US toy company Mattel is gearing up for a “top secret” launch of a new Elmo interactive toy under the Fisher- Price brand.
TMX Elmo, or Tickle Me Elmo Extreme – already tipped by stores to be their biggest-selling toy this Christmas – is being rolled out to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Sesame Street toy, Tickle Me Elmo.
The new product will launch globally on September 19, but the launch is so secret that no details of the toy’s new capabilities have been released. Even Mattel’s UK marketing team have been kept in the dark as to the toy’s latest features.
A Mattel spokeswoman says: “It’s been a totally secret launch campaign, unlike any toy launch before and local marketing teams haven’t even seen the product. Even the TV ad won’t be filmed until the international launch.”
The UK launch will be held at Hamleys’ London store on September 19 at 2pm.
When Tickle Me Elmo launched, Mattel sold more than 1 million units in the first year and it was voted one of the British Toy and Hobby Association top toys in 1997.
A handful of industry experts have seen TMX and have had to sign strict confidentiality agreements. Stores will not get their allocations until launch day and the product is in closed packaging.
Hamleys buying manager Dave Pope says: “It’s a really exciting product. It will appeal to both kids and adults alike and cannot fail to put a smile on your face.
“It will undoubtedly become a classic and we expect it to be our number one toy for Christmas.”