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SpongeBob Squarepants is too excited for the Toyota Highlander

For minimal cost, Toyota has infiltrated the minds of young children with this outrageously happy Highlander.

By Clifford Atiyeh Jul 15, 2013 9:33AM
While Toyota's "RAV4 Genie" commercials got teenage boys to fantasize about Kaley Cuoco granting their every desire -- all thanks to huge ad budgets that started during the Super Bowl -- the automaker knows younger kids can be bought for cheap.

For the negligible costs of a vinyl wrap job and a promotional website, there's not much more that could grab an 8-year-old's attention for 30 seconds than a giant, rolling shrine to SpongeBob Squarepants. That's the idea behind the SpongeBob Toyota Highlander, a custom SUV that will travel to summer events throughout the country with the show's outlandish characters in tow for meet-and-greets.

On the outside, SpongeBob's goofy, overexcited face looks ready to eat other drivers, but on the inside, his feigned puppy-dog expression (the kind any young child knows how to manipulate with ease) is embroidered on the driver's headrest. Other characters -- and we had to look these up on Nickelodeon's website, we swear -- are Patrick the pink starfish, Squidward the "stick-in-the-mud" and Sandy Cheeks the squirrel, all popping off bright yellow and white leather seats.

The ocean pattern headliner is the best part, as it actually feels like you might be trapped in a cartoon world deep under the sea. Kids can also log on to the special Toyota website to wrap their own Highlander in an array of (very creepy) SpongeBob graphics. Still, it's all good for Toyota's marketing department, since no one until now was actually happy to see a Highlander.

If your kid's a SpongeBob fan, you'll have to travel to one of just seven events to see the decked-out Highlander, starting in Baltimore on July 19 for the Artscape Festival. We're still trying to figure out the subliminal messages of SpongeBob's devilish grins. Please, make him stop staring at us!

SpongeBob Toyota Highlander (c) ToyotaSpongeBob Toyota Highlander (c) Toyota
[Source: Toyota]

Jul 15, 2013 12:54PM
I can't imagine anyone traveling more than about.....20 ft. to take a look at this vehicle. The marketing department must have been hitting the saki pretty hard the night they came up with this idea.
Jul 15, 2013 11:37PM
Looks like someone in upper management made a bet with their child and lost. I give the interior a nod for creativity but the exterior just doesn't seem to hold the same level of thought.
Jul 16, 2013 1:41AM

Are they out of their minds?  Now they are marketing to children?


And what parent in their right mind is going to take the recommendation of an 8 year old to buy a brand new car?

Jul 16, 2013 1:11AM
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa as he would say
Jul 16, 2013 3:09AM

How Many Miles Does It Get To A Gallon Of Water?

Jul 16, 2013 4:17AM
I Want one!!! No ... Really, I do. I love spongebob. And my grandkids would think it was COOL!  I wear spongebob jammies and shirts, and I buy notebooks with Spongebob!  Something for everyone I guess. I would drive this WAYYYY before I would drive one of those ugly box cars!!!!
Jul 16, 2013 1:56AM
Let me at 8....dorky at 12.....and the car still has years of traveling fun remaining. 
Jul 16, 2013 1:18AM
Common people, this car is going to sell. there are enough people out there with money to burn who will buy this car to impress their little bundle of joy. To quote an old phrase "Build it, they will come"
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