Want to book Elmo for your kid’s birthday party? Better expect “Big Red Tickle Monster” instead, the Wall Street Journal reports. Corporations that control the use of children’s entertainment characters are targeting costume-rental services that offer unauthorized versions of their cash cows, resulting in lawsuits, grotesque lookalikes, and disappointed kids.
One mother threw a birthday party for her daughter and booked "Dora the Explorer." But when the generic version arrived, "none of the kids would go to Dora, including my daughter, and a few of the kids started crying," the mother says. "You can't have the real Dora," the costume-rental company owner explains. "If you want the real Dora, call Nickelodeon."