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TheDailyBeast.com: Christmas Toy Fads

12 of 18

Tickle Me Elmo

Breakout year: 1996
Breakout year sales (units): 1 million

Based on the squeaky-voiced character from "Sesame Street," Tyco’s Tickle Me Elmo, a stuffed animal with interactive tickle spots that, when stimulated, would cause him to laugh hysterically, caused mass chaos when it was released in 1996. Due to unexpected demand, the toy, which had a retail price of $28.99, was in short supply, resulting in parent-on-parent showdowns at various toy stores, and people asking for as much as $1,500 for the coveted doll on the Internet, according to People. Walmart clerk Robert Waller in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, found himself in the middle of “Elmo-mania” on the night of December 14, 1996, when 300 eager customers trampled him. “I was pulled under, trampled—the crotch was yanked out of my brand-new jeans,” said Waller, who suffered a pulled hamstring, injuries to his back, jaw and knee, a broken rib, and a concussion. “I was kicked with a white Adidas before I became unconscious.”



(AP Photo)
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