Sweetums is like a little boy when we come across roadside giants – perhaps because he so rarely sees figures that are taller than his 6-foot-7 frame.
We recently made a road trip through Georgia and made a quick side-stop on the way home in the city of Dallas for the sole purpose of seeing a giant plumber and Wonder Woman. Who wouldn’t?
The giants are two of six such fiberglass or plastic figures owned by Mike Whitman, a local plumber, according to RoadsideAmerica.com.
Only two were located near enough the interstate for us to see on this trip, and we learned three recently purchased statues may not have been transported to Dallas yet. But it was worth taking the exit to see the 20-foot-tall plumber, a figure made in the same stance as the old Muffler Men, only holding a plumber’s wrench. This new figure was created by Bell Plastics in California.
We also took selfies with an 18-foot Uniroyal Gal in the same parking lot who is painted to look like Wonder Woman. Uniroyal Gal, or Miss Uniroyal, was designed in the 1950s by International Fiberglass to draw men into Uniroyal Auto Shops with her comely figure.
Ripleys.com says, “Believe it or not, Miss Uniroyal was originally designed wearing just underwear. She came with snap-on outfits, you know to avoid frostbite or a chilly night in fall. Ultimately these oversized Barbies were meant to be dressed for their location’s climate.” The Wonder Woman design is painted on.
Whitman reportedly as owns a 20-foot-tall Mr. Bendo (see it here) and recently purchased a Paul Bunyan and a clown that is more alarming than it is charming.
RoadsideAmerica.com said he also purchased a “half-wit” with an ax. These 14-18-foot-tall figures have silly grins resembling Alfred E. Newman but they were named Mortimer Snerd in the original International Fiberglass catalogs. See him here.