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Elmo ups the Ante in Technology in Toys

Boot Camp feature for Monday, February 25, 2008

Elmo ups the ante in technology in toys. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The electronic Elmo dolls from Fisher Price before may have been just for laughs, but this year's version…Elmo Live, due in October….uses technology to create what amounts to an animatronic all around entertainer for kids. Mattel Brands President Neil Friedman….

"This is the most advanced Elmo we've every done. He tells stories, he sings songs, his movements are amazing. And he actually speaks in lip syncs to his words so he looks like he's actually talking. It's like a child bringing Elmo home from Sesame Street." How many might you sell this year? "Well we don't really talk about specific quantities, but we'll do our best to keep it in supply, to fill the demand"

Last year, Fisher Price had one of the top tech toys with its Smart Cycle…a combination video game and exercise bike for three to eight year olds. This year…there's a version…featuring a pony that bounces for toddlers as young as one. If they get tired of that….they can relax with their own portable DVD player….that can handle the pounding of a three year old….or take pictures with a waterproof digital camera for kids. And more and more toys…including Hot Wheels….are designed to connect to the Internet…

"As we get more and more experience on the Web, the content that we put in becomes richer and richer and the play experience becomes more and more fun to the child."

Mattel Brands President Neil Friedman. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.