One of the most important parts of a visit to a Buc-ee's travel center -- beyond the brisket sandwiches, Beaver Nuggets, and wall of jerky -- is to take pictures with the statues at each location. Social media is full of people posting their Kodak Fuji photo moments with their favorite gas station mascot.
So, who's behind these iconic statues? Back in February 2019 Austin's CBS affiliate KEYE decided to find out. First off, it's important to note that the statues are created in Texas. We wouldn't want anything else for one of our favorite Lone Star State figures. In fact, they're from Central Texas -- Bastrop about an hour's drive southeast of Austin to be exact.
The source of these wondrous and beloved effigies are from Deep in the Heart Art Foundry. Foundry founder Clint Howard was the lucky guy commissioned to create these pieces of art. Apparently, he had a chance encounter with the "owner" (that's how KEYE reports it; perhaps they were the manager) of the Bastrop Buc-ee's, which is in the same neighborhood as the foundry.
Either way, one thing lead to another, and Howard ended up making a trip down to Buc-ee's HQ in Lake Jackson southwest of Houston. They discussed two different concepts for the statues. One was a more realistic representation of beavers; the other was cartoonish just like the company's logo. Y'all know which one was selected -- the one most resembling the company's branding. Excellent choice.
Fun facts: Each statue consists of 12 parts welded together. As of February 2019, 29 statues were in place at various locations (some have more than one) with five more on order. With how the chain is growing, there are certainly more statues both made and on order now -- with many more no doubt to come in the future.
So, where do we get a statue for ourselves? Well, unfortunately, they're not available to y'all or even us. The foundry and Buc-ee's have an exclusivity agreement. Bless their hearts! Just enjoy knowing that if we could resell them to y'all, they would certainly qualify for free shipping due to their price that certainly would be more than $97.