Coming soon to a city near you...
This fun project was brought to us in 2010 by Foerstel, an advertising agency working with the Idaho Potato Commission. They gave us a computer sketch of a giant potato on a semi truck, similar to the Idaho postcards found in airports and gas stations, and asked if we could actually make it real. And we did. (See how this one was made here.) From there, our 12,000 pound tuber has travelled over 200,000 miles, all over the U.S. visiting over 9,000 cities for the last 7 years on tour.
In 2018, we replaced the original potato with a new fiberglass potato, which will last for years and more tours to come. Want to see how this one was built? Watch a slideshow here!
We enjoyed working closely with our superstar tour manager, Laura Martin of Foerstel Design, and of course with Frank Muir, the president of the IPC who is quite proud of this Idaho icon. During the design process, we had to pay close attention to size restrictions allowed by the Department of Transportation. Since its primary use is traveling down interstates, participating in parades and being around crowds of people, we used a structural engineer for fabrication and safety advice. We worked with many different contractors including (but not limited to) fiberglass and concrete professionals, foam insulation crews, electrical and hydraulic experts, lighting specialists and professional auto painters for the trailer. After the year’s tour ends, we give it a little love and make sure it looks awesome for the next tour! Follow the truck along on it’s journey: www.bigidahopotato.com
A Glowing Potato?
Strange, but true. Every New Year’s Eve in downtown Boise, Idaho, you’ll see our “GlowTato” drop at midnight. We built this slightly smaller one out of fiberglass (much like the one above on the tour truck), but using a more translucent material and adding gobs of LED lights inside allows it to glow from within. The tricky part was that the painting HAD to be done in the dark, with only the interior lights on. So, a lot of late-nights in the shop…whew! While it’s pretty cool during the daylight hours, it’s real time to shine is at midnight. https://idahopotatodrop.com
“One of the testaments to their ability to create authentic art is that the No. 1 question wherever the truck drives is, ‘Is it real?’”
-Frank Muir, Idaho Potato Commission
Is it real?
Of course it is, silly.
Can you eat it?
I would say no.
Where can I see it?
Follow it: www.bigidahopotato.com