What Are Those Inflatable Men At Car Dealerships Called?

Written By: Jen

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Have you ever seen an inflatable tube man dancing around outside the car dealership and wondered what it is called and why it is there?

Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man

An inflatable man is a common sight around car lots in the US and has almost become synonymous with the industry.

Their flailing limbs and jiggling bodies are great at grabbing the attention of passing drivers and are sure to put a smile on any face. They are not only used at car dealerships, though – these inflatable dancing men can be used at parties, events, carnivals, or openings of new businesses.

I even saw one outside a police station in Antwerp!

air dancer

In this article, we will look at what these vertical inflatables are called, why they are being used at events and dealerships, and how they work.

What Are Those Inflatable Men Called?

The inflatable men go by many names. Here are some common names that these friendly fellows are known by:

  • air dancers
  • tube guys
  • inflatable guys
  • tall boys
  • fly guys
  • sky dancer
  • tube men
  • air rangers

It is common to see a wacky inflatable man flailing his arms around at events and car dealerships. The purpose of an air dancer is to grab the attention of passers-by and draw them into the shop or business.

Their non-stop waving actions, straight bodies, and crazy arms are how they got their many fun names.

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What Are Air Dancers Used For?

Your local fly guy has many uses. Mainly, they are used as advertising. When you see a tall boy waving his limbs in the distance, he is probably there to promote a business, event, brand, or grand opening.

Because of their large size and active movements, they can be seen from a distance and are therefore amazing advertising tools that can draw the attention of people from afar, leading them to ask, “what is going on over there?”

Not only can they be used to attract attention, but the tubes can be used for marketing by printing logos, brands, or the store name on the body of the inflatable tube man.

car dealership inflatable tube guy

How Do Air Dancers Work?

Most people wonder how these air dancers are able to move about so seamlessly while waving through the air. It is actually pretty simple – a combination of lightweight fabric and fans.

The fabric used to construct the fly guy is lightweight, which means it can blow in the wind. This fabric is constructed in the shape of a slim man with long arms (and sometimes loose hair strands). It often has an opening at the head and ends of the arms.

One or more fans are then attached to the bottom of the tube. The electric fan blows wind up and into the fabric, causing it to rise into the air. Despite it being a steady stream of air, the weight of the fabric will cause it to occasionally drop down, and then be blown up again.

This is why air dancers have such a characteristic, dynamic movement to them, which can only be described as a flailing motion.

multiple air dancers

Final Thoughts

Those inflatable men outside car dealerships are fun to look at, but they also serve a purpose. They are mainly used as advertising, as they capture the attention of people driving or walking by, and can be seen from a distance.

They are actually quite simple in their functioning: they work by a fan blowing air up into a tube.

Next time you see an air dancer waving about, you can tell the world the many names they go by, and how they work.

air dancer

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Jen is your go-to expert on all things inflatable, from pools to tents and beyond. A former hot tub rental company owner, she's experienced the ups and downs of inflatables firsthand. Nowadays, she writes practical guides on maintaining and enjoying inflatables. A mom of young enthusiasts, her family's favorite outing is the inflatable fun park!

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