I’m not 100% sure why, but every year I always spend more time than a person without kids probably should reading up on what the “big holiday toys” are going to be. I don’t have kids, and growing up I didn’t celebrate Christmas, so it’s really kind of a weird fascination.

I think it all stems from 1996 when the Tickle-Me Elmo fiasco went down. Even though I was only 13 I was completely fascinated by the nationwide hysteria surrounding the acquisition of a vibrating fuzzy doll. I think part of the allure was the potential of monetary gain after the fact. Tales of people selling their little Elmos for absurdly inflated prices.

I once managed to capitalize on a hot holiday item in the form of a PS2. I had a hunch that Canadian Tire would not be a normal location for people to camp out early to get one on release day and since my dad is basically the best, he agreed to drive me to Canadian Tire bright and early before school. Sure enough, only a handful of people had the same idea and the 3 or 4 of us got a PS2 right out of the store. I then auctioned it off on Yahoo Auctions for a decent chunk of change, selling it at nearly double its retail value. Then I waited until January to buy myself a PS2 for basically nothing.

elmoIt was glorious.

Anyways, all that to say that I usually spend some time taking a look at what people will expect to be the big holiday toy items. Today, I will talk about some of them, and try to think what I would think about getting these as gifts at various stages in my childhood when I was age appropriate for them.

Sesame Street Elmo Hugs

Speaking of Elmo, I am not sure but I think that Elmo related merchandise has been the main money maker for Seseame Street. Especially since the above mentioned Tickle Me Elmo situation of 1996 they’ve been trying to cash in big on the next Elmo. I guess this one hugs or whatever. I am thinking that the right age for this toy is probably about age 6 or 7.

I remember never having stuffed animals that did *stuff*. I think I liked it that way. I was also a big fan of generic stuff animals that I could project my own vision of a personality on to. I kind of had a problem with stuffed animals that had counterparts on TV. Clearly the real one was on TV, I just had the generic knock off sold to chumps. This nondescript purple dinosaur on the other hand? He was one of a kind, and only I was aware of what his temperment and personality was like. I don’t think I would have dug this at all. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…