Billy Bob - Original Walkaround

The original walkaround is significant because at the 1st ShowBiz in Kansas City, Billy Bob existed only as a walkaround character (the Rock-afire Explosion was still being developed). This Billy Bob had a Birthday Bird on his shoulder, and his overalls had wide red-orange stripes and thin yellow stripes, very similar to the overalls on the 1981 doll.

Billy Bob - Early Walkarounds

In the early 1980s, ShowBiz Pizza Place used a variety of different Billy Bob walkaround costumes. These may have been produced by an assortment of local suppliers, or perhaps they were standard models available from corporate. Judging from the different varieties, it's hard to imagine that they produced so many "standardized" versions over such a short period of time. Early walkaround models are noticeable because of the heavy eyebrows, and many were produced with latex faces.

Billy Bob - ShowBiz Standard Version

This walkaround costume was the standard version provided by corporate ShowBiz through most of the 1980s. It appeared in many printed advertisements, promotional posters, television commercials, and was used extensively in the Cyberstar showtapes. The head was made primarily of fiberglass, with a latex tooth and nose.

Billy Bob - Creative Engineering Standard Version

The Billy Bob walkaround designed by Creative Engineering was much more detailed and realistic than the standard ShowBiz version. Many ShowBiz stores employed this particular walkaround however, as well as many of the restaurant chains that came after.

Rock-afire Explosion - Creative Engineering Versions

Along with Billy Bob, CEI also produced walkarounds for the rest of the Rock-afire Explosion, including a unique one of Looney Bird in his barrel. Some of these actually appeared in ShowBiz restaurants, but they were most likely used for promotional purposes. They appeared at the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans, and also in some Family Vision ski trip videos. The Looney Bird costume was revived in the 1990s for "Looney Bird's Tips for the Hip" video segments.

Rock-afire Explosion - Cyberstar Video Costumes

ShowBiz Pizza used walkaround characters of the Rock-afire Explosion extensively in the Cyberstar videos of the late 1980s. JM Costumers was commissioned to produce these costumes. Versions of Fatz, Mitzi, Dook, Beach Bear, and Billy Bob were all created (although ShowBiz ended up using the "Standard" version of the Billy Bob walkaround in the videos).

New Rock-afire Explosion Costumes

In the mid-1990s Creative Engineering produced a set of four walkaround costumes based on the designs on the New Rock-afire Characters - Billy Bob (with a polka-dot shirt), Looney Bird (in his lab coat), Fatz (with a glittery bowtie), and Mitzi (in her new purple and black dress). These walkarounds were used at the Looney Bird's in Orlando, and the lab coat Looney was also used at the two subsequent Looney Bird's locations in TN and LA.

Billy Bob - Talking Walkaround (Prototype)

In the early 1990s Creative Engineering also experimented with an animated version of the costumed characters. These "talking" walkarounds were capable of interacting with the Rock-afire Explosion in a wireless performance - with synchronized mouth movements just like the characters onstage. However even with a modest sale price of $9400, they failed to catch on in the market. Most customers weren't willing to spend the extra money over the traditional walkaround. A version of Fatz was in production, but was never completed.