It's Elmo's World

From an extra on Sesame Street to hosting his own show, learn how the "Baby Monster" became one of the most recognizable children's character of all time.

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Although any kid could tell you who that furry, red monster is today, in the late 1970s Elmo was a minor character known to the Sesame Street crew as "Baby Monster."

In 2013 Elmo and his buddy Murray stopped by the Parents offices to hang out with of some our staff.

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Back in the '70s, the nameless Muppet appeared in several skits but didn't have a name or his signature voice and giggle until 1984, when he finally got his big break.

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Ever since his falsetto voice and contagious laugh debuted, Elmo has become a hit with preschoolers everywhere. In fact, the 3-and-a-half year old monster appears on screens in countries like India, Brazil, and Denmark.

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In 1996, kids were finally able to play with Elmo at home when "Tickle Me Elmo" hit stores and became one of the hottest Christmas items of the year.

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A couple years after the fuzzy, red toy flew off store shelves, Sesame Street producers gave Elmo his very own show (within a show) called, "Elmo's World." Like most serious television stars, he continues to promote his show by appearing on talk shows and popping into the Parents offices.

Click next to see some of the most-loved Elmo toys out now.

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Elmo Teething Blanket

Elmo Teething Blanket

Introduce your babe to the joys of reading with this cloth picture book. It features crinkly pages and a teething ring for nibbling.

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Elmo Adventure Potty Chair

Elmo Adventure Potty Chair

Kids will love the flush handle, cool aquarium theme, and encouraging phrases from Elmo.

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Big Hugs Elmo

Big Hugs Elmo

Kids can hug their buddy, Elmo and he hugs back with this sweet, squeezable toy.

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Let's Imagine Elmo

Let's Imagine Elmo

This year, Hasbro is giving kids another way to play with their favorite character with "Let's Imagine Elmo." The toy comes with different hats that each put him in a different play mode. Kids can pop on Elmo's cowboy hat and play the "Countin' Cowboy" game or put on his boat captain hat to play the "Sounds of the Sea" game. More importantly, the Muppet stays true to his charismatic self sans-hat by giggling when kids tickle, bounce, or hug him.

Copyright © 2014 Meredith Corporation.