13 bygone balloons you won't see in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Float down memory lane.

Top image: The Everett Collection

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is primarily for the kids, as balloons of popular cartoon characters drift down Manhattan above floats full of tween idols. That being said, we as adults still love to watch it.

This year, new balloons representing The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Trolls will bob up and down the streets. Yet there are still some classics in the mix. Take Dino, for example, the big green Brontosaurus of Sinclair Oil — he's been around since 1963.

Over the decades, since the parade's inception in 1924, dozens of balloons have come and gone. You're not going to find the Eddie Canton balloon ever again. Let's take a look at some from the past. Do you remember these from your childhood?

1. Captain Nemo

We start with the old, old school. The Nautilus commander is seen here in 1929. These days, you're far more apt to see Nemo, the adorable clown fish.


2. Teddy Bear

Yep, just a plain ol' teddy bear, inspired by our 26th President, without any Build-A-Bear branding or anything.


3. Bobo the Hobo

Harold the Fireman, pictured here, first appeared in 1948. He is still around today. His form has a long history in the parade. Originally, the firefighter was a redesigned version of the police officer, who was a redesigned version of the baseball player, who was a redesigned version of Bobo the Hobo. They've long been into recycling!


4. Happy Hippo, Version One

The hippo made his debut alongside Superman and Pinocchio in 1940. The good natured beast returned in 2013, with a new design, including more eye makeup.

Image: The Everett Collection

5. Flying Fish

Back in the day, they used to set the balloons free after the parade. A safety valve slowly released the helium inside, and the big balloons would drift down over, say, Queens. A return address was tagged to the balloon, and the finder would deliver the balloon back to Macy's, who would offer a reward of gifts or $100. Somehow we doubt that would work today.

Image: The Everett Collection

6. Linus the Lion Hearted

The Post Cereal mascot was known for touting bowls of Heart of Oats and Crispy Critters. Here he is tailing Donny Osmond.


7. Mickey Mouse

Hard to believe the most recognizable rodent in the world would ever fall out of favor. Mickey made his debut in 1934. A second version appeared in 1972, while Bandleader Mickey marched in 2000. The most recent iteration is Sailor Mickey, from 2009. We miss this classic look. 

Image: The Everett Collection

8. Spaceman

The first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, took his voyage in 1961. However, seven years earlier, an American astronaut was floating in the Macy's Parade, at least.

Image: The Everett Collection

9. Humpty Dumpty

All the king's horses must have tethered this guy to the earth.

Image: AP Photo/Ron Frehm

10. Olive Oyl

Popeye's significant other began carrying Swee'Pea in 1986, though she herself dates back to 1982 in the parade.


11. Popeye

The spinach fiend with the beefy forearms dates back to 1957.


12. Woody Woodpecker

What ever happened to Woody? You don't see the cackling bird these days, despite the fact our pop culture revives everything. The Pink Panther, Scooby Doo, Bugs and crew all resonate with chidren today. Whither Woody?

Image: AP Photo/Ron Frehm

13. Garfield

He hates Mondays, but he loves Thursdays. The lasagna gobbler debuted in 1984 and stuck around into the new millennium. 

Image: AP Photo/Ron Frehm


Check out more pictures from past parades, including Ponch and that Eddie Cantor balloon. READ MORE

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MichaelFields 34 months ago
I remember DECADES ago, I and a girlfriend at the time volunteered to be in big Holiday parade (Not the Macy's one) When we got there they told us we would be the "HAndlers" for Snoopy. We had to do about 30 minutes of training on how to go threw interceptions (Don't want to pop snoopy of a light) how to steer him if it got windy and so on, and we even learned how to make him spin (well we all moved in a circle to make him spin) then off we went. it was such a fun experience seeing the kids and adults smile when we walked by with Snoopy, it is something I will always cherish.
kevopilis 34 months ago
Macy's has become a big disappointment, if it's a reflection of popular culture- as much as I'd like to be 19, I'm fine with 56.
scp 34 months ago
I think Bobo the Hobo, in his incarnation as a baseball player, appears in the original Miracle on 34th Street.
DuanneWalton 34 months ago
Linus the Lionhearted had his own cartoon show with an awesome theme song.
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