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Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade: The Top 10 Weirdest Retired Balloons


Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Weird Retired Balloons

The 88th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, beloved the world over for its massive balloons of popular toys and children’s characters, will introduce six new colorful giants over Manhattan’s skies this year. The freshman floaters include Pillsbury Doughboy, Paddington Bear, Thomas the Tank Engine, Pikachu, a Power Ranger, and Eruptor–who’s a lava-barfing beast from the Skylanders video game. [photo: Scott Gries/Getty]

We think Eruptor is going to get retired really soon. He won’t be the first dirigible to go down, though. Consider the balloon above–that being the Little Bill balloon from the Nickelodeon network. Yeah, it’s a little Bill Cosby. “Hey,” he seems to be saying, “you’ll be flying as high as I am once I slip this in your drink, baby!” At least, that’s sure how it looks now.

That automatically lands Little Bill in our list of the 10 Weirdest Retired Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Balloons. There’s still nine more, though. Check them out below, and just hope that Eruptor looks crazy enough to join their ranks someday…


Ask Jeeves Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Fancy English butler Jeeves is a beloved character from humorous stories by novelist P.G. Wodehouse. In 2000, he also became the mascot for search engine Ask.com, which rebranded itself as AskJeeves.com. The Jeeves balloon was grounded in 2005, and the website has since re-rebranded itself back to just being Ask.com.


Cheesasaurus Rex

Cheesasaurus Rex Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese mascot Cheesaurus Rex rode high above midtown Manhattan from 2001 to 2003. He was a blob of neon-hued yellow-orange in a blue ball cap and he inexplicably carried a camera. Extinction proved inevitable.

Chicken Little

Chicken Little Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Hey, it’s Chicken Little–from that 20015 animated classic movie that nobody really remembers, but maybe they showed it to you a few times in day care. How’d he get to show up like he was some kind of big deal? Man, this Macy’s Parade must really be all about corporate graft.


Superman (First Attempt)

Superman 1940 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Considering his famous ability to soar through the skies over Metropolis, Superman is a natural to be rendered as a Macy’s balloon. He’s done the honor three times, with cool versions appearing in 1966 and 1980 that emulated the Man of Steel in flight. Check out the first try, though, with Supes looking like an upright, uptight-looking mass of bubbly muscles and pumped-up angst.



Beethoven, a lovable lug of a St. Bernard who starred in his own film series, got the balloon treatment from 1993 to 1995. He then came out of the doghouse for one final go in 2008. Since then, the big boy’s been put out to stud.

 Nestle’s Quick Bunny

Nestles Quick Bunny

This one’s easily the most terrifying balloon to have hit the streets of Manhattan in modern times. This thing almost puts us off Nestle’s Quick–but it also gets us thinking how cool it would be if Macy’s ever had a balloon of the Cloverfield monster.


Alligator Drinking a Budweiser

Alligator Drinking a Beer Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Well, it’s an alligator from a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it might just be that the thing is floating past a really cool Budweiser display from the glory days of Times Squares. It’s still nice to know that there was once an alligator drinking a Budweiser in the Macy’s Day Parade–if only for a moment.

 The Jeff Koons Rabbit

Jeff Koons Rabbit Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Pop artist Jeff Koons adapted his renowned 1986 stainless steel sculpture of an inflatable rabbit toy into giant balloon form for the Macy’s parade in 2007. Nobody expected it to be back in 2008, and they were all correct.

Sinclair Oil Dinosaur

Sinclair Dinosaur Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

A brontosaurus isn’t the most naturally cuddly of creatures, but the 1963 balloon of Sinclair Oil’s dinosaur mascot is undeniably fun and friendly-looking. That is, until you think about his connection to fossil fuel–i.e., we’re running our cars on this cute dude’s carcass. Maybe they’ll revamp him for Jurassic World tribute next year.

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