual time spent by the child and the enjoyment thereof. Of course I know that you know the answers but for people like myself, I ask can we ever learn?
Years ago, I heard London accented women laughingly quip, that the child spent more time playing with the box the toy came in. Again, I would like to swap knowledge with others. I have an 13 month old grandson. Wife now doing duty as per usual.
The little chap was overloaded with bright plastic toys. Trucks, push button voices on a big layout- "lets get moving". A variety of toys and some with wheels- what more could a child want.
He goes to a VCR and pushes buttons. He goes to my computer and pushes the DVD button. He carries about a plastic real radio. After an intial interest in the bright toys- he just is not interested.
Well, at least the pleasure is in the giving, as well as helping the retailers.
Whoa there, my wife just told me the toys have to be removed from the child completely and then -Viola, a big surprise later..... (lol).