Let's just start at the beginning here. This is a 2014 Toyota Highlander – you know, the redesigned one that bowed in New York earlier this year. I haven't driven it yet, but I'm sure it's plenty nice and will appeal to all sorts of families. Families with kids. Kids who like cartoons. Cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants.
Which brings me to our next talking point: the collaboration between Toyota and Nickelodeon for the Spongebob-themed wrap that covers every inch of this Highlander. This isn't the first time we've seen the yellow cartoon sponge on a Highlander – Toyota unveiled a differently wrapped version earlier this year – but this one features more of an aquatic, under-the-sea sort of theme. Perfect, considering the main point of this crossover's reason for being at SEMA.
The folks behind Tanked – a show on Animal Planet following the adventures of two designers who build aquariums for top celebrities, restaurants, Fortune 500 companies and more – have designed a special fish tank that fits inside the Highlander. With an 800-gallon capacity, the aquarium houses about 115 individual fish, and incorporates a whole host of Spongebob stuff inside.
Of course, this is merely a fun project that will make Spongebob fans happy, and following its debut at SEMA, the Spongebob Highlander aquarium will make its way to the LA Auto Show in a few weeks. Have a full look at it in the gallery above.
Animal Planet's 'Tanked' Transforms Vehicle With 800-Gallon Aquarium
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 5, 2013) – Dive into an underwater adventure with the 2014 SpongeBob Highlander: Tanked Edition, revealed for the first time at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas Nov. 5-7.
About 115 individual fish will swim in the 800-gallon custom tank designed by Animal Planet's "Tanked" co-stars Wayde King and Brett Raymer in partnership with Toyota and Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants." King and Raymer co-own Acrylic Tank Manufacturingand build more than 200 projects a year for top celebrities, luxury hotels, casinos, Fortune 500 businesses and private homes.
The aquarium tank begins behind the front two seats of the all-new 2014 Highlander SUV and stretches the length of the vehicle. More than 32 species populate the saltwater setting, including starfish (like the SpongeBob character, Patrick), squirrelfish, Fiji foxface, flame angel, clownfish and pilot fish. A custom-built, complex filtration system includes an overflow system, sterilizer, UV filter, temperature regulator and additional elements. The fish arrived from Los Angeles and had two days to acclimate to the tank before the watery showcase.
The SpongeBob theme carries throughout the interior details and the exterior wrap of the vehicle.
"Brett and I love the challenge of designing aquariums in every shape and size and welcomed the opportunity to bring living art like this to SEMA," King said. "The teams at Toyota and Nickelodeon gave us great platforms in the Highlander and SpongeBob SquarePants to create something fun and inspiring for fans."
The "Tanked" episode is expected to air in March 2014 on Animal Planet and also will highlight the features of the new Highlander, including distinctive new styling, smart storage and tons of technology.
"When we talk about the size and versatility of the new 2014 Highlander, we now can add how many fish swam inside one," said Jack Hollis, vice president of marketing for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "The 'Tanked' designers and Nickelodeon combined the mystery of the ocean and the fun of SpongeBob into a Highlander everyone will be talking about at SEMA."
After the SEMA Show, the 2014 SpongeBob Highlander: Tanked Edition will travel to the LA Auto Show.
"We hope fans across the country will enjoy this new take on the 2014 SpongeBob Highlander," said Pam Kaufman, chief marketing officer, Nickelodeon Group. "With the addition of this amazing new aquarium created by the incredible team at Animal Planet's 'Tanked,' fans will get an opportunity to experience SpongeBob SquarePants' Bikini Bottom like never before."
To find information about the "Tanked" episode when it's available, visit http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/tanked.