“Knows Your Name” Elmo

By Deane Barker on November 1, 2005

Mattel rolls out an Elmo that ‘Knows Your Name’: From the “There’s Still No Cure for Cancer” department.

“Knows Your Name Elmo,” a doll that can greet a child by name when it is unwrapped this holiday season, even before being taken out of its box.

The new Elmo comes with a CD-ROM and a USB cable that lets parents download personal information about a child — like his or her favorite color or birthday — into the plush doll.

The latest incarnation of Elmo can be programmed to speak a child’s name, tell stories, sing songs or even remind a child when it is time for breakfast. There is a list of more than 15,000 names to choose from to download.

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  1. I’m with Joe. Instead of having the parent set up these parameters before the kid sees it, why not have it begin a learning process when it’s first powered up? “Hi! My name is Elmo! What’s your name?” That would be more realistic than the creepy thing knowing the kid’s name right off the bat.

  2. reminds me of Teddy from “A.I.” he was the most heartbreaking character in that entire movie. a toy tossed aside.

  3. seriously creepy. makes me think of chucky -_-

    I’m just waiting for “Screams when set alight Elmo”. I’d buy a dozen and toast them all at once.

  4. How long until we get:

    • “Knows where you live and the route you drive to work” Elmo.
    • “Knows what you did last summer” Elmo
    • “Knows that you wear ladies underwear” Elmo
    • “Know where the bodies are hidden” Elmo
    • “Knows what lurks in the hearts of men” Elmo
    • “Knows what happened to Chuck Cunningham” Elmo
  5. You people need to grow up.

    Nothing would be more amazing to a child, then to see/hear Elmo already knowing their name out of the box. Mattel is very smart for making this toy, and it will be a bonanza, regardless of what anyone thinks.

    Unfortunately, you trolls that watch too much news, are some how creeped out by it. Most of you are just bandwagoning with the first comment anyway, just to look cool. (which is outrageously common in online forums), That’s called having a low self esteem, and having a closed mind, which seems to be the trend with American culture. (and i doubt any of you are parents anyway, so you really have nothing valid to say, even if this is a gadget site. Perhaps you should all keep your idiocy to yourself, on things you know nothing about).

    I bet you’re the same people that said “Tickle me Elmo will be used by kids to get self gratification, because it vibrates, and that is sick man”. – Help us all.

    You paranoid retards need to take a minute to think about how much kids will love this, and how harmless it is. (ADHD can be very debilitating though).

    Let the brainless, invalid, and ignorant responses, ensue.

  6. …and i doubt any of you are parents anyway…

    Making sweeping, uninformed generalizations is better? Lighten up.

  7. …and i doubt any of you are parents anyway…

    I’ve got three.

    Unfortunately, you trolls that watch too much news, are some how creeped out by it.

    Actually, I’d have to wager that you are the one that has been watching too much news. Contrary to what you may think, 99% of the discussions (Hello Fabian!) on this site have been very civilized and don’t deteriorate into flame wars. Until your post, everything else was relatively funny comments that would have been made online or at the office with colleagues.

    ADHD can be very debilitating though

    I’m still trying to figure out how this ties into any aspect of the post or the ensuing discussion.

    The more I think about your post, the more I think you are just trolling around trying to stir stuff up.

  8. They are only creeped out because they secretly fantasize that one day they will grow up and marry Elmo. You all know the old saying, “the child that picks another is actually secretly saying I Love You”, or have serious internal emotional issues and then tries to bring others down with them.

  9. I bought one of these for my daughter. Its a couple of days before her birthday, so I decided to hack it. Its very easy to do. The only real difficult part is that you need to really start practicing your elmo voice.

    The installer CD spends about 10 minutes copying over 15,000 names with very obvious file names…then the phrase files…and then a file called “temp.inf” pops up in the program directory, containing a peculiar text file.

    Here is a sample of the temp.inf script file that defines the audio sequences. Its compiled and linked to audio files during the final elmo configuration process, executed randomly and contains variables:


    With some crafty skills, this line could easy be changed to:



    or how about:



    The possibilities are ENDLESS!

  10. We truly live in the future. Someone has hacked an Elmo.

    Casey, if you have a blog, post a longer HOWTO and we’ll link to it. If you don’t, send us an article and we’ll post it and give you credit.

  11. i don’t know which is worse…the fact that grown adults took up their time typing all these comments or the fact that i have actually read them?

  12. We have it. Our two year old LOVES it. We think it’s a great idea. And because you can change it at a whim, it’s really up-to-date all the time.

  13. My daughter loves elmo, if this thing can bring her joy then all you naysayers can just stuff it

  14. I bought this toy just a couple of days ago. It has 15000 names in its storage – memory on the disc to personalise it with your own kids name, right? So I bring it home, all excited about downloading her name. Lo and behold, the disc – It doesnt have MY kids name! Rose! The kids name is Rose. But it DOES have that all too well known name, Saquanda, and Iran too oh and also Salmon, it has the name Salmon stored. Also that all too popular name Swchestertein, I kid you not. I am praying I get my damn money back. Thanks for reading

  15. Um, for all my complaining and joking about this…we bought one for our 18 month old today.

    But does it come with her name on the disk?

  16. I bought the doll but threw the disc after unwrapping,… doll is no good withut it :(((

    If I can find the file somewhere (anyone?) hope it knows my daugthers name!

  17. Oh yeah, mine didn’t have a disc either. I went back to the store where grandma had bought it for my son to check another package, no disc there either. K-mart sucks.

  18. Ok, here is my question… I have been reading the blogs and read the hack page, but am wondering how people are accessing the HID if they are. Or are you just changing the file in the program on your computer then using the elmo KYN software to update the toy? I have been playing around with a few things, but some of the things that I input into the file on my computer get automatically changed when I use the software to update. Any advice on that? Basically, what I really want to do is make it so I can use more names and program it to say the names more often in the stories, and also make it play more than 3 items for the stories, games, and songs.


  19. Where can I purchase a separate cd rom for Elmo knows your name? My hubby accidently tossed it in the trash with the box.

  20. We almost threw the disc away – it’s a cheap piece of cardboard hiding the disk, and easy to lose. Thank goodness Elliot’s name was in there…Whew! I’m afraid to try programming alerts since I hear the clock is very poor. Maybe I’ll let mommy try that one after Christmas…I’m just Gramma.

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