Saturday, August 03, 2019

Fiberglass Animals, July 1966

Today's slides were a fun find! They feature a be-hatted gentleman having some fun with a bunch of oversized fiberglass critters. There was no label on the cardboard mount, but luckily this first image shows a sign in the background - "Sculptured Advertising". SA started sometime in the late 1950's, but went out of business in the 1970's. It was then revived as "Creative Display Inc.". One of the displays they made was a giant muskie for a museum in Hayward, WI - it is four stories tall and 145 feet long.

Look at that jive turkey! Also check out those fiberglass animals. (See what I did there?).

Creative Display folded, but in 1983 it reopened as F.A.S.T. Corp. (Fiberglass Animals Shapes and Trademarks), and it continues to make models of almost anything. I think I need a 9 foot-tall cow for my den; and you need a Jolly Green Giant.

Doesn't that guy know how voracious a largmouth bass can be??

Here's a Google Maps satellite view of F.A.S.T. Corp's field full of models. Look at the very top, there's a shadow of an elephant. You can sort of make out some other recognizable animal shapes as well!

I hope you have enjoyed today's photos of giant animals.


TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, what a fun place! I remember a few drive-thru dairies/markets having large cows on posts, way up in the air. I haven't seen one of those for a while, though. The last time I checked (a couple years ago) a "feed store" in Lakewood, CA., still had a giant rabbit up on their roof. And Knott's Berry Farm brought back their "giant chicken" (which had been missing for several years) right after they ruined Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. I miss the giant "men" that used to be outside of the Midas Muffler garages, holding giant mufflers!

Melissa said...


The man in the coat, sunglasses, and hat is clearly a Soviet spy. He's going to go back to Moscow and report on the amazing advances Americans have made with agriculture and animal husbandry.

The staggered row of white horses in the first picture makes me think of the horses on the Parthenon relief, that were arranged that way to create a sense of depth.

These li'l cuties could be pets for the "Muffler Men" manufactured by International Fiberglass.

Nanook said...

"For the man who has everything". Indeed-! This is just too, too wonderful for words. I can't imagine a better antidote for the dispersement of civil unrest than releasing a bunch of oversized fiberglass animals in the midst of the action.

@ TM!-
The giant "men" seen at many a Midas Muffler garage and at various tire dealers was actually a giant-size Paul Bunyan figure. (Is there any other kind-?) I believe his arms were designed for holding his giant axe, but was later appropriated as 'place holders' for giant tires, instead. My, how the mighty have fallen.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I think I've mentioned this on GDB before, but there was one of those giant men located alongside the 405 freeway across from the Goodyear Blimp's home. He was a "sign" for a golf course and also a miniature golf course. Instead of an axe or a muffler, he held a giant golf club.

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

Yes - I've seen him. Who knew that good 'ol Mr. Bunyan was such a versatile chap: chopping down trees; balancing tires; and a duffer, too. (Okay - perhaps his golfing skills ranked a bit higher than a 'mere' duffer, but still...)

TokyoMagic! said...

I should have mentioned that the golfer was in Carson, CA. I just checked and he is still there, even though the golf course is long gone. It is now the "Porsche Experience Center," whatever that is! The last time I checked, he was holding a checkered flag, which I suspect was adapted from his old golf club. It appears that the cloth flag has either rotted in the sun or blown away in the wind, but he is still holding the stick portion of the flag. It also looks like they might have made him some giant clothing to wear. Well, it looks like real clothing to me, rather than being "painted on." Google Maps "street view" has also blurred his face, as if he were a real person! Here's the current view from the freeway, if anyone is interested:,-118.2770051,3a,90y,179.94h,93.6t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1seSDDX8Y9oEGRhDM_hPzUGw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

TokyoMagic! said...

Maybe I should have provided the address for the "close-up" view of the guy:,-118.2770051,3a,15y,197.05h,94.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1seSDDX8Y9oEGRhDM_hPzUGw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Even though his face is blurred, I can still tell that he is smiling! :-)

Chuck said...

TM!, my first thought was "I wonder if they made the chicken for Knott's?"

I've loved fiberglass animals since childhood. There's probably some sort of subconscious connection to my childhood love of ceramic dogs, as well as my youthful experiments in vivifying inanimate objects. But perhaps I've said too much...

We still have a fiberglass cow on top of the local dairy, although she's life-sized rather than super-sized. They dress her up every Christmas as a reincow, complete with antlers and a sleigh.

