KAWS Companion rendering Macy's

The character first appeared on bus-stop posters in the late 1990s and a few people saw it. Years later, it became a toy and a few more people saw it and collected it. Soon, the Companion, a character created by the acclaimed artist KAWS, will be seen by millions of people in New York City and more than 50 million people on TV when it becomes a balloon in the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“I grew up in Jersey City, watching the parade on TV,” KAWS, born Brian Donnelly, told The New York Times. “It was more important than the holiday itself. To have my character in a lineup with Snoopy and Kermit is a real dream.”

The balloon will be 40-feet long, 34-feet wide and and 30-feet tall.

It's not the first time a fine artist has been has been tapped to design a balloon for the parade -- Takashi Murakami did it in 2010 -- but it is quite an accomplishment for an artist who grew up writing graffiti across the Hudson River in Jersey City. The parade will be attended by an estimated 3.5 million in New York City.

In addition to the balloon, Macy's says in a press release that KAWS, who is based in Brooklyn, will also create the advertising used to promote the parade.

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