Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Those Scary Thai Mannequins

Some of my friends had nightmares about clowns when they were children. Clowns certainly can be scary (Pennywise the Clown in Stephen King's "It" comes to mind) but the ones my friends woke up screaming about were of the white-faced, red-nosed, balloon twisting variety, like you'd see at a circus.

I saw the mannequins above on my very first visit to Thailand. At first I figured the shop owners had gotten them cheap from a distributor stuck with a few custom made heads left over from a poorly designed order. No such luck. I saw them all over the place and still see them today - their bizarre, garish faces of happiness run riot standing guard in stalls in Jatujak and stores in malls throughout the kingdom, but for the life of me I can't understand why. Have you ever seen someone that happy? I won't even begin on the hair colors.

I've seen a couple similar examples in Taiwan, but I don't know if these creatures are common in any other countries or not. If you've seen them elsewhere, please leave a comment below and let us know where, would you?

It's likely that they were designed to be "hip" and "with it"; selling allegedly Western style to a population that wanted to be on the cutting edge of fashion, but I think that's giving them more credit than their worth, frankly.

Maybe they were intended to help mothers keep their small children in line while shopping: "If you don't hush and behave this woman's going to come and take you away when you're sleeping and you'll never get to see anyone you love ever again!" The winking man certainly looks like someone a parent would warn their child to stay away from, that's for sure.


Brian Koh said...

Love your blog :) The mannequins are indeed frightening. Wouldn't want to be stuck in a shop with many of them staring at me.

khunbaobao said...

Me either, Brian. A little too "Twilight Zone" for me. Welcome!

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rik Oostenveld said...

Hello Brian,

I think they are great! Do you know where to buy them. I live in the Netherlands.


khunbaobao said...

Welcome, Rik -
If you were IN Thailand I'm sure you could find them fairly easily, but outside of the Land of Smiles? That's one I can't answer, sorry!

Rik Oostenveld said...

Hello Brian,

Thank you for you're answer. Maybe you know a name of the designer or distributer of the mannequins. Or perhaps the word in Taiwanees for mannequin so I can google for it.

Thanks a lot.


khunbaobao said...

I'm afraid you're on your own with this one, Rik. By the way, these were in Thailand, not Taiwan. I've not seen them in Taiwan, myself.

You might try searching for mannequin manufacturers in Asia, or contacting a distributor of mannequins in your home country. Show them the picture and ask for search hints.

Good luck on your quest. I'd love to be the baggage inspector who saw an image of THAT in your luggage!