Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

[3] Elmo Owners Tickled by High-Priced Offers Some Turn Presents into Investments

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

[3] Elmo Owners Tickled by High-Priced Offers Some Turn Presents into Investments

Article excerpt

********** CORRECTION (12/20/96)

Because of a reporting error, a story on Page B-2 yesterday

incorrectly stated the number of Tickle Me Elmo dolls sold by

Mary Davy. She said she sold one doll for $100.

**********

JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- Kandy Brooke has something that's red and

fuzzy and hotter than Sugar Bowl tickets this gift-giving

season.

It's a Tickle Me Elmo doll, and the Mayport woman is offering

it to the highest bidder, figuring that after Christmas she'll

have enough profit to buy her 15-month-old son another Elmo at

the retail price of about $25 and still stuff his piggy bank.

Brooke is among two dozen Jacksonville residents offering Elmos

for sale through newspaper ads asking up to $600 or best offer.

A Jacksonville Beach man said he sold an Elmo last week for

$275, and is averaging 10 calls a day to sell another. Mary Davy

of Mayport Naval Station said she sold an Elmo for $200 to her

sister's friend in Ohio, and another for $100 yesterday through

a newspaper ad.

"I did it as a joke, to see if anyone would really call me

because I saw how people were going crazy over them," said Davy,

who estimated she had 25 calls since her ad started running

Friday. Some news reports have Elmos selling for $1,000 or more.

The dolls are fashioned after a Sesame Street puppet who

giggles and shakes when you touch his belly. Most Jacksonville

stores sold out last month, retailers said.

"Early in November, we were even able to order them. But then

the TV exposure started and whoosh, they were gone," said John

Haynes, assistant manager of Wal-Mart, 14286 Beach Blvd. The

store has been out of Elmos for about three weeks and doesn't

expect any more before Christmas.

Brooke said she called every Wal-Mart, K mart, Toys R Us and

Kay-Bee Toy & Hobby Shop in Jacksonville before finding a

soft-hearted K mart store manager who told her to be at the door

at 8 a. …

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