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Couple collects giants

December 20, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

UNGER, W.VA. -- Some of us collect stamps or small items that we display in a cabinet or bookcase, but that was not enough for Unger residents George and Pam Farnham.

Instead, Farnham's Fantasy Farm began with a 21-foot-tall fiberglass statue of the Midas Muffler Man.

With a fondness for dinosaurs, George Farnham's original plan was to have many fiberglass dinosaur statues on their property.

A large dinosaur could not be found, but Pam Farnham saw the muffler man for sale on eBay in 2004 and bought it.

Now, more than 20 fiberglass statues of unusual yard art between 6 and 25 feet tall stand on their seven-acre homestead. They adorn the front, back and side yards on about two acres surrounding the house and outbuildings.

"It's just like potato chips," Pam Farnham said. "You can't stop."

A 4-foot hippo has not yet been placed in their pond, and the Hamburger Guy needs some repair work before he finds his spot.

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The Farnhams are full-time collectibles dealers and sell on eBay. After they ran out of room in their house, they began looking for yard art.

The statues came from all across America, George Farnham said. Many of them were found on the Internet, and Doug Kirby of the Roadside America Web site "tips them off" when he comes across statues for sale.

The newest addition to join the farm is 17-foot-tall B.B. "Biker Babe" Queen, a Uniroyal Tire Gal that was purchased in Mississippi. B.B. Queen is dwarfed by a 25-foot-high Beach Boy Brian Wilson and the Midas Muffler Man. Big John the Grocery Guy stands at 23 feet next to the muffler man and a 19-foot-high Santa Claus is on the end.

Those five giant statues are lined up in front of the driveway and can be seen from the road.

Pam Farnham said people who drive by have told her that Beach Boy Brian Wilson looks cold in his bathing trunks. She expects more comments on B.B. Queen, who wears a purple bikini, black high-top boots, fingerless gloves and several tattoos.

In another part of the yard, a 6-foot-high 1960s five-car roller coaster with 160 feet of track holds statues of the five-member Simpsons family, with Homer in the front car.

"I wanted this because they are the only seated figures," Farnham said.

Fiberglass figures of crabs that they purchased from Baltimore, apples from Winchester, Va., Blue Bird and Bruce the Shark from a "Finding Nemo" promotion are placed around the property along with two sea horses and a 21-foot-high Paul Bunyan statue that came from Florida.

An eagle with a 12-foot wingspan that came from a North Carolina amusement park is displayed on a pole. Next to it is a pterodactyl with a 15-foot wingspan bought from a miniature golf course in New Jersey.

"He was on a rotating pole on the golf course, but his wing kept hitting the neighbor's roof," Farnham said.

In the front yard of the Farnham home, 6-foot-high statues of Cindy Bear and Ranger Smith of Michigan's Jellystone Park stand ready to greet passers-by and guests.

The Farnhams said they will continue their search for more fiberglass statues, including large dinosaurs.

"We like the reactions when people come by," George Farnham said.

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