Tube man

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A skydancer in Sendai, Japan

A tube man, also known as a skydancer, air dancer, inflatable man and originally called the Tall Boy, is an inflatable stick figure comprising sections of fabric tubing attached to a fan. As the fan blows air through it, the tubing moves in a dynamic dancing or flailing motion. Tube men are typically used to advertise retail business premises to passing motorists.

Peter Minshall, an artist from Trinidad and Tobago, came up with the concept, and it was developed by a team that included Israeli artist Doron Gazit[1] and Arieh Dranger,[2] for the 1996 Summer Olympics.[3][4][1][5] Minshall originally called his invention the "Tall Boy". Gazit eventually patented the concept of an inflatable, dancing human-shaped balloon, and licensed the patent to various companies that manufacture and sell the devices.

A notable reference in pop culture comes from Al Harrington, a recurring character on the sitcom Family Guy, who is owner, president, and CEO of "Al Harrington's Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubeman Emporium and Warehouse".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dean, Sam (2014-10-20). "Biography of an Inflatable Tube Guy". re:form. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  2. ^ "Apparatus and Method for Providing Inflated Undulating Figures". Justia Patents. May 31, 2001. Archived from the original on June 17, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  3. ^ "The Caribbean Origins of the Dancing Inflatable Man". Slate. 2014-12-03. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  4. ^ Ali, Shereen (2014-12-10). "Who Knew Minshall Invented - Inflatable Men?". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  5. ^ Northrup, Laura (2014-12-05). "Who Invented Roadside Arm-Waving Air Dancers?". Consumerist. Archived from the original on 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  6. ^ "Family Guy Season 4 Episode 29 Quotes". 2 December 2009.