Moishe (or Carol) is one of the titular creatures featured in Where the Wild Things Are, a 1963 children's picture book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. In the book, Wild Things are malicious beasts who inhabit an island where a young boy named Max, after sailing there, intimidates them and is hailed as their king. The book has sold over 19 million copies worldwide and has been adapted into a live-action feature film.
History with the Macy's Parade
Out of all the characters that have appeared as balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Moishe (referred in the Parade as simply the Wild Thing) has one of the most unusual stories.
In 1998, Macy's and Bell Atlantic announced a Wild Thing balloon to debut in the 72nd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade alongside Babe the Pig and the titular boy genius from Dexter's Laboratory, in order to promote Bell Atlantic's new advertising campaign featuring the characters. However, strong winds and heavy rain affected the 1998 Parade, causing three balloons to get damaged and removed before starting their flight through Manhattan; Spider-Man, Garfield, and Quik Bunny. However, they would not be the last casualties of the weather.
When the Wild Thing was lifted into the air following Inflation Eve, a crosswind shoved him into a lamppost, causing a 10-foot long gash on his left arm and claw. Parade director Jean McFadden ruled the balloon too damaged to fly (despite only one section being punctured), and the balloon was removed from the Parade and wasn't mentioned NBC telecast.
After the 1998 Parade ended, there was a press coverage on the questioning about the incident, and if he will appear again in the following year, and Macy's promised that he will return.
In February 1999, Manfred Bass and Jim Artle did a chamber test on the Wild Thing, to check if the seals are fully air-tight. Luckily, the balloon passed its test and was ready for the 1999 Parade. Although he couldn't be inflated the night before, due to one of his chambers not being able to inflate properly and again wasn't mentioned in the NBC telecast.
After his two failed attempts to debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Wild Thing was retired due to the character being stripped off of Bell Atlantic's advertising campaign when the company was rebranded into Verizon. He would've been the second known giant balloon, the first being Dudley the Dragon, that never made it to Herald Square.
Three years later in 2002, in preparation for the book's 40th anniversary, HarperCollins Children's Books decided to sponsor the Wild Thing balloon. Fortunately, he managed to withstand the route, and make his official Herald Square debut. The balloon returned for the following year's Parade but was retired afterwards.
In 2006, the balloon was disposed of, with only one of Moishe's eyes surviving, which was sent to Maurice Sendak as memorabilia before the disposal. It's unknown where it's now located today, as Maurice passed away in 2012.
As a walk-around
For the balloon's return in 2002, a Wild Thing walk-around was created to accompany it. It was also retired with the balloon following 2003.
- In 2003, the head was partially deflated when he reached 34th street.
- For some reason, during the balloon's test flight at the DakotaDome, he wasn't fully-painted yet, which was a possible reason why no pre-recorded footage of him was shown in the 1998 or 1999 NBC telecasts, along with him being a no-show at BalloonFest 1998.