When I was a kid, I always loved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That love started with the film A Miracle on 34th Street (1947); a film all children (and adults) should watch every year as it makes the essence of Santa Claus very real. There is also the added bonus of Maureen O’Hara who never loses her appeal either. I’m digressing. The parade has always had that mixture of holiday joy and pure insanity. Where else are you going to see Underdog come flying down a NY City street, watch Hordak dance on a float, or actually see Captain America and Wolverine battle Doctor Doom? It really is a marvel to witness first hand.
Now according to the official Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade website, it is ‘the most popular holiday parade in America. Indeed, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade NY has been a Big Apple tradition since 1924. Attracting more than 3.5 million people to the streets of New York City each year, as well50 million TV viewers nationwide, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has become so synonymous with Thanksgiving tradition in NYC that it's often shortened to "The Macy's Day Parade."’
With almost a hundred years of the parade in the bag, what were the floats and balloons that make even your most maniac geek giddy with joy? Total Toy Recon has compiled its favorites here for you. Most people won't remember a time when superheroes weren't the norm of television and movies, this was the only way to see them in the real world. However, I must issue a warning of caution. Some of the following floats and balloons do not paint our heroes in the best light.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 2013
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are indeed a force to be retconned with, long before Michael Bay got his hands on them. In 2012, and 2013 the Turtles appeared in the parade.
Tim Burton’s B: 2011
Not really a superhero or a legend, just Tim Burton weird, but in one of his creations, “B. Boy”, added as a giant balloon. A bit strange, but he was there to help market Burton’s art exhibit that was in NYC and LA. Personally, think Jack Skeleton would have been more appropriate. Nonetheless, it should be pretty cool and completely insane.
Buzz Lightyear: Circa 2008
It only took 13 years for the Buzz Lightyear to make it into the parade. Not bad considering even the likes of Batman has never been in the parade. Here is a great balloon with a great pose flying through the island of Manhattan.
Super Grover: Circa 2003
Perhaps Kermit needed a break that year, but the likes of Super Grover are always welcome. This Muppet/ Sesame Street character is the perfect bungling hero. Again, it’s great when they get the pose right.
Marvel Universe: Circa 1987
You have to love the Back to the Future music used here. What’s even cooler is seeing the likes of Power Man in the parade. It would be almost 13 years and a costume change before he would be back in the mainstream of comics. Now that would warrant an appearance on a float. Here it’s just retro cool.
Let us not forget their return in 1989...
Spider-Man: Circa 1987
His first appearance was in 1987. He has made numerous appearances over the years and is almost a mainstay of the parade. It is appropriate because he does guard over Manhattan, after all.
Masters of the Universe: Circa 1985
Remember when He-Man ruled our collective geek childhood? If you don’t, here is a YouTube clip from the parade to bring it all home. I wish I could buy that Hordak costume now. It is amazing.
Kermit the Frog: Circa 1977
Another mainstay of the parade is Kermit the Frog. With the Muppets taking the theaters back this weekend, look for Kermit to be in the parade again for sure. I have always thought that an army of Miss Piggys should be holding Kermit’s strings.
Underdog: Circa 1965
Having made several appearances over the years, Underdog was a regular in the parade. With the cartoon gone from the collective kid conscience and that terrible movie a bad memory, Underdog probably has seen his last parade.
Superman: Circa 1939
Superman has had several renditions made of him over the years for the parade. The biggest (as well as the biggest balloon for the parade ever) came in 1980 proving fitting as the movie swept the nation. Yet, the man of steel is one of the few balloons ever to suffer a loss. In 1986 he hit a tree and lost one of his hands.
Felix the Cat: Circa 1927
Only three years after the parade began, Felix was the first ever giant sized balloon. As you can tell, Felix certainly wasn’t the largest of balloons but being the first is still a great honor in itself.