The Origins of the Inflatable Wacky Waving Tube Man

Rebecca OConnell

Airdancers—better known as wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men—are staples in used car parking lots and discount stores everywhere. The ubiquitous dancer exists thanks to famous Trinidadian artist Peter Minshall, who designed puppets for Carnival. For the 1996 Summer Olympics, Marshall was commissioned to help create the opening for the Atlanta-based games, according to the video above from Great Big Story. He designed the inflatable tube man and enlisted the help of engineer Doron Gazit to make it a reality. Unfortunately for Minshall, Gazit ended up getting a patent for the design—notoriously, without the artist—and now the wacky inflatable arm men are everywhere.

[h/t: The Kid Should See This]

Banner images via YouTube.