New Tickle Me Elmo Recalled for Only Tickling Boys Under 18

As we approach the height of holiday shopping, one of the most popular kids’ toys has been pulled from store shelves. The new version of Tickle Me Elmo has been recalled after it was reported the toy was only tickling boys under 18.

Tyco Toys was extremely optimistic about sales of their new Tickle Me Elmo, which unlike previous versions that encouraged the kids to tickle the doll, the new version of Elmo tickled the kids. Unfortunately, a few days after hitting shelves, parents had complained that the toy only worked with younger boys and that the toy was uninterested in tickling girls at all.

Single mother Brenda Jackson bought one of the toys before the recall and gave it to her daughter as a birthday present. She told us, “When the doll wouldn’t do anything, I told my daughter that perhaps the batteries were dead. But when my eight year-old son was about to check the batteries, Elmo went on a tickling spree. Though as soon as my daughter was holding the doll again, the toy froze. If I didn’t know the toy wasn’t real, I would also swear Elmo looked sad when my daughter was holding him.”

In addition, some of the dolls are specifically tickling boys in no-no places. Tyco CEO Edward Breen said that while 10 percent of the boys being tickled in no-no spots had yes-yes responses to the tickling, the other 90 percent felt uncomfortable with the down low tickles and he was afraid that would hurt sales if the toy wasn’t recalled.

Replacement toys are being worked on now and should be available in stores before the end of the month. As a consolation for those who purchased the defective toys, Tyco has entered everyone who has bought a defective Elmo toy into a contest where the winner will get to meet Kevin Clash, the actor who provides Elmo’s voice, in a personal one-on-one session. For reasons we are unaware of, Clash has requested that boys under 18 are given much better odds of winning the contest and that no parent supervision will be allowed during the one-on-one session.

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