Every year a toy comes onto the market that sends some parents wild, fighting over the last of its stock in supermarkets and high street shops. In recent years parents have become more accustom to frantically checking websites for stock levels. Another trait of these toys in recent times has been the annual doubling of price for the toy on eBay as parents become desperate to avoid disappointing their children.
This year that toy is highly likely to be Elmo Live. There are two good reasons why I suspect this. One is that after I posted information about the new toy, m1y website’s statistics show a large volume of people coming to the site after searching for “Elmo Live” along with one of the following; “shortage”, “sold out”, “will it sell out”, “supply” and “in stock”. The second reason is that the toy is simply very impressive.
The problem however, is that until recently there has been very little information available on Elmo Live. All the information posted on websites seems to be based on a 3 minute video posted on YouTube of Elmo Live being demonstrated at a conference.
Finally we are able to buy Elmo Live and experience him fully to judge whether or not he is really worth the £60 retail price.
One concern before purchasing my own Elmo Live was that in one of the lesser viewed videos online, the motors inside Elmo seemed quite loud, taking away from his life-likeness and giving him a more robotic feel. However when I experience Elmo myself, this was not a problem. You can hear the robotic sounds still but you have to listen carefully. I’m not sure why this isn’t as much of a problem as it seemed in the video, but it could be due to an over-sensitive microphone or that the model being demonstrated was an earlier version and they have somehow reduced the motor noise.
I quickly realised that the abilities shown in previous demonstrations of the toy were only a small proportion of Elmo Live can really do. Elmo sings and dances to 3 songs, all of which last around 3 minutes. That alone is very impressive in comparison with other toys which rarely say more than a few short phrases.
One of the most impressive features that I hadn’t seen before is that if Elmo falls over, he asks you to pick him up. Along with that, he gets an itchy back and asks you to scratch it. His head bobbing motion is another nice feature.
There is no denying Elmo Live really is a great toy. He is aimed at toddlers but I’ve seen 9 and 10 year olds that would love Elmo Live for Christmas. In fact you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone at any age that is not impressed by him.
There is one downside to buying Elmo Live however; the price. When Elmo was conceived the economy was not a worry, now the UK economy has taken a major down turn and parents will be acting more cautiously with what they spend their Christmas budget on. A relatively expensive toy for toddlers has been released at the worst possible time.
It’s hard to imagine any young child not enjoying this year’s Elmo toy. The only consideration really is whether you can afford to pay this much for toy at this time. A good way to find out is by showing your children a video of the toy and decide whether to buy Elmo Live based on their reaction. Personally, my decision was to buy this one toy which I expect will blow my children away, and if I have to, cut back a little on other toys which will quickly be put away and not touched for several months.