With my first, I took people at their word when they said they wanted to know what we wanted and needed, and I asked for no plastic, battery-powered sounds, flashing lights, etc. I got some snark about it, too. But by #2, I just made two piles of "stuff": stuff to keep, stuff to give away. It was no big deal to do that. Honestly it made it much easier to not be overloaded by toys, clothes, etc. that we didn't need, and anyway, I have yet to meet a baby whose favorite toy was a giant stuffed animal or a flashing, bleeping blanket! My mom really "got" it, though, and seeks out clever and interesting toys made from natural materials to this day. Oh, and books! Yes, lots of books.
Another factor for me this time is that I have two sons, 8 and 5, who love to play with Zoobs and Duplo Legos and Magformers and such--all plastic. Sure, they have their wooden doll house and Holzinger wooden animals and sweet little Montessori kitchen sets, too, but guess which ones they prefer? And they play equally creatively and open-ended and imaginatively and engaged with both kinds of toys. I have been around enough babies to know that when they are at the grab-and-play stage, they want to grab and play with what the OTHER kids are grabbing and playing with; I don't want to put myself or my boys in the position of thinking there's something wrong with their toys, to constantly tell a one year old "no" or be replacing her chosen toy with an approved one, or to separate the baby from the siblings for big parts of the day. So, I plan on using common sense about what the baby plays with, but not stressing about it too much. (And yep, goingonfour, that giant Elmo would probably not make the cut, using the common-sense rule of "that which does not terrify the baby!")