Nothing says “Don’t Mess With Me” like carrying an oversized Tweety Bird around the Jersey Shore boardwalk. Everyone at the fair knows that you are the best stinkin’ water balloon- fillin’ watergun slinger around.
Yes, jumbo plus animals are the “must-have” items of any carnival. How else will strangers know that you climbed that tipsy-turvy rope ladder and rang that darn bell if you’re not carrying a pink gorilla around your neck?
When I was younger, all I wanted to do was win an oversized Scooby Doo from a carnival game on the Jersey Shore boardwalk. I’d spend dollar after dollar trying to throw a ring on a bottle, or land a frog on a lily pad, or knock the bottles from the shelf, just to win ol’ Scooby.
Thank goodness I never won. I’m not sure what I would have done with Scooby.
The truth is that Scooby only has value on the boardwalk. The second I would try to leave with the ol’ pup, I’d have problems. (How do you fit those things in your car? Can you dry-clean the fried dough and mildew smell out of the fabric? Where exactly do you put him in your home to keep from being considered an absolute creep? ) Let’s be honest, nobody should feel comfortable in an adult bedroom with a Scooby Doo in the corner.
Online, people clearly try to re-sell their prizes. Yet, considering so many of them are available, I would assume sales are slow. Plus, a consumer could always buy a new “Rasta Banana” for a pretty cheap cost instead of purchasing a used model. (The 49 inch plush “Rasta Banana” sells for $24.oo from a wholesale carnival company. It’s little brother, the 24 inch banana sells for $8.00.I’m not an expert on the Jamaican banana market but these prices seem cheaper than the wallets of dough folks hand over on the boardwalk.) It seems as if winning these prizes can sometimes be easier than getting rid of them.
I can’t help but believe that most of these characters end up in the trash a few days after they’re brought home. The poor Hello Kittys and Nemo fish and South Park characters are most likely abandoned only days after they are adopted.
Yet, on the boardwalk, plush toys reign supreme. And you, Mr. Watergun Champion, have your rasta banana proof to prove it.