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The current Macy's Parade Studio

Macy's Parade Studio is a Studio located in Moonatchie, New Jersey, where the Macy's Parade balloons, balloonicles, novelty balloons, and floats are designed, crafted and painted.

History

The original lofted concrete building at 15th Street and Willow Avenue was constructed at the turn of the last century, and was home to a manufacturer of elevator components during its earliest years. According to the 1918 Industrial Directory of New Jersey, the Elevator Supplies Company employed 600 people, making it one of the larger employers in the city before and during the First World War. By 1932, the national economy was experiencing its historic decline, and the workforce of the Hoboken firm (which also controlled a large Canadian elevator equipment company) dropped to 350. Newspaper reports during the Great Depression describe an unsuccessful attempt by the company’s stockholders to have a receiver appointed to take over Elevator Supplies, which later sold the building.

Sperry Products, Inc., manufacturers of electrical and hydraulic equipment, was the building’s next occupant. Until 1948, the Hoboken building was the headquarters and manufacturing center for a range of non-destructive testing equipment, including the Sperry Detector Car, which was used to test rail track for most of the railroads in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Although the Hoboken firm and Sperry Gyroscope had the same founder — Dr. Elmer A. Sperry — there was no corporate relationship between them. Sperry Products, Inc. relocated to Danbury, Connecticut in 1948.

The American Sweets Company - best known for its manufacture of Tootsie Rolls - moved into the building after Sperry Products departed, and continued through the early 1960s. Portions of the old concrete building were used to store cocoa, and other sections held paneled offices and candy-making machines.

In 1968, Macy's Studio moved from a smaller warehouse in North Bergen, New Jersey, to Hoboken. The building was remarkably well-suited to the unusual needs of the Macy*s artistic and technical crew. With 44-foot-tall ceilings, 16,000 square feet of ground-level space, reinforced concrete walls, an overhead crane to lift elements, and beautiful light, the space was ideal for all aspects of float and balloon design and nearly all aspects of fabrication. After a 40-year-plus occupancy, the Parade Studio team announced in 2010 that they would be moving to a new and improved building in Moonachie, New Jersey. The building would later be demolished in 2013.The new building, located at 140 State Street, covers roughly 71,00-square-feet, and was custom-built for the Parade, making it now possible to inflate entire balloons and construct entire floats.

Areas

Below, you will find a list of areas that the parade studio contains.

Lobby

The lobby is the first room in the Macy's Parade Studio. Inside the front door, there are various parade-related trinkets mixed in with average office decor. In one corner, under glass, is an Emmy statuette. It contains models of Gorgeous Gobbler, Weebles and the Energizer Bunny, among others. Two chairs and a coffee table are sat on the right side of the room, with an office behind it. Pictures of parade floats past and present also decorate the room. A doorway on the back side leads into the next room.

Design Room

The design room contains balloons models of characters past and present hanging from the ceiling. On the left side, a shelf contains models of past parade floats, alongside several concept drawings for floats rolled into long tubes, and organised into years. Four office tidies are spread around the room as well. Several work tables are spread throughout the room, holding concept art and current balloons models, On the right, bookshelves hold various children's books, which the artists use a reference for floats and balloons. Next to these bookshelves is a door, which lead into the main part of the building.

Production Room

The production room is the main part of the studio. Inside this room, floats and balloons are constructed. This room is always the place for Press Day, and is arguably the most famous part of the studio. In one of the corners, a paint booth contains many different types of paint for the different types of float. John Piper likes to refer to the parade studio having "every color of the rainbow plus two".

