Howling success: an
inflatable doll turns out to be a real Scream for Robert Fishbone.
WITH existential dreador just O.D.-ing on caffeine? Maybe
what you need is a good scream. Or better yet, the Scream. You
can buy one for around $28. These Screams arent loud; they
are tasteful and suitable for home or office. They are the inflatable
Scream dolls of Robert Fishbone, 4 1/2-foot high simulacra of
Edvard Munchs famous 1893 expressionist painting. (Scream
Jr., which sells for $10 and is meant for desktop shrieking, stands
just 19 inches tall.)
43, whose St. Louis-based On the Wall Productions has sold 100,000
of the inflatables in the last three years, mainly through catalogs
and museum shops, thinks the dolls are perfect emblems of our
angst-ridden times. "A lot of people have a certain level
of panic in their lives," he says.
and his wife and partner, Sarah Linquist, 42, werent always
into Munchie-see, Munchie-do. They are actually serious muralists.
In 1991 they created a series of cutout displays based on famous
paintingsincluding Munchs. "Everyone said, Thats
great, " says the New Jersey-born Fishbone, who uses
only his surname professionally.
says, "the idea of an inflatable just popped into my head."
The initial run of 12,000 dolls was a hitand sales soared
when the actual Munch painting was stolen for three months earlier
this year. "Weve done somewhere between $1 million
and $1 1/2 million gross in a little over 2 1/2 years," says
Fishbone, whose other offerings include the Mona Lisa, a Pin the
Ear on Van Gogh party game and a Little Happy Guy inflatable,
an antidote to the Scream. "Moneywise, we do much better
than we could do painting murals."
"I think every therapists office should have one,"
says Fishbone of his Munchkins.
August 15, 1994 v42 n7 p69(1).
text black on white
scream, I scream....
(Mar 3, 1997)
'The Scream' Stolen From Exhibit (Feb 13, 1994)