“ Manufacturer: Fisher Price / Age: 18 months+ „
TMX Tickle Me Elmo.
This was bought for me by my mum a few years back, I think in 2006. I love Elmo and have a large array of Elmo related merchandise although now I have the four children I tend to buy a lot of the stuff for them.
TMX Elmo is awesome. I have no other word to describe him! I love it, my hubby finds it amusing and the boys adore him!
Tickling Elmo will set him off into a fit of giggles and laughter. He falls over and rolls around the floor before standing up again all the whilst telling you to stop tickling him. Tickling him again will start him off saying 'he he you did it, you did it again!' and then he will proceed into another fit of giggles!
Watching him rolling around and the sound of the laughter cheers everyone up as you can't help but smile and laugh yourself, watching rolling from side to side and on his front is highly amusing.
He is quite a hard toy but he is covered in a red soft fur and he has tickle points in his feet, belly and under his chin. I know that it's simply a button underneath the fur that I could just press but I do actually tickle him!
He can't be machine washed although it is advised to give him a quick wipe over after rolling on the floor as any bits of dust or anything will stick in his fur, just wiping him over with a baby wipe does the trick though.
My youngest son will stare at Elmo in awe as he rolls around and everyone just likes to watch him. Getting him out will ease all tensions in the house as we will chuckle along with him!
He was quite expensive when my mum bought him but he is still in full working order although the batteries have been changed a good few times. These are located in his feet, there's a little screw in each foot that needs unscrewing then one foot takes four AA batteries and the other takes 2 AA batteries. There's also the on/off switch located on the foot too.
Elmo - My lovely red happy chappy!
~ Not included in word count just some info from Wiki pages for anyone interested ~
Further Tickle Me toys
By February 1997, Tickle Me: Ernie and Tickle Me: Big Bird toys were released, followed by Tickle Me Cookie Monster in May. None of these toys achieved nearly as much fame, or sales. With the rerelease of Tickle Me Elmo, mini Tickle Me Cookie Monster and mini Tickle Me Ernie were also put on the market.
The "Surprise Edition" of Tickle Me Elmo, issued in the Fall of 2001, was an elaborate contest. Five of the "Surprise Edition" Elmos stopped laughing on 9 January 2002, and instead announced to the people squeezing them that they had won a prize. The grand prize was US$200,000.
In 2006, Fisher-Price released a new Elmo doll, which was announced at the American International Toy Fair, called TMX (meaning Tickle Me (Elmo) Ten or Tickle Me Extreme). Rather than simply vibrating like the original, the TMX rolls around on the floor laughing and smashing his fist on the ground, begging for the tickler to stop.
The full look of the doll was not revealed until it debuted live on ABC's Good Morning America and arrived on store shelves on September 19, 2006. Toy experts said that the delay was unprecedented, with only a few people in the media allowed to preview the product, all signing confidentiality agreements. The packaging it comes in has been designed so that the doll cannot be seen without purchasing it. The box includes a preview flap, but upon opening, only the doll's eyes are visible. It requires six AA batteries, and costs approximately US$40. In a promotional clip, Jim Silver, co-publisher of Toy Wishes magazine said, "The first reaction I had was, 'Where are the wires?' Because I didn't think anything like that could move on its own."
Toy analyst Chris Byrne told USA Today, "This is a quantum leap forward, another breakthrough in the preschool plush category." Byrne believed sales would be high, but the reaction would not be as unprecedented. "The culture has moved beyond that, the whole hot-toy phenomenon." He cited the fact there has not been such a craze since Furby in 1998. However, some members of the media expected a large response.
Toys "R" Us stores and Amazon had a pre-sale program for the doll, the first included elaborate in-store displays with a digital countdown to the doll's launch. Amazon took more presale orders than it could fulfill.
As with the original Tickle Me Elmo doll, demand for the new toy has given rise to extreme acts by some people. One person in Tampa, Florida was allegedly threatened with a gun to hand over a TMX toy. This was parodied on Saturday Night Live, which said the man "was subued by the new 'Gimmie a Reason Bert'"
Mattel credits this toy, along with two others, for its performance the six cent share increase from that time, a year earlier. TMX also helped increase sales of other Elmo toys.
There are three versions of the TMX doll, one which has the Warning sticker on front (which most TMX dolls have now), the Top Secret sticker (which was just for launch, making that more rare), and one that no longer includes a flap and instead a hole to try the toy.
The Warning and Top Secret boxes appear to be identical except for the variation in the text on the front, and Elmo says different things when opening the flap. When the flap is opened on the Top Secret box, Elmo says "Uh, uh, uh! No peeking! Ha, ha, ha, ha!" When the flap on the Warning box is opened, he says "Elmo feels really ticklish in here! Ha, ha, ha, ha!" However some "Top Secret" boxes in the United Kingdom have been reported to have the latter sound, e.g. "Elmo feels very ticklish in here" etc. when lifting the flap.
There are differences under the flap too. On the Warning box, there are images of the TMX Elmo rolling and giggling, while the Top Secret box only has an image of Elmo peeking out of the box.
On the Try Me box, consumers can tickle Elmo using the hole in the box. However, it does not include a flap.
In 2007/2008, Fisher-Price released T.M.X. Friends, featuring Elmo, Ernie and Cookie Monster.
