When Mini Me was a baby (I have no recallection of exactly when) she got one of these. I have no idea from who. While her interest in Sesame Street waxes and wanes, just like all her other interests, her devotion to this Elmo has not. She has slept with it every.single.night for at least 2 years, probably more. It is her lovey. The object that she needs to fall asleep, to hold when she is scared or sad, and that goes everywhere with us.
Needless to say after 2+ years, he is pretty beat up and filthy:
I have washed him several times, and he comes out looking just as dirty as when he went in. His arm is starting to come off and he now has a crack in his bum. Why? Because it's where the tag used to be. And, for some reason, she adopted rubbing the tag (his 'tail') as a comfort measure when she is tired, scared, or sad. So, it's gotten worn away to nothing.
So, worried that we were nearing the end of this Elmo's last snuggle (or possibly some life saving surgery with a needle & thread), the call went out and a new Elmo arrived on the scene.
The tag is in a different place. Apparently, that makes all the difference in the world. And, at 3 years old, she clearly can tell the difference between the old Elmo and the new Elmo. No fooling that kid at all. She will play with the new Elmo, but it is no replacement in any way, shape or form to her old Elmo.
If ever old Elmo bites the dust, you will all know by the sobs that you will undoubtedly hear, no matter where in the world you are.