Balloons that now reside at Macy's Parade Studio

  • Popeye (1957-1968)
  • Happy Dragon (1st Version, 1960-1981, 1991-1992)
  • Bullwinkle (1st Version, 1961-1983)
  • Sinclair's Dino (1st Version, 1963-1976)
  • Superman (2nd Version, 1966-1970)
  • Smokey Bear (1st Version, 1966-1981, 1993)
  • Aviator Snoopy (1968, 1978-1982, 1985)
  • Mickey Mouse (2nd Version, 1971-1983)
  • Kermit the Frog (1st Version, 1977-1987, 1990-1991)
  • Superman (3rd Version, 1980-1987)
  • Woody Woodpecker (1982-1996)
  • Olive Oyl (1st Version, 1982-1985)
  • Yogi Bear (1983-1985)
  • Garfield (1st Version, 1984-1999)
  • Rageddy Ann (1984-1986)
  • Betty Boop (1985-1987, 1991-1992, 1995-1996)
  • Humpty Dumpty (1st Version, 1986)
  • Baby Shamu (1986-1988)
  • Olive Oyl & Swee' Pea (2nd Version, 1986)
  • Spider-Man (1st Version, 1987-1998)
  • Ronald McDonald (1st Version, 1987-1990, 1993-1994)
  • Snoopy (6th Version, 1987)
  • Snuggle Bear (1987-1994)
  • Big Bird (1st Version, 1988-2000)
  • Quik Bunny (1988-1999)
  • The Pink Panther (1988-1997)
  • Snoopy and Woodstock (7th Version, 1988-1995)
  • Bugs Bunny (1989-1992)
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog (1990-1996, 2000-2004)
  • Babar the Elephant (1991-1992)
  • Santa Goofy (1992)
  • Beethoven the Dog (1993-1995, 2008)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (1st Version, 1993-1997)
  • Rex the Dinosaur (1993)
  • Izzy (1993-1995)
  • Barney the Dinosaur (1st Version, 1994-2002)
  • The Cat in the Hat (1994-1997)
  • Dudley the Dragon (1995)
  • SkyDancer (1995-1996)
  • Eben Bear (1995-1998)
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle (1996, 1999-2000)
  • Peter Rabbit (1996-1998)
  • Arthur (1997-2001, 2003)
  • Rugrats (1997-2001)
  • Bumpé (1997)
  • Ms. Petulia Pig (1997, 1999)
  • Babe the Pig (1998)
  • Wild Thing (1998, 2002-2003)
  • Dexter (1998-2000)
  • Millennium Snoopy (1999-2001)
  • Honey Nut Cheerios Bee (1999-2001)
  • Blue the Dog (1999-2002)
  • Bandleader Mickey Mouse (2000)
  • Jeeves the Butler (2000-2002, 2004)
  • Ronald McDonald (2nd Version, 2000-2008)
  • Cassie from DragonTales (2000-2001)
  • Curious George (2001)
  • Pikachu (1st Version, 2001-2005)
  • Big Bird (2nd Version, 2001-2006)
  • Jimmy Neutron (2001-2003)
  • Cheesasurus Rex (2001-2003)
  • Charlie Brown and the Alusive Football (1st Version, 2002-2005)
  • Little Bill (2002-2004)
  • Mr. Monopoly (2002-2004)
  • Kermit the Frog (2002-2004, 2007-2012)
  • Strike up the Band Barney (2003-2005)
  • Super Grover (2003-2006)
  • Garfield and Pookie (2nd Version, 2003-2006)
  • M&M's Brighten the Holidays (2004-2006)
  • Chicken Little (2004-2005)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants (2004-2006, 2008-2012)
  • Scooby-Doo (2005-2007)
  • Dora the Explorer (2005-2009)
  • Healthy Mr. Potato Head (2005-2007)
  • Jojo's Circus (2005-2007)
  • 80th Anniversary Hot-Air Balloon (2006)
  • Flying Ace Snoopy (2006-2011)
  • Pikachu and his Pokéball (2nd Version, 2006-2013)
  • Abby Cadabby (2007-2009)
  • "Supercute" Hello Kitty (1st Version, 2007-2011)
  • Shrek (2007-2010)
  • Smurf (2008-2011)
  • Buzz Lightyear (2008-2013)
  • Horton the Elephant (2008-2010)
  • Keith Haring's Figure with Heart (2008)
  • Spider-Man (2nd Version, 2009-2014)
  • Ronald McDonald (3rd Version, 2009-2014)
  • Sailor Mickey Mouse (4th Version, 2009-2012)
  • Pillsbury Doughboy (1st Version, 2009-2013)
  • Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (1st Version, 2010-2015)
  • Po from Kung Fu Panda (2010-2012)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2nd Version, 2011-2013)
  • Julius the Sock Monkey (2011-2013)
  • Papa Smurf (2012-2014)
  • Snoopy & Woodstock (2013-2015)
  • Adventure Time with Finn and Jake (2013-2015)
  • Wizard of Oz Hot-Air Balloon (2013)
  • Thomas the Tank Engine (2014-2016)
  • Paddington Bear (2014-2016)
  • Skylanders' Eruptor (2014-2016)
  • Ice Age's Scrat & His Acorn (2015-2017)
  • Hello Kitty (2nd Verison, 2012-2017)
  • Angry Birds' Red (2015-2017)
  • Charlie Brown (2nd Version) (2016-2018)

Novelty Balloons that now reside at Macy's Parade Studio

  • Lollipops (1985-1988)
  • Ice Cream Cone (1st Version, 1985-1986)
  • Macy's Circus Balls (1985-1997)
  • Macy's Flower Balls (1985-1997)
  • Macy's American Star Balls (1985-1991)
  • Macy's White Stars (1st Version, Red Text, Pointy, 1985)
  • Macy's White Stars (1st Version, Green Text, Pointy, 1985)

Gallery

Hoboken Studio (1968-2010)

Moonachie Studio (2011-Present)

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