If you like giant fiberglass statues, then Magic Forest in Lake George, NY is the place for you. This fairy tale theme park has four Muffler Men and many other statues. Magic Forest opened in 1963. It features a 40 foot tall Uncle Sam statue which is the twin to the one in Ottawa Lake, MI. There is also a Santa statue, an 11 foot tall Tire Salesman, a Caveman, and three modified A&W Root Beer Family statues. All of these statues were produced by International Fiberglass which made the Muffler Men.
In addition, there are many statues that were produced by other fiberglass companies including an Archer, a couple of Astronauts, an Indian, a Caveman and a Cavewoman, several storybook characters, as well as various animals. Many of Magic Forest’s statues, including at least one of the Muffler Men and the Uncle Sam, came from the Danbury Fair which was located in Danbury, CT and closed in 1982.
One of the most unusual statues at Magic Forest is the Giant Clown. To my knowledge, International Fiberglass never produced a Clown model. This particular Muffler Man actually started out as a Pirate. The company only made about four Pirates. One of them still stands in Ocean City, NJ, another one is in
Ocean City, MD, and one has gone missing. The Lake George statue originally stood at Ocean Playland Amusement Park in Ocean City, MD. It was installed high above the entrance to the park. After a few years, the park’s name was changed to Playland Park. At that point, the Pirate was transformed into a Clown. Balloon clown pants were added, the hat was altered, and the statue was repainted. The Clown remained there until the park closed. It was purchased later by Magic Forest. Today, the statue looks about the same as it did when it stood at Playland Park. It is possibly the creepiest clown statue in existence with its still recognizable Muffler Man features.
Thanks to Terry Nelson for the vintage pictures of the pirate and clown when they stood in Ocean City and also to Debra Jane Seltzer for her editing help and research.
Great post! I love knowing the history of these figures!
There is also a giant man near where I grew up. He’s located in Elmsford, NY. I also passed one last night on Rt. 40 (Pulaski Hwy) in Maryland. I was always facsinated by the one where I grew up and looked into it more last night after passing the one on Rt. 40. The information you provided helped shed some light on their origin. Thanks.