Speedway sign shop hoping this guy is advertising's future

2012-12-30T00:00:00Z Speedway sign shop hoping this guy is advertising's futureAngela Pittenger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 30, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The sign flipper in front of Graphic Impact, 5440 E. Speedway, is not a real boy.

In fact, he's a motorized, battery-operated mannequin available for purchase as a custom sign from Graphic Impact for $1,400.

Another model that plugs into the wall is available for $1,200.

The Tucson shop hopes the mannequin is an image of the future in sign-flipping and advertising trends.

His unusual demeanor and realistic appearance garner a lot of attention from people driving by.

People go so far as to stop and pose with him.

"It's kind of weird. … We'll look outside and people are taking their own pictures with him," said Ryan Volin, co-owner of Graphic Impact. "It's kind of insane."

The store owners aren't worried about the mannequin walking away, as he is secured with a chain and brought in at night.

Volin said, "People thought he was real … like he wasn't a very talented sign flipper."

He recalled one person asking, "What was up with the guy out front? He seems like he's sad."

They're surprised when Volin tells them.

"People are like, 'Oh, my god, that's not real?!' "

The mannequin was originally put in front of the store in July with a sign that said "Graphic Impact" as a way to advertise the new type of sign and the shop.

Volin said he couldn't figure out why he had received no calls about it, until he realized that people didn't understand it wasn't a real person.

The sign now reads "Not Real."

"People thought he was real ... like he wasn't a very talented sign flipper."

Ryan Volin, co-owner of Graphic Impact

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at apitteng@azstarnet.com or 573-4137.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.