Have you ever wondered what happens to Santa’s leftover gifts? The ones that never appeared on Christmas wish lists. Well…nothing. Until now. This year the Fat Man sent his friends at Real Art all the unused presents, and we gave them a home in The Santa Claw.
Yep we said claw. We built the biggest claw game ever. And you—or anyone in the entire world—can play the game from your own computer. Best part…if you win, we’ll send the leftover Santa goodies straight to your door.
Visit www.thesantaclaw.com for all the details. Check out the prizes, leather chaps, Dokken records, hand-held crossbows, t-shirts, Lenticular Sacred Heart Jesus, games, balls, models, scooters, skateboards and much much more. Log in now, create your customized avatar and be prepared for a clawsome good time!
The new word for the day is pain! I pity the fool who don’t celebrate my birthday!
Yes my favorite 80’s celebrity’s, Mr. T and I share a birthday—today, May 21st. So what better time for a post about the enigmatic film and TV star. I first remember seeing Mr. T as Clubber Lang in Rocky III and Sergeant Bosco B.A. Baracus in the hit tv series The A Team. His signature mohawk hairstyle, the mountains of gold chains he wore and his tough take no crap from anyone attitude no doubt, endeared him to many kids of my generation. A tough guy that was afraid to fly in airplanes and could shoot thousands of bullets without ever hitting anyone.
T grew up as Laurence Tureaud in the Robert Taylor Holmes housing projects of Chicago. After high school Mr T bounced around to several colleges, did a short stint in the Army and tried out for the Green Bay packers. It was then that he began working as a bouncer at local clubs and created his persona “Mr. T” and his trademark look of wearing a huge collection of gold chains, necklaces and bracelets that were originally the result of bar customers leaving or losing these items after an altercation ensued.
Mr. T managed eventually to parlay his job as a bouncer into a career as a bodyguard to the stars that lasted almost ten years. He protected well-known personalities like Muhammad Ali, Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Leon Spinks, Joe Frazier and Diana Ross, charging $3,000 per day.
As a bodyguard, Tureaud’s business card read, “Next to God, there is no greater protector than I.” Mr. T claimed that he never lost a client, saying, “I got hurt worse growing up in the ghetto than working as a bodyguard.” A bald-headed Mr. T can be seen on film accompanying Smokin’ Joe Frazier to the ring in Frazier’s rematch against George Foreman in 1976.
Mr. T went on to star in many television series and movie roles. Promoted all kinds of crazy merchandising products, such as cereal, Shrinky Dinks, action figures and much much more. T also wrestled in the first two Wrestlemanias, gave singing a chance in 1984 with the release of Mr. T’s Commandments, much in the same tone as his 1984 educational video, which instructed children to stay in school and to stay away from drugs.
In 1995, he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma and now splits his time between his suburban Chicago, Illinois home and a 20-acre ranch in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he spends most of his summers and breeds horses.
In 2005, Mr. T stated that he would never wear his chains again. He arrived at this decision after seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina. However, he does occasionally wear some chains for commercial and public appearances.
In 2008 the company I work for, Real Art Design Group, produced a self promo piece called “A New Year A New You”. The idea being that we would create a customized puppet for all of our clients, friends and family, that would reflect what their New Year’s resolutions for that year might be. It was a huge undertaking that turned out to be extremely well received.
We created over 240 customized hand-made puppets for our employees and those who signed up for the gift. Puppets were shipped in a self-contained display case that propped the puppets up and really brought the project together.
Now it may seem that this is unrelated to this posting about Mr. T but with all those puppets and extra puppet pieces I saw a chance to make something super fun and special. After a little creative thinking, a quick trip to the local thrift store and raiding the puppet parts box I had everything I needed to make a truly unique puppet of Mr. T.
