Big Hugs Elmo
In 1996, the Tickle Me Elmo doll inspired “Elmo-mania” where retail clerks were regularly trampelled on Black Friday by stampeding crowds of desperate shoppers. The Elmo fad became a symbol of gross consumerism and has been parodied countless times, including on “South Park” this month as the “Stop Touching Me Elmo” doll. But that hasn’t stopped further versions from annually emerging, like the Tickle Me Ernie doll and the Tickle Me Extreme Elmo. The latest reincarnation is the Big Hugs Elmo, which sings lullabies to your slumbering children and dutifully spoons you in a rapturous embrace. It has more than 50 phrases, like “Elmo loves getting hugs from you,” and “Let’s pretend we’re rabbits! Boing, boing, boing.” Pets, friends, parents: It’s all arbritrary if you can get your hands on Big Hugs Elmo this holiday season.