And now I'm thinking of this for some reason.

Andrew said...

@Nanook Roadside America provides lots of info on the Muffler Man figures, including this very helpful "spotter guide." Fun fact... RA coined the term "Muffler Man" in the first place.

I love looking out for any kind of fiberglass figures like these! My family got back from Ocean City recently, and an amusement park there has a Muffler Man that was originally a Paul Bunyan but is now styled to look like a pirate. He's even holding a sword (instead of the typical muffler)!

One more thing: in middle-of-nowhere West Virginia, there's a private home that has all kinds of these fiberglass figures. It's open to the public and is really cool.

Thanks for the fun pictures today! It's nice seeing when these statue factories were in their heyday.

JC Shannon said...

I have always said, what the world needs is more giant fiberglass animals. Forget about lawn gnomes, these babies really say check out my azaleas. The post war golden age of advertising brought us these very cool, over the top mascots. I miss 'em. I have it on good authority, that a certain Major is currently in negotiations for a giant Dopey for his rose garden. But you didn't hear it from me. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, it’s funny how appealing those cows, chickens, and other critters can be to a passing motorist. It’s hard not to notice them, but they are playful and fun too, unlike most billboards. I need to see that giant rabbit on the feed store, Google time! I’m sure the Muffler Men were made by a different company, but I have always liked those.

Melissa, I think you have the beginnings of a huge blockbuster movie! Spielberg is interested. As, I like the idea of pets for the Muffler Men.

Nanook, ha ha, I was so impressed at how many comments there were, until I saw that they were mostly a conversation between you and TokyoMagic! Wah-wahhhhh. ;-) I have several mansions, but if I buy a new one (soon!), I will be sure to festoon it with plenty of giant animals.

TokyoMagic!, I know I used to see one particular Muffler Man a lot when I was a kid, I wonder if it’s the one you refer to off the 405? The giant golf club rings a bell, but it’s possible I’ve just seen a photo of it, maybe in a Charles Phoenix book.

Nanook, Paul Bunyan also spoke 7 languages and he composed a number of symphonies.

TokyoMagic!, I knew you meant Carson since you said it was near the blimp. The “Porsche Experience Center” is where I share my vast collection of Porsches with the public. You’re welcome. I’m sad that the golf club is gone, but of course it makes more sense to be a race flag in that circumstance. I can’t seem to make your location links work, maybe I’m just lame.

Chuck, I want F.A.S.T. Corp to make abominations, such as a human with a chicken head, or a cow with an elephant’s trunk. Let’s get creative! I’d love to hear more about your “youthful experiments in vivifying inanimate objects”! You can see that Sculptured Advertising made animals of all sizes, I wonder if the one on top of your local dairy is from that company (or one of its later iterations)?

Penna. Andrew, gosh, how long has “Roadside America” been around? I thought those guys were called Muffler Men even when I was a kid, though I could be mistaken. The newest
Charles Phoenix Book has photos of a number of different Muffler Men. It’s a fun book, you would probably enjoy it. I wonder what the story is behind the home in West Virginia with all of the fiberglass animals? Sounds cool!

Irene said...

Well, you learn something new every day! I guess I never really thought about where all these giant fiber glass animals/people came from. Yes, the giant rabbit is still on the feed store roof in Lakewood (where I live and very close to me). I just saw the golfer off the 405 freeway now the Porshe experience yesterday. I went to F.A.S.T.'s web site and found them and did a street view of the place and they have many things right out front for people to see including ---- Bob of Bob's Big Boy.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

LMAO I used the see the golf guy in Carson every day on the way to work (when I used to live there). I also remember a couple of different muffler, tire versions in the valley growing up. One on Sepulveda and one on Sherman Way.

Here is a link to Pintrest that has 194 different variations with mufflers, tires, axes, golf clubs, swords etc.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks for another fun post, Major! Am enjoying looking-up all the fiberglass figures on the internet. Did you see the Paul Bunyon holding the giant hot dog with his very-arthritic hands? I especially like the bunny on the feed store - cute idea!

It looks like there really is a market for fiberglass animals. Chicago had "Cows on Parade" in 1999 - with lots of artist-painted fiberglass cows all over the city. I know that other cities also did the Cow Parade thing, too, different years. I googled to see if your posted company made them, but (darn) they didn't . . . but, in searching the internet, I see that 61 life-sized fiberglass gorillas were decorated and displayed on the streets of Bristol, England, in 2011. We gotta get you one for your birthday or Christmas!


