Sunday, August 16, 2009

FAST Signs in Sparta, Wisconsin

Have you ever wondered where all the large fiberglass figures come from that populate the amusement parks, theme restaurants and children's pools? The kinds of animals and other beings that inhabit places like M. Schettl Freight Sales?

The poorly kept secret: FAST Signs, located in Sparta, Wisconsin (a few miles east of La Crosse).

At FAST, you won't see a lot of finished figures, because the idea is to get them painted and move them to their permanent homes.

Orange cartoonish lion. Green frog in the background appears to be licking the lion's elbow.
But there are a few samples out in the yard, such as this odd lion, getting his elbow licked by a giant frog.

What you do get to see at FAST are the molds that are used to create the figures; they're all stored outside. The largest one we saw was a dinosaur so large that it was stored in pieces -- one leg was about 7 feet tall.

Gray fiberglass horse head.
Other residents of the yard ranged from a horse's head growing out of the ground...

Three gray fiberglass cows in varying sizes a family of cows...

A buffalo mold on its side a tilting buffalo...

A mold for the Big Boy restaurant figure, surrounded by grass Big Boy (at FAST, he's always out standing in his field!).

Pink pattern that looks like the inside of a shell
I loved the inside of this ice cream cone top.

Sign with the FAST name spelled out, and the letters FAST made out of shapes
FAST stands for Fiberglass Animals, Shapes & Trademarks, like the sign mold says. Worth a trip, and not too far from I-90!

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

I almost made a trip to Schettl's when visiting my sister in WI last month but decided it was too far from Madison.

I love all your pictures and comments as you travel. Keep 'em coming!