Winged cows, space shuttles and giant turtles are just a few of the many hot air balloon designs adorning the skies. Designs frequently feature mascots or logos and are often used to promote movies, products and events. While the most common hot air balloon shape is the basic inverted teardrop shape, others are made in more exotic shapes such as newspapers, forklifts and frogs.
Bulldogs, beagles and bunnies are all types of hot air balloon designs. To promote its batteries, the Energizer® bunny with his drum has been featured as a hot air balloon. The child toy product, Mr. Potato Head®, also is a hot air balloon, as is Mr. Peanut®. Another common icon balloon is Snoopy.
Movie characters are common designs. Characters such as Shrek, Horton and Kermit the Frog have balloons modeled after them. Hot air balloons are also designed as Thomas the Train and Humpty Dumpty. Several Disney® characters and themes are depicted in hot air balloons, including Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse and Epcot’s Spaceship Earth icon. Other character-shaped hot air balloons include a knight and bagpiper.
Many hot air balloon designs are aeronautical in nature, including balloons resembling space shuttles, blimps and airplanes. Some transportation-based designs include a pirate ship, motorcycle and steam engine. There's even a hot air balloon shaped like a forklift. Some hot air balloons are sport-themed and resemble soccer balls, basketballs and footballs.
Hot air balloons can also take on bird shapes, such as owls, chicks and parrots. Animals are also common hot air balloon shapes, including pandas, polar bears and cows. Some hot air balloons feature more unique designs, such as birthday cakes, a barnyard, or Jesus floating on a cloud. There's even a hot air balloon shaped like a Jack 'o lantern.
Some hot air balloon designs are shaped like actual consumer products, including golf balls and soda and beer bottles. Vehicle-shaped balloons are used to advertise businesses, such as trucks and cars. Other promotional shapes include a coffee mug from Nescafe® and a Ronald McDonald balloon from McDonald's® restaurant. Ball Park® even has a hot air balloon shaped like a hotdog in a bun.
Grapefruits, strawberries and bananas have designs modeled after them. For Star Wars movie fans, there's even a hot air balloon designed to look like Darth Vader's helmet. A fairytale-based balloon is a giant shoe, which is based on "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe."