Other International Fiberglass Statues (page 2)

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Wilmington, IL
International Fiberglass used the names Astronaut and Spaceman interchangeably in its catalogs. There are conflicting stories about the origins of this Astronaut statue, aka the Gemini Giant. One version is that the statue was originally a standard Paul Bunyan statue. It was bought at an auction in 1965 and installed at a gas station in town. It was there that he was converted into an astronaut. At some point, the statue was moved to the Launching Pad drive-in restaurant. His helmet was either replaced or a larger hole was cut to reveal more of his face.

The other story is that the owners saw a Paul Bunyan statue at a National Restaurant Association convention in 1965. They ordered the Spaceman statue directly from International Fiberglass. This story seems the more plausible of the two. However, I have seen a vintage photo of an Astronaut statue at a gas station and it was identified as being located in Wilmington, IL.

This statue's face is lit from the inside the helmet at night. The statue has had two rockets stolen over the years. The Launching Pad restaurant originally opened in 1960 as a Dari Delite. It was renamed in 1965. The restaurant had been closed since 2010 but new owners were found in 2017. That didn't last long but different owners were found. In 2019, the statue was restored. In 2022, the statue was moved further back from the road and installed on a concrete pad for protection. The restaurant closed again shortly after that. The Joliet Area Historical Museum's bid to buy it and turn it into a welcome center and restaurant was rejected by the owner. The building remains vacant. In 2024, the statue was sold at auction to the Joliet Area Historical Museum which has donated the statue to the city of Wilmington. The statue is being restored and will be installed at the entrance to South Island Park.

There were only one or two other Astronaut statues known to have been produced. One was installed in 1966 in Brooklyn, NY at Astroland in Coney Island. That statue is long gone. It had a different style helmet and the statue's pants stopped just above his boots. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. At some point later on, the statue was painted gold and the helmet was removed.

The other Astronaut statue may have been produced for the Astro Oil Co. (location unknown). The visor on the helmet was different from the one in Coney Island. However, the rocket-shaped sign that both statues held appears to be the same. It's possible that this statue was actually moved to Astroland later on and had a different helmet installed at some point. Therefore, there are only two or three Astronauts known to have been produced by International Fiberglass.

Chicken Boy
Los Angeles, CA
The Chicken Boy head was produced by an artist in Palm Springs, CA. The rest of the body is from International Fiberglass. The statue stood on top of a building in downtown Los Angeles and held a bucket to advertise for a fried chicken restaurant below. When the restaurant closed in 1984, the statue was saved and put in storage. In 2007, the statue was restored and put back on display. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4. [map]

Giant Man
Ste-Anne-de-Sabrevois, QC (Canada)
The Giant Man in Ste-Anne-de-Sabrevois and the statue shown below in Fonthill have Paul Bunyan bodies but different heads. Apparently, there were only a few of these heads made and they were only used in Canada.

The statue in Ste-Anne-de-Sabrevois is known as Le Géant. It originally stood in front of a pastry shop in Montreal. After that, the statue was moved here where he wore a paper hat and held a Coca-Cola cup and hot dog. This "Coke Man" got a makeover in 2009 when the fast food stand behind him closed. The statue now advertises for the antiques dealer at the same location. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4. [first photo Mark Comstock] [map]

This photo from the 1960s may show the same statue in Napierville, QC. The caption might have misidentified the location or the statue may have been moved to Ste-Anne-de-Sabrevois.

Giant Man
Fonthill, ON (Canada)
This Giant Man stood in front of Mr. Furnace's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning when these photos were taken in 2007. In 2015, Rosehill Auctions moved into the building. The sign was changed and the statue was repainted. His shirt and arms have been painted bright pink. For more, see this website. [map]

The Texaco Big Friend statues were produced for Texaco gas stations. The statue for the mold was created by Sascha Schnittmann. There were about 300 of these giant gas station attendants produced around 1966. However, the company discontinued the Big Friend advertising campaign early on after concerns about liability. The company ordered the statues to be destroyed, possibly for fear of liability issues should one of the statues fall over and cause damage or hurt someone. By 1967, most of these statues were gone. Only four statues and a few heads are known to survive. There are heads in private collections in Chicago, IL and Portland, OR.

