Animated Mannequins….Creepy

16 Jun

Robert would you rotate for us Pleeeeze?

There seems to be a recent flurry of talk about animated mannequins, I for one don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Mind you these are NOT robots, they are dissected realistic forms, exactly the same as those I have struggled to dress for 35 years. The only difference is they are heavier [with motors installed] and even harder to dress, if you have ever dressed a seated male mannequin you will know what I’m talking about, God Damn this #!%^&#(@#&* thing!!!.  Animations are nothing new, [does anyone remember the Hamberger Co.?] For years they produced all the animated elves, fairies and reindeer, that filled the windows of every major dept. store in the U.S. They were very good at what they did and produced my most treasured memories of childhood. Those memories ended when  Asians started to produce a whole array of cheap corny angels, unicorns and happy little tykes. That spelled the end of my interest in animation. The Chinese [with help no doubt from American designers] started marketing their products wholesale to every Wal-Mart, A.C. Moore,Michael’s and even JoAnn’s Fabrics at a fraction of the cost. The result was everyone could do up their living room window,front porch,garage roof and front sidewalk, “just like the dept. stores used to do” another wonderful tradition exploited due to cheap foreign labor and mass marketing ends up in the trash heap of consumerism.

Back to the subject of a full size mannequin waving you into to stores to literally buy the clothes of their backs [or behinds] No Thank You. Imagine if you will an urban shopping district with every store containing one or more not so glamorous moving plastic Zombies waving their mechanically jerking hands to get your attention. What an image! just like a scene from Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” where zombies take over a suburban shopping “Maul”. Some how I just don’t think I would find that enticing. Comic? yes appealing? NO!..I just cannot imagine Bergdorf Goodman, Saks or any better retailer dumping their Rootsteins in favor of these mechanical parodies of the living. 

I do believe will we very shortly see  a great number of Moving Marys and Rotating Roberts along the avenues of the lower priced “We sell everything stores” and it won’t be long until they migrate to the sidewalks in good weather,[be fun to equip them with cigarettes] for a hyper realistic effect. Lets face the facts here a mannequin is intended to display garments to their best advantage, a good mannequin imparts an aura that enhances the value and quality of the product. A moving mannequin will attract attention [until they become commonplace ] but the movement creates a comic tableau that renders the garment irrelevant and destroys the illusion.

In closing I must admit I would love to play with one and maybe pull it out once a year,for a smoke on the sidewalk,but just like the exploitation of Christmas, too much of a good thing, becomes a bad thing  and goes unnoticed.

watch the video….


One Response to “Animated Mannequins….Creepy”

  1. Lydia June 17, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    Vori back in the 70’s I had a string of stores that I would do window dressing, as they called it back then. The manniquines I worked on would, very nicely unhinge. I used to slide an arm or a leg into the clothing an then blindly find the connection, pop and twist and you were in. What’s this now??? oy vie!

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