How a 6-foot-tall Mickey Mouse statue and lobster claws for hands brought him back to Boston

How a 6-foot-tall Mickey Mouse statue and lobster claws for hands brought him back to Boston

Nearly 20 years ago, if you were strolling through Quincy Market, you might have noticed the odd—some would say inappropriate—monument amidst the bustle of tourists and shoppers. At 6 feet tall, the classic children’s character had a wide grin and a spiny lobster tail running down his back, fitting a harborside attraction.

The rat crustacean made its debut in 2003, and was one of 75 similar Mickey Mouse-inspired sculptures commissioned to celebrate the cartoon character’s 75th anniversary. they were Designed by many artists and celebrities (among them Tom Hanks, Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and Ben Affleck), he was conjured by children from different states.

The Boston-inspired piece made quite an impression. People snapped pictures next to the large orange oddity, or tried to stick their heads between its giant tentacles, which were painted in lifelike detail as if the statue had been pulled from boiling water.

But it proved to be a flash in a buttered skillet. In 2005, the statue subsequently disappeared Sold at auction Organized by Disney, which raised $7,500 for the Boston Academy of Arts. It was soon largely forgotten.

Twelve years later, Point, the creative director of Boston sneaker store Concepts, was scouring the Internet when he came across photos of a unique sculpture from Massachusetts. Concepts collaborates with Nike on a line Lobster-themed sneakersAnd the local crab flag was looking for ways to promote the shoes.

“Lobsta Mickey,” which appeared in his search results, struck him as the perfect fit.

He would spend the next five years trying to pick it up. While there were traces of her online ones Enter The Atlas Obscura website for hidden spots, weird landmarks, and a reference to the statue at Comic strip “Zippy the Pinhead” From 2019, called “Mouse Droppings,” there wasn’t a whole lot around where it went.

The “Lobsta Mickey” statue once again proudly appeared at Faneuil Hall in a New Jersey park, where it had fallen into disrepair.Nikita Petrov

Some people think it’s still on the waterfront, not far from the statues of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. A handful of people even made the trek to see her, unaware she was gone.

“Help us please! We are looking for Lobster Mickey. This is what impresses us and would like to visit,” one tourist wrote. last year, in a post on Reddit Boston. “It’s the only reason to go to Boston in the middle of May – if anyone has any info, comment below. Please.”

For Point, who has given up completely, his search became even more urgent this year as Concepts geared up to launch an orange version of the lobster shoes.

Then “lo and behold,” he discovered a listing of the long-lost relic on eBay in July.

“A gentleman in New Jersey was trying to get rid of him,” he said.

It’s a small world, after all.

The “Lobsta Mickey” statue proudly displayed at Faneuil Hall has resurfaced in a New Jersey park, having fallen into disrepair.Nikita Petrov

Breanna Rowlette hasn’t thought about a statue in years.

She was an 8-year-old “little reporter” for Radio Disney’s Boston outpost when the company asked her talent to provide ideas for concepts for a Mickey figurine, inspired by their hometown.

Roulette dreamed up the idea of ​​lobster and painted it on her family’s kitchen table in Lowell.

Design “Lobsta Mickey” and keep watching national tour which included running outside of Faneuil Ballroom, was part of its strong year as the radio station interviewed some of the era’s biggest stars. She called it “the highlight of my childhood”.

Now 27 and living in New Hampshire, she was shocked to learn that her handiwork was set after all this time.

“It’s incredible that something that happened so long ago is coming back to the surface,” Roulette said. “It’s crazy for me to think about it.”

Point finalized a deal a few weeks later with the man in New Jersey—he asked not to be identified—and sent a crew with a truck to collect his prize.

But when they got there, its shape was jagged: Mickey had been badly discolored and exposed to sunlight, it had split from head to fin in fissures, and its concrete foundation was crumbling.

“It was covered in moss,” said Nikita Petrov, head of VIP Movers Boston, who was assigned to the rescue mission. “It looks like he’s been sitting outside for 10 years.”

He was already turning heads before he got home. At a weighing station in Connecticut, a police officer orders Petrov to open his truck to inspect an object as heavy as a piano.

He said: What is this? “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Petrov. “He had to take a picture to show his kids.”

Once back in Boston, she was given a second life. Point hired a local artist to renovate and repaint her body, and while he wouldn’t say exactly how much Concepts invested in the project, it was “much more” than the $7,500 first fetched at auction.

The day before Halloween, the inventive “Lobsta Mickey” finally makes its city debut, when it takes place at Concepts in Newbury Street. show room. And just like before, it captivates visitors again.

“People were a little intimidated,” Point said of the customer response. “People think we made this thing, which of course we didn’t.”

But she won’t stay there for long.

Point said he plans to keep “Lobsta Mickey” on display through the holiday season, but then find a new home somewhere “inside Boston” where it can be enjoyed long-term.

Keep your ears to the ground.

A statue of Mickey Mouse with lobster claws is on display at Concepts shoe store on Newbury Street.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Spencer Buell can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @employee.

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