Friday, 22 July 2016

Here Be Giants!

If you watch the Simpsons, you may have seen Lard Lad- the advertising figure holding up a Donut. The lad is meant to be around 20 feet high - and his donut adds another 10 feet or so. Pretty tall . 
If you go to Universal Studios, you'll see a full size fibreglass representation of him outside.  The Simpsons creators got the idea from the large advertising figures made by International Fiberglass [A California boat building company] back in the 60s and 70s. 
The idea was that these huge figures would catch people's attention as they drove down the US Highways, and they would then pull off the main road and visit the small towns en route. 
Most of them were "Muffler Men" [muffler is the US term for car exhaust] We might say 'Kwik-Fit-Fitters'. 'Some were less politically correct- Native Americans for Pontiac dealerships, and the UniRoyal gals [some in skimpy bikinis] flaunting their pneumatic products. 

There are about 200 still in existence, and a team of enthusiasts led by a guy called Joel Baker [a TV Audio Technician] work in their spare time to restore them to their original colourful glory.

 They are situated all over the USA, and the enthusiasts can track them as they travel around the States with this map and website

I suppose they have a lot more wide open spaces over there to plant these giants, I am not sure I would want one at the end of my road. Joel says that whilst they fell out of favour a while back, and folk were embarrassed to have them in the neighbourhood, now they are becoming popular again and regaining their roles as tourist attractions.
I am not aware that we have anything similar over here - apart from Mr Gormley's guy...
Have you seen any of these in the States? 

Perhaps Miriam could get a giant Cowboy to stand outside UCF next week to advertise our Wild West themed Kidz Club?


  1. The only thing I can think of similar over here is the huge pirate outside Blackgang Chine on the IOW.

  2. I have not seen him. We really must visit the Isle of Wight now we live so close.


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