Black Friday

What the hell is wrong with people?
I’ve never been big into the whole toy craze, and I don’t recall ever wanting The Toy no one could get their hands on. I wanted a PS3 so I could make some money. Apparently this year marks the 10th year of Tickle Me Elmo, so the Powers That Be decided to market another one, the TMX, which sounds more like a surround-sound race car than a giggling puppet, but what the hell do I know? My mom got me a Tickle Me Elmo when it first came out, and for those of you playing at home, that would have made me 16 years old. Why? Because she could.
She devised a super secret plan which may very well have involved wearing camouflage face paint and sneaking in the back door of a Wal-Mart in the dead of night, but she got one when sources said they were all sold out. Two actually, so me and my 13-year-old brother wouldn’t fight over them. And since it was understood within the family that moms just sometimes do things just because they can, it wasn’t insulting when Ryan and I shared a quizzical glance and then asked if we could use the twin Elmos for cuddly fire wood.
Not really, we ended up donating them to a poor family or something, but my mom’s mission was accomplished, and it was a Merry Christmas for all. So I *guess* I can understand the compulsion, but now this has just gone too far.
I’m already pissed off at Sony for deliberately not releasing enough units to fulfill demand, not because I didn’t get one, but that all the free press they’re getting about it is so masturbatory that they probably come away from it thinking that they’re masters of business economics. Not so. (Fig. 1)
Not only is it, well, kind of stupid, but they’re deliberately opening people up to show their worst sides. Everyone has heard of the crazy moms ripping things out of each other’s hands. The step up from that is the trampling danger, which sounds far fetched, but tell that to the people that died in that one night club and at that one Pearl Jam concert. The step up from that is all the stories you hear of people mugging or killing for the consoles. Cool.
I don’t know. I guess if you’re going to rush development on an overpriced console that will likely break within the year like its 2 predecessors, probably the best thing you can do is sell an even 12 of them to the ravenous public.
But what really got to me is the TMX Elmo. Right now, it’s selling on Amazon for a cool $115, but allegedly it retails to the larger soccer moms who could punch through the crowd for $40. Up until September, no one even knew what the hell it did. Members of the media had to sign an NDA and the damn box was designed to look metallic with locks and crap on it and with that little bastard crawling all over it, spouting, “No peeking! Tee hee hee!”
The thing that REALLY gets me about it is that most of these parents are buying it for their 2 year old. Now, I may think differently when I’m a little older, but aren’t 2 year olds pretty much glorified sacks of gelatinous goo that occasionally drool or vomit on you? The kid doesn’t know what you went through to get it, nor did they read Time Magazine to see that it’s the hottest thing they should currently like. For crying out loud, the kid can’t even get Baby Street Cred for having it and bragging to his friends because they’re all 2 fucking years old!
I’m no babyologist, but I’d even be willing to bet that in a double-blind test, a 2 year old wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Elmo X-treme TMX 2006 and a red sock stuffed with another red sock.
All right, all right. I give up. Toys are cool. Kids like toys. Merry Christmas. It just seemed wrong to me, but I guess I don’t get it. What the hell do I know, anyway? I’m getting Scamp colorful claw coverings for Chrismas, so I guess I’m not really one to talk either.

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