|Eruptor Concept Art|
|My first pose had his arms to the side, making|
him too wide
|Final pose is more narrow, allowing him to be bigger, |
and at a good viewing angle from the ground
|With color and to scale|
|Macy's Amazing sculptor, Eric Hudspeth, |
working on Eruptor
|Side view of the Clay Maquette|
|Street view from the front|
|Final color model|
|By night, he was fully inflated|
I got to meet a lot of the balloon handlers, who were all super sweet, and as excited about Eruptor as I was. Some of the handlers and pilots found out that I had designed Eruptor, and took some pictures with me. Macy's even gave me a balloon handler's outfit, which looked awesome. Seeing the balloon for the first time, fully inflated and in daylight, left me speechless. When the handlers unleashed him and raised the balloon, he floated up majestically. He measured 50-feet long, 36-feet wide, and 36-feet tall, with more than 40 gallons of fluorescent paint and 5 barrels of glitter. The glitter didn't look too sparkly, but added a really nice pop to the bright colors.
|My first day time view of the balloon|
|These outfits were great! Wish that I could have been |
able to keep the vest!
|hmmmm... I thought he'd be a little bigger|
|You can see the amazing paint job here|
|Everyone getting excited to start|
|Group selfies with Eruptor's giant foot|
One thing that I did not anticipate was how close and intimate we were to the crowds. Everyone waved and wished eachother Happy Thanksgiving. Then it occurred to me, adults just don't wave to strangers very often. It's one of the most fundamental human gestures, and kids do it to everyone. As adults, we get caught up in our lives, and we don't make eye contact nearly as much as we should, and we don't usually greet strangers and wish them well. It felt REALLY NICE to do so along the parade route to thousands of people. I felt more human, and more gratitude, than I've felt in a long time. It was a profound experience that I will never forget.
At one point, we stopped for a few minutes which happens often because of the performances, and I heard the usual chanting of "Skylanders!" by a small group of people. We all shouted back "Skylanders!", and a moment later, they were chanting "He designed it!" over and over. Shocked, I tried to say thanks and try to get them to stop, and noticed that it was one of the pilots telling them to chant that for me. Then a few seconds after I turned back, they started chanting my name. It was beyond surreal, completely embarrassing and humbling at the same time.
In another part of the parade route, a young boy in the front lines had an Eruptor stuffed animal hanging over the rails. I ran up to him and gave him a high five. I think that made my day more than his!
|Yup, he's huge|
|At the starting line|
|Posing with the lovely banner girls|
|Here he is, along with the tiny toy!|
|Taking over New York|
|"Born to Burn"|
|And Bill Nye tweeted this selfie!|