Showing 1 - 5 of 5 posts found matching keyword: records

On June 5 last week, I said that a Canadian company had played "dirty pool" buy paying for costumes to steal the Guinness World Record for "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman" record. Little did I know that on that very same day, an American company bought the title with the very same strategy.

Guinness World Records website reports the story:

In anticipation of the upcoming Warner Bros. movie release, "Man of Steel," Sears invited hundreds of employees to gather at its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA, to try and break the record for largest gathering of people dressed as Superman on June 5.

And as easy as leaping tall buildings in a single bound, they did it, surpassing the previous mark of 437 with a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS number of 566 people dressed as America's most iconic superhero.

Elsewhere, the not-for-profit Superman Celebration managed only 268 people in costume on Sunday. Corporate synergy wins again! Did you notice that the record was achieved exclusively in Man of Steel costumes that were prohibited at the Superman Celebration? I suspect that Lex Luthor must be working for Sears.

While I cannot deny that capitalism is indeed the American Way, I also cannot say that there is much satisfaction to be had in having corporations continue to leverage their work force into achieving a dubious record for the sake of public relations. Certainly, this isn't the way that Superman would shoot for the record. Sears, you can put on Superman's boots, but you clearly cannot fill his shoes.

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This Sunday, June 9, attendees of the annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, will attempt to re-set the world record for "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman." (Yes, this is an actual title.)

I reported on Metropolis' initial successful attempt to set the record in 2008 (read here and here). Metropolis' record of 127 was shattered in 2011 when a company called Nexen Inc ordered costumes for all 437 of of its employees in order to break the record! That's dirty pool! And it only makes matters worse that Nexen is an energy company... in Canada!

For Metropolis to reclaim the record for America, they'll need 438 or more people dressed as Superman this weekend. You'd think that shouldn't be too hard, especially with the hype surrounding Man of Steel coming out next week. But here's the amusing catch: Guinness World Records doesn't recognize the costume worn by Superman in Man of Steel as a Superman costume.

In the movie, as in comics for the past two years, Superman does not wear red shorts over his blue tights. Guinness does not consider costumes without red trunks to be Superman costumes. So any costume that is promoting Warner Brothers' movie or DC Comic properties will not count towards the record!

In my 2008 posts, I commented at length on how mass gatherings of Superman impersonators had to be some sort of evil plot. Now Canadian and Irish corporations are conspiring to keep the Superman records away from Metropolis. I don't see what these villains hope to gain from keeping the record away from Metropolis, but no super villain ever makes his plans too obvious. That we don't know what their goal is just means that we haven't gotten to the penultimate chapter of the story yet.

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The Associated Press reports that the city of Hoschton, GA was denied the world record for "Most Scarecrows in One Place" by Guinness World Records despite having nearly 4 scarecrows per resident. Apparently, Guinness doesn't like to walk around town to find the scarecrows, insisting that the scarecrows needed to be all in one, easily viewable location. My first thought upon seeing this was, "damn you, Guinness, for telling people what records they can break!" My second thought was, "who wants a bunch of scarecrows in their town, anyway?"

Scarecrows should only scare crows, lady. What you're looking at is a scareperson.

Look, Hoschton (pronounced Husch-tun by the old-timers) doesn't really have that much going for it. For years, it's been overshadowed by it's neighbor, Braselton, better known as the hometown of "actress" Kim Basinger. If you'd been overshadowed by somewhere that is only famous as Kim Basinger's hometown, you'd probably be itching for something to call your own, as well. And now further rejection by Guinness may be the last >ahem< straw. A combustible mix of jealousy, rejection, and intimidation: that's how super-villains are born. Could Hoschton be the world's first super-villain town?

Fortunately for Hoschton, there's now an alternative to crime. The World Records Academy (which rather suspiciously has a large image proudly proclaiming their association with PayPal on the homepage of their website) has stepped in and given their vote to Hoschton for the "World Record for Scarecrows." (At the time of this writing, their press release is visible on their media page, right after "Most Tractors in a Parade," "World's Strongest Boy," and "Longest Limbo Skating.") And according to the world's foremost resource for truthiness, Wikipedia, Guinness has graciously agreed to "let the city consider and promote itself" as the "Scarecrow Capital of the World." So maybe all's well that ends well for Hoschton.

For now....

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Update on the quest for Metropolis, Illinois' assault on the Guinness World Record for “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman” at Superman Celebration 2008: They set the record with 127 people, all of whom wore costumes satisfying Guinness' strict standards for Superman costumes complete with "cape, boots and the iconic 'S' on the chest."

127 is a lot. This isn't even 40.

Congratulations, all. Let the world domination begin.

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In case you were unaware, the year 2008 marks the 70th anniversary of Superman. And this year's birthday celebration will coincide with the 30th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, which starts tomorrow and runs through the weekend. (It also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the release of Richard Donner's Superman, the Movie.) In tribute, event organizers hope to qualify for the Guinness Word Record of largest assembly of people dressed as Superman on June 15. Is it just me, or does that seem a little fishy to anyone else?

While I like the wooden hanger, I have to wonder if indestructable fabric can even wrinkle?

It's an established fact that once an evil mastermind has discovered that he cannot hope to best his arch nemesis in direct combat, the evil genius eventually plans to pit his foe against an equal but opposite force in order to wear the hero down either physically or mentally. And since no hero has proven more indomitable than Superman, it's an inevitability that the foes of the Last Son of Krypton would turn to duplicates of the Superman himself in order to further their twisted schemes.

So long as you asked nicely.

Clearly, this tactic has been tried before (Lex Luthor's Bizarro naturally springs to mind), but perhaps event organizer Steven Kirk has something new up his sleeve. Like all great comic book origins, a professional impersonator such as Mr. Kirk would seek to best his foe through his superior acting ability as in the classic Adventures of Superman episode "The Face and the Voice." Notably, Mr. Kirk's resume, in addition to his selected acting credits, lists both "Firearms" and "Wax Figure Sculpting" among his Special Talents. Nefarious, indeed!

Maybe they can take Superman from behind. Wait a minute...

Shame on the Guinness World Record people for assisting in this mad plot. I checked their website. Not surprisingly, there doesn't appear to be any previous record for "Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman." Has everyone already forgotten the lesson from Superman III? Richard Prior, disguised as an Army General, usurps a Smallville celebration for Superman in order to present the Man of Steel with synthetic Kryptonite which ends up splitting Superman into his own impersonator. If there's anything to learn from that disaster (other than to keep your ticket stub so that you can demand a refund), it's to remember that you have to check the credentials of these people before you can allow them to crash your party, Metropolis!

Is this the line for DragonCon?

I, for one, know that I'm not fit (either heroically or physically) to wear the familiar red and blue tights of Superman. So I'll just be sticking stick to my Underoos, thank you.

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To be continued...

 

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