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L.A. Auto Show: Who lives in a pineapple in a Toyota? Spongebob Squarepants

November 23, 2013|By Alicia Banks
  • A 2014 Toyota Highlander converted into a "Spongebob Squarepants"-themed aquarium is on display at the L.A. Auto Show.
A 2014 Toyota Highlander converted into a "Spongebob Squarepants"-themed… (Christina House / For The…)

Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants will be living in the back of a Toyota Highlander SUV in downtown Los Angeles for the next week.

Toyota hopes to make a splash at the L.A. Auto Show with an all-new 2014 Highlander that contains a huge aquarium with a replica of the bubbly Nickelodeon character’s underwater haunt, Bikini Bottom. Onlookers can peer into the back of the SUV and find a cheery Spongebob and lazy Patrick Star blowing bubbles near their pineapple- and rock-shaped homes. Twenty kinds of real fish -- including clownfish, flame angelfish and Fiji foxface -- swim around and through the pair of characters inside the tank.

(Sorry, kids. Squidward skipped out on the appearance, probably to practice his clarinet indoors.)

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The project took six weeks to complete. Wayde King and Brett Raymer, who run Acrylic Tank Manufacturing and host Animal Planet’s show “Tanked,” helped build the 800-gallon aquarium.

“We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to take Spongebob to the next level?’” said Rebecca Rosengard, product manager for Toyota. Toyota hopes the spectacle will get children to pull their parents to its display at the show.

This isn’t the first “Spongebob”-themed Highlander. In July, Toyota unveiled one at a San Diego Padres baseball game that sported a colorful Spongebob design on the exterior and the faces of Sandy Cheeks, Mr. Krabs and Gary on the headrests.

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The “Tanked” episode showing how the aquarium was built into the Highlander at the L.A. Auto Show is expected to air in March on Animal Planet. It should highlight new features of the vehicle such as third-row seating.


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