Home Depot Santa Balloon from Gemmy - HUGE!!!

Every year, the various vendors put out new products, but something unusual for Christmas 2009 was the 15' Santa Balloon from Home Depot. Plastic tubes (might have been wiser to use metal) form a basket that Santa stands in. Above that is a blower motor that inflates a pretty darn big red & white balloon plus provides air to pump up Santa. The balloon has multiple tie-downs ... good thing, because it can really move - check out this wild video when the winds picked up after Midnight. Watching it as people on the Internet inflate/deflate it is crazy - here's some time-lapse footage ... also at 2x and 8x speed.

Inflating the Santa Balloon for the first time in the backyard

santa balloon home depot

A couple of "real" ballooons float over mine early in the morning

hot air balloons

Santa Balloon at Sunrise

santa balloon home depot sunrise

Santa Balloon in the Front Yard - Mouse Over for no snow

santa balloon christmas front yard

Santa Balloon in 2010 with Kyle, Alek, and Dirk - Mouse Over image for closeup

santa balloon christmas lights boys

Some tears have developed in the fabric which reduces the inflation power, but so far the packing tape seems to be holding

santa balloon tear

I've also had a couple of the plastic tabs break off ... but HEY, this Santa Balloon is used a LOT!

santa balloon broken strut

In 2012, one of the four main struts cracked - darn!
I backed out the screws slightly, and it is staying on ...so far

santa balloon broken strut

santa balloon broken strut

I sent an Email to Home Depot inquiring about getting a replacement strut ... which they forwarded to Gemmy ... who promply sent a replacement - how cool is that!!!

santa balloon replacement strut

In 2013, more of the main tabs/rivets are breaking - BUMMER!

santa balloon broken

Here's a closeup ... note also the tear along the seam - this won't be fixible with packing tape

santa balloon broken closeup

The Homer Santa was pretty sad to hear the bad news! ;-)

santa balloon homer sad

So I wrote an Email to Home Depot and Gemmy, who made this inflatable (but doesn't anymore).
Both responded promptly and Gemmy dug around in their spare parts bin and is sending me their last set.
WOW - what an example of OUTSTANDING customer service!

Two days later, this BIG BOX showed up!

santa balloon box

santa balloon opened

santa balloon unwrapped

Kyle took the pictures above, so I took him with an early Christmas present
Note that the envelope is red/green versus red/white - Gemmy ROCKS! ;-)

santa balloon inflated

Here's a video me fixing it plus in action that evening
Not only does it look more Christmasy, but it inflates a LOT better

A truck drives by the Santa Balloon - - mouseover to see it pass by

santa balloon car driveby

My son Kyle poses in front of the Christmas display

santa balloon closeup

santa balloon wide angle
Again, the folks at Gemmy (and Home Depot) just ROCK - totally AWESOME customer service - thanks!
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