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Boy, this burns me up!

Have you heard about the "Elmo" of '98? Well, if you've got a little one at home, you probably have. And it's included in the same sentence as, "I want one!". But try to find it and you realize that something's amiss in Toyland.

Furby is a stuffed animal that looks like a cross between an owl and a gremlin and stands only about 5 inches tall. Its gimick is that it can speak words that its taught but that's not what's causing all the demand. The fact that Santa can't get his pudgy hands on one is what's fueling mass hysteria as parents try to appease the kiddies for the holiday season.

Gosh! The economy must be getting tough for Tiger Electronics to cause them to not be able to get the needed parts for this toy. What's wrong, is there a chip shortage? Perhaps it's been a bad crop of manufactured fake fur? I know, must be a tremendous backlog of plastic eyes. Gimme a break.

This is the same thing as last years furor over Tickle-Me-Elmo which caused normally level-headed adults to skip mortgage payments and offer as much as $1000 for a $30 toy. How's that for a profit?

I just have one question. Why?

Just like Elmo and the Cabbage Patch Doll, this year Furby is what's going to make people crazy, and all because of what I am convinced is good old fashioned marketing. Drive up demand, hold back supply, and you've got a major hit on your hands. Good for the manufacturers, bad for the consumer.

Last month my sister called me from Florida in a panic. "Tony, you've gotta help me! I need you to call every store in New York until you find Furby!"

Silly me, I actually tried. And the more I did, the more frustrated I became. And guess what? I got hooked too. It became a challenge for me to find this critter, and I became determined. Heck, I even started sending emails to people asking for assistance and searching every link on the internet I could find. This kind of thing becomes addicting!

Finally, I called my sister and suggested she wait until December 26th when the stores will be flooded with Furbys just as Elmo was able to be found everywhere and anywhere after the holidays.

And maybe, just maybe if everyone did that, the games would stop. Toymakers wouldn't cause fear and dread in the hearts of moms and dads if the public didn't fall for the scheme of holding back product.

Can you just imagine a company meeting where a new toy is pitched? All the bigwigs study it, play with it, analyze it and determine...."Yeccch! No one is gonna want this!"

"That's it," exclaims the V.P. of Schlock, "We'll just make sure no one can get it. It'll be a smash!!

...but I still am...

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