Spider-Man is a fictional superhero appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko and first appeared in the Amazing Fantasy comic book anthology in 1962. He is characterized by his super strength and agility; and his ability to cling to most surfaces, shoot spider-webs using his own wrist-mounted devices, and react to danger quickly.
Spider-Man is one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes and has become Marvel's flagship character and mascot. He has appeared in various TV series, a newspaper comic strip, and a live-action film series.
Spider-Man made his debut as a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1987, to celebrate his 25th anniversary, and appeared until 1998. This balloon was one of only two balloons, the other one being Snoopy, who had a camera attached to it. This feature was called "Spidey-Cam" and was used from 1988 to 1992. A walk-around was also featured throughout his timespan, last seen during the balloon's final proper appearance in 1997. Along his debut a Marvel Comics float was accompanying with the balloon from 1987-1989. He was retired after 1998, possibly due to the damage he sustained that year, and he couldn't be repaired. By the time the following balloon was in production, this balloon's fabric was beginning to fall apart due to the balloon’s age. Because of this, It's unknown if the balloon still exists.
After a long absence, a second balloon of the character launched in 2009 with a more modern design, at 78-feet long, he was the longest balloon in the Parade that year, tying with Kermit the Frog. This balloon continued to appear until 2014 when it was retired, and a new Spider-Man balloon has yet to be introduced to the Parade.
- In 1991, He was stuck on a lamppost, which almost got his left hand popped, but he was freed, except having his web getting partially ripped.
- In 1993, his head was partially deflated by a tree.
- In 1997, his right hand was damaged and half the balloon was deflated by a few trees due to high winds minutes before his NBC appearance, but he managed to finish the route.
- In 1998, his stomach slowly leaked helium overnight (Due to the balloon's age). By the time the Parade started, the balloon lost a good majority of helium and the balloon couldn't get up. Due to this, he was removed. After the incident, his handlers were also supposed to help handle the Wild Thing balloon, but after it was also caught in an accident and had to be removed as well, they would instead help handle the Peter Rabbit balloon.
- In 2013, the second Spider-Man balloon had its right arm ripped by a Central Park tree at 77th Street.
- In 1992, his head was slightly deflated.
- In 1995, His left arm was slightly bent.
- In 1996, his fingers on his right hand were deflated.
Below, you will find a list of the music tracks that played during the balloon's appearance on the NBC telecast
- Spider-Man Theme Song (Milton Delugg Version)
- Spider-Man Theme Song (Different Milton Delugg Version)
- Spidey, alongside The Pink Panther, and Kermit the Frog, are the only giant balloons known to be ripped at the stomach due to an accident. However, unlike those two, Spider-Man was pulled from the parade the year this happened.
- The Spider-Man balloon can be seen in the 1993 animated film We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, alongside Snoopy, Woody Woodpecker, an off-model Quik Bunny, and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
- Spider-Man is the only giant balloon to use two videotapes at the same time in the same year in 1998.
- The original Spider-Man is the only giant balloon that appeared after 1997 to never use utility vehicles (due to his removal in 1998, which was the first year to make use of them, and being retired afterward).