A clerk (Robert Waller) at a Wal-Mart store in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada was among those injured by "Elmo-mania". During a Midnight Madness sale, a crowd of 300 stampeded down the aisle on December 14, 1996 after spotting him being handed a box of the toys by another employee, he "was pulled under, trampled--the crotch was yanked out of [his] brand-new jeans." According to People, the clerk "suffered a pulled hamstring, injuries to his back, jaw and knee, a broken rib and a concussion.
"Just who is this red ball of fur?"
Elmo is a furry red Muppet monster who is one of the most loved characters from the children's T.V show Sesame Street. He first made his appearance back in the 70's and since then has moved on from being just a background character to being one of the main stars of the show. His appearances on the show over the years have provided a symbiotic mixture of both fun and education for toddlers and preschoolers alike.
As with any popular children's T.V show mass quantities of merchandise is marketed alongside it, and Sesame Street has been no exception. Since the birth of my first child various pieces of merchandise from the Sesame Street show have adorned our house over the years, especially various incarnations of the lovable Elmo.
Back in 1996 Fisher Price released their original Tickle me Elmo, which became the most sought after children's toy for that holiday season and remained a constant favourite for the following years to come. Skipping forward 10 years Fisher Price released a new version of this popular model that went by the name of T.M.X Elmo, the X standing for 10 as in the Roman numeral.
"How Elmo came to live with us."
I have always found Fisher Price to be a very reputable and trusted company and I have bought many of their products over the course of my two children's lives. So when I had the trouble with the infant rocker that I purchased from them, Fisher Price agreed to exchange it for other products from their range to the same value. After careful consideration I finally decided upon a couple of items from them one of which was the T.M.X Elmo. Which I had been looking at for a little while prior to this and was anxious to get, but as with anything like this I personally felt the price was a little on the high side.
"Elmo arrives suitcase in hand."
I was really excited to receive the parcel as it was going to be an extra present for my son's first birthday. Although the toy is recommended for children 18 months and up which is a guideline I knew that it would be something my son would 'play' with whilst being supervised, (as I want to play too!)
He arrived in a suitcase shaped box with a carry handle which looks really nice and fairly sturdy so it is ideal to use to store him in if you ever want or need to. I couldn't wait to get him out of the box; anyone would think this was for me! I could hardly contain my excitement as I showed my son the box he rushed over to have a look with me. Taking him from out of the box I noticed he was quite heavy (1.6kg) he is a robot so not really for cuddling, he is covered in a thick layer of red fur and has big goggly eyes which protrude from his head and a bright orange nose. He stands at 14 inches tall and moves a lot so needs a good amount of space to be able to perform. The bases of his feet are plastic with covers that unscrew to place the 6 AA batteries that this toy requires (thankfully they come included).
The animatronics are amazing and fairly smooth, he rolls around on the floor and you wouldn't expect him to be able to get back up again but he does. Once Elmo comes to the end of his routine he says "Again" "again" and "tickling" him again Elmo becomes more hysterical, he really is funny to watch and "tickling" him for the third time in a row is where he really excels and does some amazing moves which are incredibly funny as he giggles with his trademark laugh that is adorable. He falls over; shimmy's on his back and slaps the floor whilst laughing.
The on/off switch is on the base of the foot, once he is turned on you place him on the floor. To activate him you can press any of the" tickle" spots which are located under his chin, on his belly and on top of his foot. Tickling Elmo brings him to life he slaps his belly, falls forward with his butt sticking out, stands back up again then falls backwards, kicks his legs over his belly, and then stands right back up, whilst laughing hysterically. Elmo uses his arm to determine where he is moving to, he works well on carpets and smooth surfaces and even on the foam mats that I have on my son's bedroom floor. He will however get stuck if anything is in the way or if there are any large lumps or bumps on the floor.
"Does Elmo's trademark laughter rub off?"
My son was a mixture of emotions when he first saw him he seemed curious, excited and a little unsure all at the same time. We turned him on and moved back a bit and pressed his belly and sat watching with amazement and we all started to laugh with him, his laugh is infectious and you can't help but laugh with him. He really is a joy to watch. My son watched intently with his mouth open but sat close to me as he was not too sure about him. He is not really a toy that my son can play with so he sits on his toy box and from time to time we turn him on to enjoy watching him, we have had him for a good 10 months now and my son is 22 months old and he still hasn't had the courage to go near Elmo whilst he is performing, nor has he been tempted to try to activate him himself. He is astonished and watches happily and seems curious about him, and he has laughed a couple of times. I think the rest of the family get more amusement out of watching him though. The batteries have lasted well and they have only been changed once.
"So should Elmo come to stay at yours?"
This is not really a toy that can be played with, and it probably won't get much use, it will be an entertaining item to have out when you have guests, and children will love him. This is probably a toy that primary school aged children and adults will enjoy more and adults will appreciate it most for the amazing range of movements that he performs and the technology that has gone into making this fabulous toy. Elmo has certainly given us a giggle and has been enjoyed by all the family.
This version of Elmo is not that easy to find beings as it was the ten year anniversary edition, however some online retailers like amazon.co.uk and play.com will stock him from time to time for approximately £30 to £40. I do think it is expensive for a children's toy that cannot actually be played with as such, and it is probably something that I wouldn't have bought under normal circumstances due to the high price and the fact that it is not a toy that my son will get much use out of.
Elmo is a good stress reliever, as laughing is considered to be good for you.
To find out more about Elmo and other Sesame characters you can check the official website here which also provides some really great educational games for youngsters:
Fisher Price website: www.fisher-price.com