And his dominance reveals a lot about the state of the American toy industry. Eckert, the Mattel CEO, may have said it best back in But the key is the overarching brand that toy retailers have helped build and reinforce year after year. Why Elmo resonates so deeply with preschoolers first as a character, and second as a toy is hard to pin down. InMattel broke with tradition by not bringing out an actual Elmo doll.
These are and do exactly what their name suggests.
From Tickle Me Elmo to Big Hugs Elmo: nearly two decades of Christmas toy dominance
The only serious hiccup happened last year, after Kevin Clash, the former voice of Elmo on Sesame Streetbecame engulfed in a sex scandal. InMattel broke with tradition by not bringing out an actual Elmo doll. Eckert, the Mattel CEO, may have said it best back in Christmas time is Elmo time. The slow-play of Elmo releases—the fact that the toymakers bring out just one new, big Elmo a year, and usually right before the holidays—has certainly helped. Only the fittest traditional toy brands can survive such battles.