The best kept secret in Kansas City may be a museum filled with the world's largest collection of Advertising Icons. Everything from human sized replicas of the Jolly Green Giant and the Pillsbury Doughboy to the Gieco Lizard and Tony the Tiger.
They are among some three-thousand items that have been collected by a local group of advertising executives. Two hundred of the most popular icons are housed in an old firehouse in the Crossroads District. But they're not on public display, at least not yet. The Executive Director of the Advertising Icon Museum, Howard Boasberg, says the museum needs to raise three to four million dollars to pay for a bigger building and staff to put the entire collection on display.
"Any collection like this is a part of our history and our culture," Boasberg says.
He's hoping wealthy benefactors will tour the display at the old firehouse and offer to underwrite the museum's operation. He believes the history of successful advertising campaigns and the icons that represent those brands would draw lots of visitors.
Boasberg adds "Companies have spent zillions of dollars promoting them and to have it here in Kansas City, I think would be a wonderful attraction and good for the city,"
If museum supporters can raise the funds, they already have a building picked out in the Crossroads District. They won't reveal it's exact location but say it's near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.