The statues' uniforms were originally painted green. In addition to their unique heads, they also had giant hands. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

This Bunyan-like Texaco statue must have preceded the Big Friends. International Fiberglass also made statues for other gas stations including Mobil.

former Texaco Big Friend
Denton, TX
This head of a former Texaco Big Friend has been displayed in the window of Atomic Candy since 2017. Before that, it was at the Cloverleaf store in Ardmore, OK for about five years. It's not known what happened to the rest of the statue or where it was located.

The Texaco Big Friend hand is suspended from the ceiling inside Atomic Candy. It was purchased separately from the head. [map]

Texaco Big Friend
Morrilton, AR
This Texaco Big Friend is in a private collection. It was originally installed at a Texaco station in Clarksville, AR. It was later moved to a used car lot in Clarksville. When this private collector bought this statue in the 1990s, it was in bad shape. He had it restored and installed on his property. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

former Texaco Big Friend
St. Maries, ID
This Texaco Big Friend statue has been transformed into a Lumberjack. The statue stands on the lawn of the Heyburn Elementary School where he serves as their mascot. Heyburn is known as the "Home of the Lumberjacks".

There are conflicting stories about how this statue lost his feet. One is that he was found in a field in town in 1967 and vandals damaged his legs with homemade bombs. Another explanation is that he was installed at the Texaco station across the street from the school. When the statue arrived, his feet had been put on backwards. They erected him anyway, encasing his feet in concrete. When they decided to return him, they decided to let the school have him instead. His feet had to be chopped off at that point. Once at the school, his shirt was painted a checkered red and black. His pants were painted black and he didn't have a beard or axe. Later, his shirt was painted green and the axe and beard were added. For more, see this website. [map]

former Texaco Big Friend
Aloha, OR
This Texaco Big Friend statue has been transformed into Harvey the Giant Rabbit. The statue is 27 feet tall and stands in front of Harvey Marine, a marine supply business. In 2016, Harvey Marine announced that they were closing the store and focusing on e-commerce. A Black Rock Coffee Company drive-thru location was built next door. Around 2019, a giant coffee cup was placed in the statue's left hand. That's gone now. The Harvey's building remains vacant. The statue will be staying.

In 1962, the Texaco statue was taken to Harvey Marine for repairs but it was never picked up. The store's owner decided to turn the statue into the store's mascot. He had the human head replaced with a rabbit's head to transform him into Harvey, named after the rabbit in "Harvey", the Jimmy Stewart movie from 1950. The is the second rabbit head. The first one was much cruder. The statue's original human head was believed to have been destroyed but it is safe in a private collection. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

former Texaco Big Friend
Pahrump, NV (now Illinois)
This Texaco Big Friend was originally located in Las Vegas. In 1981, Sun Valley Homes in Pahrump bought the statue from the YESCO sign company in Las Vegas. It was transformed into a Robin Hood type character and installed on top of the mobile home dealership's sign. In 2009, the business closed. Two years later, the sign and statue were removed and taken to the Pahrump Landfill. After several articles in local papers, the town realized that this statue was more than just a local icon. The statue was moved to the Pahrump Valley Museum where it was stored behind the building. The statue has significant damage and is missing a foot. In 2016, the statue was moved to Illinois where it will be restored as a Texaco Big Friend. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

Waving Giant Man
Chicopee, MA (later Agawam, MA) [gone]
This Waving Giant Man would have looked like this one originally. As far as I can tell, International Fiberglass didn't have a special name for these 22-foot-tall statues. For the sake of distinguishing them from other statues at this website, I'll call them Waving Giant Men. I don't believe many of these were sold.

This statue was first located at a pizza shop in Framingham, MA. It had been customized with a chef's hat that was flat on top. This vintage photo of a head at International Fiberglass' factory had a similar look. [photo thanks Terry Nelson] The statue held a pizza or a slice of pizza in his upraised hand. I have not unearthed a photo of this statue from this time.

In 1970, the statue was sold to the Mutual Ford dealership in Springfield, MA for $2,000. The statue was repainted to look like an Uncle Sam. At that time, the hat was changed into a top hat and the pizza was removed. He was repainted with red and white striped pants and a blue jacket. The top hat was painted red, white, and blue. The statue was there for more than 30 years and held a sign reading "Buy American". In 1999, the dealership's owners sold him to the Plantation Inn. He was then painted white to look like a Southern gentleman. In 2013, the statue was sold at auction. The statue was then installed in Agawam, MA next to Partners Restaurant. In 2016, the statue was removed due to city restrictions and put in storage. For more, see this website.

