Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Wiki
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Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Wiki

Weebles is a range of children's roly-poly toys originating in Hasbro's Playskool division on July 23, 1971. Tipping an egg-shaped Weeble causes a weight located at the bottom-center to be lifted off the ground. Once released, gravity brings the Weeble back into an upright position. Weebles have been designed with a variety of shapes, including some designed to look like people and/or animals.

The catchphrase "Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down" was used in advertising during their rise in popularity in the 1970s and during successive relaunches in the early 21st century.

The Weebles 1971–2011 Price Guide and Index Book lists and shows every Weeble model made over the preceding 40 years. There are 116 Weebles in total (83 regular; 21 peelable; 12 tumbling) including all egg-shaped sizes and variations made during 1971–1983. In 2010 Hasbro started making a new line of larger egg-shaped Weebles and had produced 42 new Weebles as of July 2011.

A wide range of accessories was available for the Weebles, including vehicles, buildings, and furniture. Some sets had themes, such as the Weebles circus set.

History in the Macy's Parade

In 1975, Hasbro would collaborate with Macy's to create a brand-new, 40-foot tall Weeble balloon, which would debut in that year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The balloon's design featured the standard "boy" Weeble, which was commonplace during its conception, with brown hair, blue pants, and a red-and-white sweater with striped collar and cuffs, in addition to a large red "W".

The Weeble received it's first major incident in the 1975 Parade. High winds sent it flying into a tree along 77th Street, ripping it open and deflating it. The balloon was then removed from the Parade and was skipped on the NBC telecast. The Weeble suffered a continued accident in the 1976 Parade, where a lamppost snagged the Weeble. The Weeble would stay in the Parade until Times Square where it collapsed. After this, it was removed and once again skipped on the telecast.

Due to the incidents the balloon had during its first two appearances, Goodyear would add a "sand skirt" -- a piece of rubber with sand inside -- in order to stabilize the balloon. It was thanks to this addition that the Weeble balloon was able to complete a successful flight in 1977. After the 1978 Parade, it was retired, making 4 appearances. Nearly a decade after it's 1978 appearance, for the 1986 Parade, the balloon was given lips and recycled into Humpty Dumpty.

In 2004, as a means of promotion for Playskool's new "WeebleVille" franchise, the Macy's Parade Studio would create a trio of three brand-new Balloonicles, making them the first of their kind in the Parade's history. The three wobbling characters featured included the main trio of "WeebleVille" characters, such as Tibby, a purple ballet-dancing elephant wearing a pink shirt and yellow skirt; Tooey, a firefighter turtle; and Bumpus, a mail-delivery dog.

During the 2004 procession, Tooey was deflating randomly near the starting line and had to be temporarily removed from the Parade. While he eventually managed to re-inflate fully and rejoin the Parade, he ended up being left far behind from his planned position. The balloonicle managed to catch up along the route, and reunited with Tibby and Bumpus by the time they reached Herald Square.

In 2005, as Tooey did a spin, the balloonicle suddenly stopped and got stuck, but it was later fixed and continued the route perfectly fine.

In 2006, the Bumpus balloonicle wobbled into a tree, causing the balloonicle to be punctured. As a result, Bumpus was pulled to the sidelines and was quickly deflated.

The balloonicles would retire after the 2006 Parade, making the total of three consecutive appearances. Despite their retirement, they are known to survive at the Macy's float warehouse in "Parade Ready" condition as of 2014.[1]

Trivia

  • Pendleton the Penguin was originally going to be one of the three Weebles balloonicles, as seen in the concept art, but was scrapped in favor of Tooey the Turtle later on. It hasn't been revealed why the Parade studio decided to make this choice.

See also

References

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