The Mr. T puppet was a huge hit from the time he hit the door to the present day. In addition to being included as a bonus in the Real Art puppet cards that went out to announce “A New Year A New You”, Mr. T also had a small cameo appearance at the 2008 GDAA Hermes awards ceremony where he was piped in via satellite to offer words of inspiration and motivation. He is currently proudly sitting in my office keeping an ever vigilant eye for trouble and has become a somewhat unofficial ambassador for Real Art.
Each year the Real Art staff and our guests gather to celebrate the holidays and to exchange custom made gifts for the Real Art employee’s name that we each drew earlier in the year at our company retreat. It’s always amazing to see the diversity, quality and the level of creativity of everyone’s gifts. Here are are the stories behind what I gave and what I received;
The bowl of names comes around, I reached in and came out with Andy Nick. Wow that’s great I’m sure that I can come up with something for Andy. After a while of thinking I decided it would be awesome if Andy could travel time Back To The Future.
Oveiously this sounds like an overly complex and ambitious gift idea for a company Christmas party, but calling on the historical work of one Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, Ph. D. I was able to access that great cradel of knowledge known in this time period as simply the internet, for the plans, materials and technical knowledge that would enable me to recreate Doc Brown’s earlier work.
Though some modifications and material substitutions were made in the interest of safety, mobility and the lack of a DeLorean—Doc Brown’s earlier model provided crucial reference and scientifc data that enabled me to successfully recreate his 1.21 jigawatt flux capacitor. The new version uses an improved power scource enabling it to be safer, completely mobile and refilled with a clean and abundant energy source. All of which, leaves Andy free to navigate betweeen the waves of yesteryear and the ripples of the future. Travel well my friend.
At the sametime I was brainstorming the perfect gift for Andy. Ryan Clark was turnning his creative prowlness upon me and what could be a fitting present. Lo and behold a trophy is born.
Flashback to the August and subsequent postings of the demo derby. Team Real Art, Car 485, and driver, yours-truly, took fourth place amidst some contraversy, and in doing so found himself on the outside looking in to the awards stand by an official with an itchy stopwatch and a lust for crushing people’s dreams. Fourth place was little concelation to Anspach’s hopes of hardware.
Just when it appeared no justice would be served. One man had the idea to create and award the best ever fourth place trophy ever. The 48lb beoheomoth trophy featured the well used beaten but not broken stearing wheel from car 485 mounted ceremoniously ontop of a series of pipe and elbows, attached to a massive Jeep differential and a wooden block which carries a brass plate bearing the inscription: “Rob Anspach Fourth in the derby first in our hearts.”
Bravo Mr. Clark, bravo—it shall adorn my trophy case for years to come and eventually be passed down to my decendents as a shining example of manliness and an everpresent reminder that looking and acting good is always more important than being good.
Ok so you know how when your sitting around with your friends and an idea comes up. It sounds like such a great idea at the time. Somebody in the group says, “oh can definitely do that it will be easy”. And a stupid idea is born. Well this is a story of just such an idea.
A while back our friend Andy Nick bought himself a new ride. Very snazzy! Andy’s new pimp mobile made his 93 Nissan Altima expendable. And what better way to expend a car than to trick it out for a demo derby. Enter Chris Wire. “I can weld” and something like, we can take it to my shop and gut it for the demo derby and have all of Real Art on hand to witness the destruction.”
So now sponsorship and “know-how” is on board, sounds good who can we find stupid enough to drive. As I hear myself saying “Hell yea I wanna drive—I’ve always wanted to crash into someone!”
Now here we are, Andy’s one-time pride and joy has been stripped and gutted and turned into something mean and nasty that resembles a cross between a prop from a Mad Max movie and a stock car. The event is coming up quick. August 31st, 2008 (Labor Day Weekend Sunday) at the Montgomery County Fair Grounds. All spectators are encouraged to join the Real Art Crew to watch me smash the hell out of some sorry fools with a party following afterwards that I hope I will be attending. Even though we still have quite a bit to do here are some shots of the progress we’ve been making on the car. Stay tuned more info and updates will follow soon!
This is what we did with the airbags