International Fiberglass created other statues using these heads. The location and business for this head is unknown. [photo thanks Terry Nelson]

Giant Waving Man
Oakwood Village, OH [gone]
It is not known where this Giant Waving Man was located originally. It was displayed at the Raff Road Raceway in Canton, OH in the early 1990s. Then, it was displayed at Endless Endeavors from 2003-2020. The statue was sold and then displayed at a house in Rocky River, OH. It doesn't seem to be there any longer. This statue appears to have the same head as the one above in Chicopee but with an entirely different body and outfit. For more, see this website.

There was another statue like this in Bartlett, IL. It is not known what became of this statue.

Waving Giant Man
Amarillo, TX


2017 and 2018:
This Waving Giant Man is the same model as the one shown above in Bedford. However, the head is from the more Paul Bunyan-like Giant Man. This modification was done by Glenn Goode (see below). This statue stood in front of the Country Barn Steak House in 2006. The statue was previously located in Sanger, TX where it was restored by Glenn Goode. In 2013, the Country Barn closed and auctioned off everything, including this statue. The statue sold for $8,000 and was moved to the Cadillac Ranch RV Park in Amarillo. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Waving Giant Man
Sherman, TX (now Temecula, CA)
This Waving Giant Man has the same style Paul Bunyan-like head. This statue stood in front of Custom Sandblasting. The business was owned by Jay Dee Goode, the son of Glenn Goode who owned the giant statues in Gainesville, TX described below. In 2021, the property was sold and the statue was moved to private property in Temecula.

Glenn Goode's Sandblasting & Rental
Gainesville, TX
There are five fiberglass statues at Glenn Goode's Sandblasting & Rental: two Waving Giant Men like the two shown above, two Big Johns, and a Miss Uniroyal. The Waving Giant Man with the hat came from a go-kart track in Garland, TX. His head was made from a mold made from a now-gone statue in Canton, TX. The statue's hands were molded from the Ken's Muffler statue in Dallas, TX. In 2014, Goode built the second Waving Giant Man with his molds.

Goode bought the Miss Uniroyal in 1984 from a car dealership in Wichita Falls, TX. She wore a red bikini at that time but Goode altered it into a skirt and blouse. The skirt is two feet longer than the other Miss Uniroyal statues since Goode was a preacher and wanted her to be less revealing. Both of the Big John statues came from a bowling alley in Hickman, KY. They were mass-produced for the Big John grocery store chain. Goode passed away in 2015. It was stated in his will that he wanted these statues to stand for five years after his death before they were sold. In 2022, they were put up for sale, as a group. In 2023, the family decided to sell them individually. They have been removed and are going to places around the country where they will eventually be on public display. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

Tire Salesman [gone]
Lake George, NY
Tire Salesman [gone]
Los Angeles, CA
These Tire Salesman statues are very rare examples of International Fiberglass' 11-foot-tall giants. There were nine well-dressed men in the series, some with waving arms and moving heads. It is believed that the set was designed for one company in the late 1960s. That company is unknown. After that, a few of the individual statues were sold to other businesses, including Mobil and DX gas stations. They were marketed as "Salesmen." The animated heads and arms were optional. The Tire Salesman models had a waving arm and a moving head. These statues were also equipped with some sort of audio box. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. It appears that the same design was used for a Chef statue. [vintage photos thanks Terry Nelson]

The Tire Salesman in Lake George was located at Magic Forest which had an assortment of other statues, including several produced by International Fiberglass. It was originally installed at the Danbury Fair in Danbury, CT. In 2018, the owner auctioned off most of the statues at the park. This one is now in a private collection in Illinois.

The Tire Salesman in Los Angeles was installed on the roof of VIP Tire & Automotive around 1971. It might have been the statue's original location. The statue was supposedly removed in 2019 for restoration. However, it was still missing in 2021.

There was another statue from this series, wearing a tie instead of a bow tie, at Fun Spot USA in Kissimmee, FL. I believe it is gone now. Another one of these statues was apparently sold at auction to a private collector. For more, see this website.

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