25 December 2006

Those Inflatable Santas: Eyepoppers to Eyesores -- NY Times

Seems to be an expensive new fad

Those Inflatable Santas: Eyepoppers to Eyesores
Published: December 22, 2006
Whatever else Christmas in America means, it now also includes inflatable outdoor decorations.... But the inflatables have brought the notion of Christmas self-expression to another plane. Now, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, that televised triumphal march that inaugurates the season, can live on in miniature for weeks at a time, swaying and bobble-heading across the front lawn of anyone willing to pay the electric bill — maybe a thousand dollars if you keep them inflated all the time, less if you leave the skins of your Christmas characters sprawled on the ground most of the day, their crumpled faces staring blankly at the sky or the sod, depending....The inflatables sell off the shelf for $69 to $300, and Gemmy Industries Corporation of Coppell, Tex., which claims to produce the majority of the large figures sighted this year on lawns, porches, terraces and roofs from Long Island to Los Angeles, is not shy about the product's corner-cutting appeal.