Nanook said...

@ Alonzo P Hawk-
Thanks for the link. Talk about an embarrassment of riches-! There are some pretty swell 'iterations'; but if I had to indicated a preference, the clear winner for me is the pirate - complete with sword and peg leg-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I hope this link works. I've also included the link for the Rabbit in Lakewood, which isn't quite as "giant" as I remember it. Still, if it were alive, it could do some serious damage to people.

Porsche Experience Center in Carson

Feed Store in Lakewood

Major Pepperidge said...

Irene, after reading TokyoMagic’s mention of the rabbit, I found a good picture of him online. I did a Street View of F.A.S.T.’s site, but didn’t see a Bob’s Big Boy - that would be my ultimate advertising collectible - a full-size Big Boy.

Alonzo, wow, thank you for that Pinterest link!!

Lou and Sue, poor Paul Bunyan… chopping trees with an axe is hard on those finger joints. I am familiar with the Chicago cows (didn’t some other place do pigs?), but have not seen the gorillas. What do gorillas have to do with Bristol? Maybe they have a soccer team called the Rabid Gorillas. Which would be cool.

Nanook, ha ha, it’s so hard to pick a favorite. I’ll need to look again, but I tend to like the astronaut-themed versions.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, Seattle did the pigs in 2001 and then again, in 2007.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, you piqued my curiosity as to why Bristol used fiberglass gorillas. Was hoping the folks of Bristol were big GDB fans, but that doesn't appear to be the case - at least not according to Wikipedia (but what do THEY know?!):

In an abbreviated format: Alfred the Gorilla arrived at Bristol Zoo in 1930, became a celebrity and mascot of Bristol, died in 1948 and was stuffed. In 1956 a doctor stole him and put him in his office, but was discovered. One of the thieves died in 2010, so the town celebrated in 2011. Now we know.

It's amazing what I learn on this blog.


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I would have never guessed "Seattle" for pigs! What a crazy world.

Lou and Sue, oh man, Albert! One of the reasons this blog has it’s dumb name is that my older brother is a true gorilla nut. He can look at a random photo of a gorilla from a zoo and tell you which one it is. I remember him talking about Albert when I was a kid, I guess he was a particularly famous ape. I didn’t know the story about the theft of Albert’s stuffed body, how weird. And I love that the celebration had to do with one of the thieves dying! Nobody would believe it if it wasn’t true.

Andrew said...

Major Pepperidge, I have been to the house in West Virginia with all the fiberglass statues. No one was around, so my dad and I just wandered around and took some pictures. Here's a story on Roadside America about it, if you're interested.

I believe Roadside America has been around as a website for over 20 years, but there was a book by the same name written in the late 1980s, and it resulted in the creation of the website.

And lastly, my local library had that Charles Phoenix book (surprisingly), so I have read it. One of the most colorful books ever!

Nanook said...


This might help explain 'why' Seattle had Pigs on Parade...
"Rachel arrived at the corner of Pike Place under the iconic "Public Market Center" sign and clock in 1986. She is a bronze cast piggy bank created by Georgia Gerber, a sculptor from Whidbey Island, Washington. Weighing in at 550 pounds, Rachel was named after a real 750-pound pig who won the 1985 Island County Fair. Her cousin, Billie the Piggy Bank, arrived in the Market in 2011 and sits on Western Avenue at the bottom of the Hillclimb.

Rachel was the inspiration behind the “Pigs on Parade” fundraiser throughout downtown Seattle in 2001 and again in 2007 for the Market’s centennial celebration

Melissa said...

The City of Buffalo, NY did a similar thing with fiberglass buffalo cow statues.

Irene said...

I misspoke about Bob of Bob's Big Boy. It isn't in the street view. It's on the main page of the corporation's web page. Here is a link that probably won't work as a link but can be copied and pasted.

Irene said...

And I notice the picture at the top slowly changes out and there is no way to make them go faster. But I did see Bob!

JG said...

Major, this is brilliant and I love it. Where else but in the USA?

The area where I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley had a number of cow and horse statues on top of shops, either dairy equipment or riding horse tack and saddlery.

There is still a deli in Sonoma with a beef cow on the roof, featuring beef jerky.,-122.4591408,3a,60y,74.31h,89.73t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sS8iiTtX1-aKCdNv9l6fhJQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en