Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children's literature. He first appeared on October 13, 1958 in the children's book A Bear Called Paddington and has been featured in more than twenty books written by British author Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists. The friendly bear from Peru—with his old hat, battered suitcase (complete with a secret compartment, enabling it to hold more items than it would appear to), duffle coat and love of marmalade—has become a classic character from English children's literature. Paddington books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. A much loved fictional character in British culture, a Paddington Bear soft toy was chosen by British tunnellers as the first item to pass through to their French counterparts when the two sides of the Channel Tunnel were linked in 1994.

History with the Macy's Parade

Paddington Bear made his Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in 1979, appearing on foot in the form of a walk-around character. The lovable bear would later appear in walk-around form once again in 1984. During this appearance, Paddington rode aboard the Doodlebug toy float as it wiggled its way down the Parade route. Paddington would appear in the line of march once again in 1989, now hitching a ride on the classic Rocking Horse float.

In 1990, Paddington Bear was represented in the Parade through the form of a falloon -- a portmanteau of "float" and balloon" -- being the second of its kind. The falloon featured Paddington Bear wearing a festive green hat and red button-down coat as he waved to the crowd. In his left hand, Paddington holds his iconic briefcase with his initials, and a tag that reads "Please look after this bear, thank you."

That same year, the marmalade-loving bear was the Macy's 1990 Holiday Ambassador. To celebrate this event, a specialty plush toy of Paddington -- much like the one mentioned in the Paddington book, was sold at Macy's stores across the nation. The float initially made three appearances, and was retired after the 1992 Parade.

The falloon returned after five years of "hibernation", to help celebrate of 40th anniversary of the Paddington book's release the following year. During this appearance, the falloon was blown into a lamppost by blustery winds. The falloon suffered damage to its right side, but was able to be patched up an re-inflated in times for its appearance on the NBC Parade telecast. After this appearance, the falloon was permanently retired from the Parade. The Paddington cold-air inflatable was last confirmed to exist in November 2014. [1]

In 2014, a giant balloon version of Paddington debuted in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to promote the then-upcoming film, "Paddington", which was set to be released the following Christmas. The celebrated creation and star of the Paddington books took flight posed mid-stride as if making his way to catch a bus, train or plane on his globetrotting journey.

For his various Thanksgiving Day adventures, Paddington was decked out in his classic blue overcoat, red rain hat and carried his signature suitcase. Standing at approximately 60-feet tall and 34-feet wide, Paddington took on New York City’s famed thrills and even its cold November chill during his inaugural flight.

The balloon returned to the line of march in 2015, now promoting the home media releases of the film. The balloon made its final appearance in the 2016 Parade, where it promoted the yet-to-be-released Paddington 2 film. Since this appearance, the Paddington giant balloon has yet to make another public appearance.

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