Fad-Tastic! Big Mouth Billy Bass

    February 9, 2011 at 11:00 am

    There is a reason they are called fads. It’s because they disappeared just as quickly as they blew up in popularity.

    Today’s Subject: Big Mouth Billy Bass

    Big Mouth Billy Bass is an automated, singing prop that resembles a Largemouth Bass. Designed by Gemmy Industries, at first glance, it closely resembles a mounted fish, but when a person gets closer the fish it turns its head outwards, wiggles and sings awful cover songs, like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin or “Take Me To The River” by Al Green.

    Some things you might not have knows about Big Mouth Billy Bass

    “The singing mechanism was originally activated by a motion sensor and was originally intended to startle a passerby.” Fun for kids and drunk rednecks.

    There have also been several copycat toys based on it, featuring various animals such as Rainbow Trout,catfish, lobsters, fish bones and even the great white shark. The concept was also adapted into a large mounted deer head. Because every successful idea must have thousands of replicas. Even singing fish.

    The toys appeared frequently in pop culture at the time, featured on various television programs. It was also shown briefly in an episode of 90210, when it was shown as part of a yard sale along with Brendan’s side burns and Dylan’s favorite flask.

    A 2009 McDonald’s commercial for the Filet-O-Fish sandwich features a singing fish mounted on a wall. It’s also the greatest commercial jingle EVER.

    The gag gift first appeared in April, 2000 at sporting goods stores and was an instant hit. At the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Grapevine, Tex., 500 units sold in under an hour. I’m sure that doesn’t shock anyone reading.

    Billy can easily be hacked, as in reconfigured, not chopped up for cooking.

    Billy was also popular in Paris, when Ad agency Grey Paris created an interactive billboard for their client Findus, a frozen food company, that featured 25 animatronic basses singing KC & the Sunshine Band’s Shake Your Booty. It’s no wonder the French hate us.

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