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Scrapped Bob the Builder Concept

Concept art for a scrapped Bob the Builder balloon. (Illustration by Joel F. Naprstek)

Throughout the years, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has housed over 200 over-sized balloon versions of popular fictional characters, many floats of famous franchises and brands, and more. However, not every idea for a unit has made it past the planning stage. Below, you will find a list of all of the balloons, floats, and other units in the parade which were scrapped for one reason or another, as well as balloons that were originally scrapped by Goodyear and would later be picked up by another company.

Scrapped Balloons

The Reluctant Dragon (1960)

A Reluctant Dragon balloon was originally planned to debut in the 1960 Parade, but was booted off for unknown reasons, and was replaced with Happy Dragon.

Rocky the Flying Squirrel (1961, The Kalmus Company)

Rocky was originally going to debut alongside his best moose buddy, Bullwinkle in 1961. However, the balloon never made it past the concept stage as Goodyear feared the balloon would be disproportionate. Rocky was later 'balloon-ified' in 1996, with the new Bullwinkle balloon. 

Huey, Dewey, and Louie (1962, Walt Disney Productions)

Akin to Rocky, Disney suggested to Goodyear to make 3 small balloons of Donald's nephews to debut alongside the Donald Duck balloon, but Goodyear declined. This was because they calculated that the triplets would have to be disproportionate to the 60-foot Donald balloon.

Mr. Magoo (1965/1976/UPA)

As a means of promotion for the 1965 film, "The Adventures of Mr. Magoo", UPA asked Goodyear to produce a Mr. Magoo balloon for the parade but it was scrapped. Over a decade later in 1976, UPA once again commissioned a Mr. Magoo balloon, with plans to stylize the character in a patriotic Uncle Sam outfit to celebrate the nation's bicentennial. This project was also scrapped before the balloon reached fabrication.

Casper the Friendly Ghost (1968, Harvey Toons)

A balloon version of Casper the Friendly Ghost was initially planned to debut in the 1968 Parade, alongside Aviator Snoopy. The project was scrapped by Goodyear, due to fears that a completely white balloon would be extremely difficult to maintain.

Charlie Brown (1968, United Media)

In 1968, Snoopy's owner, Charlie Brown, was planned to have a balloon in the Parade, but was scrapped for unknown reasons.

Woody Woodpecker (1960s, Walter Lantz Productions)

A Woody Woodpecker balloon was suggested by Walter Lantz himself in the 1960s, but a fear of lack of aerodynamics stopped the project. Despite this, Woody would later be recreated by Kemp Balloons in 1982.

Mr. Peanut (1960s, Planters)

Like Woody Woodpecker, Mr. Peanut was outed from the Parade as a balloon due to the lack of aerodynamics.

Big Bird (1st Version) (1974, Children's Television Workshop)

Because of the massive success of Sesame Street, CTW commissioned a Big Bird balloon to debut in 1974. However, like Woody and Mr. Peanut, Goodyear rejected this idea due to the "lack of aerodynamics". Although the idea was revived by Raven Aerostar in 1988.

The Big Apple Mascot (1975, New York Daily News)

Originally planned to debut with Weeble, the idea never saw the light of day and was replaced by a Big Apple float two years later in 1977.

Bugs Bunny (1970s, Warner Brothers)

Like Mr. Peanut, Woody and Big Bird, Bugs was given the boot sometime in the 1970's due once again, a lack of aerodynamics. However, like Big Bird, it was revived by Raven Aerostar in 1989.

Betty Boop's Stars (1985, King Features Syndicate)

Originally, the Betty Boop balloon was supposed to be accompanied by two novelty balloons of stars with cartoon-esque faces on the front. The duo of balloons never appeared in real-life form

Pets.com Sock Puppet (1999, Pets.com)

The Pets.com Sock Puppet was originally going to appear in the 1999 Parade as a giant helium character balloon. However, the company had only decided to participate in the Parade just a few weeks beforehand. The decision would later be finalized by instead transforming the Pets.com Sock Puppet into a Falloon, as then-Parade director Jean McFadden stated that the shape of the character would not work as a balloon.

Bob the Builder (2006, HiT Entertainment)

A Bob the Builder balloon (designed by Joel Naprstek) was originally going to debut in the 2006 Parade, replacing the company's previous "Strike Up the Band" Barney balloon. The balloon never made it past the planning stages due to a nation-wide helium shortage; and event which also reduced the number of balloons in that year's Parade.

Chipmunk (Macy's)

At the Macy's Parade Studio, a model for an unknown Chipmunk balloon is commonly seen hanging from the ceiling at the Design Room. It is possible that a Chipmunk balloon was going to debut sometime, but was eventually scrapped.

Other Balloons

Other balloons that have been outed from the Parade over the years include Tony the Tiger, a second Mighty Mouse, Fred Flintstone, a second Popeye and Batman.

Scrapped Floats

Carters Clothes (1999)

A float based on Carters Clothes was supposed to be in the 1999 Parade but never made it past the concept stage for unknown reasons.

Monsters (2007, M&M's)

The M&M's Chocolate Candies on Broadway float was going to have a Halloween theme, with Orange as a mummy, Blue as a phantom, Yellow as Frankenstein, and Green as the Bride. The concept was scrapped for unknown reasons, probably due to Halloween being before Thanksgiving, and the theme was changed to a Broadway theme.

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall and the Fix-It Flyer (2016, Krazy Glue)

These were the proposed concepts for a potential Krazy Glue float, but they ended up scrapped, with the former most likely due to the animatronic-like Humpty Dumpty being too hard to build properly and the latter due to unknown circumstances, and were replaced by the Fun House design that would be its finalized look.

Scrapped Balloonicles

Pendleton the Penguin (2004, Playskool)

Pendleton the Penguin was originally going to be one of the three Weebles balloonicles to debut in 2004 as seen in the concept art, but was scrapped and replaced with Tooey the Turtle later on. It is unknown why the Parade studio made this choice.

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