Dave Waterhouse of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. he tried three sets of batteries in the Elmo he bought for a young relative. He said there were problems each time.
After the CBC ran a story, other people reported battery problems.
Hasbro, which has its headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I., acknowledged Saturday it had received other complaints, although the company said there were few.
"We're asking those consumers to please work with our Consumer Care team to return the product to us for evaluation," the company said in a statement, adding that everyone would get their money back or a replacement Elmo.