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Ambushed by Nature, the Casino Pier Bunyan was severely damaged.
Ambushed by Nature, the Casino Pier Bunyan was severely damaged.

How the Mighty Are Fallen

Seaside Heights, New Jersey

In early August 2002, a riotous wind storm ripped its way across parts of New Jersey's Monmouth County, a region accustomed to chilly Nor 'easters and tidal surges more than quasi-tornados. There were two victims of note...'s Underground Junktorium took on deluge water due to a displaced downspout. As the Field Team obliviously roadtripped across Texas, RA's Home Crew narrowly avoided electrocution while yanking the Turd Bird Collection to safety. A precautionary visit by the fire department, a few power strips and broadband modems replaced -- and HQ was again operational.

Summer 2002 - the calm before the storm.
Summer 2002 - the calm before the storm.

A Jersey Shore Muffler Man was not so lucky. Seaside Height's Casino Pier, a family-oriented compaction of rides, arcades and thrills, has been home to three Muffler Men for many years. We noticed in early July 2002 that the attraction was tempting fate by positioning their repainted classic Muffler Man on the ocean end of the pier, near a roller coaster.

It was great for dramatic photos... until that freak storm hit. Gusts picked up the 20-ft. tall, hollow man -- all 380 lbs. of fiberglass. Beachcombers found him the next day near the surf line -- arm torn loose, feet fractured, decapitated, with major and minor cracks all over his body.

Over a year later we visited. The shattered M-Man still lay among pile of poles and fencing on the Pier, as reported by several tipsters. One of the Halfwits was down as well, in preparation for off-season storage. The new owners are taking more care with all the statues, which include two Vikings, a bald eagle, Mighty Mouse, an Indiana Jones-like explorer, and a striding "Pancakes House"-style lumberjack.

Damaged arm.

They haven't figured exactly what to do with their gravely wounded giant.

We appreciated that the M-Man wasn't just tossed into the trash. At the very least, the undamaged head could be redeployed as a scare along the path of one of the Casino's haunted rides. And Barnacle Bill, in nearby Ortley Beach, told us he'd love to find an M-Man hardship case to revive his fiberglass fashioning skills.

Also see: Muffler Men Home Page

Muffler Man, Formerly Men

800 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, NJ
Garden State Pkwy exit 82. East on Hwy 37 to the beach. Right on Ocean Ave., then south four or five blocks to corner of Grant Ave. and Ocean Terrace on Casino Pier.
Summer daily, weekends April, May, Sep. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Seaside Heights Boardwalk StatuesSeaside Heights Boardwalk Statues, Seaside Heights, NJ - < 1 mi.
Boardwalk Fried DelicaciesBoardwalk Fried Delicacies, Seaside Heights, NJ - < 1 mi.
Muffler Man - Barnacle BillMuffler Man - Barnacle Bill, Ortley Beach, NJ - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Last Identifiable Piece of the Normandie, Brooklyn, NY - 52 mi.

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