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Location: Springfield, MO, United States

I'm often called Funtooguy because I've promoted and marketed waterslide temporary tattoos since 1988. I view my products as an alternative to the lifetime commitment of real tattoos. I constantly do research to find the most realistic and best quality in the industry.

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Funtoos Blog

This blog is by the owner of and discusses issues related to all sorts of waterslide temporary tattoos.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Temporary Tattoo Parlors were big in the 90's

Temporary tattoo parlors were popular at festivals and other events through the 90's and into the 2000's, but they began to fade away by 2005.  We operated Temporary Tattoo Parlors during that period, but once cheap waterslide tattoos appeared in stores and vending machines, the perceived value of a quality temporary tattoo declined.

We always had lines of people waiting to get "tattoos". The photo at left was taken during an open house for a Harley-Davidson dealer in 2004.

The photo at the right shows one of our technicians applying a temporary tattoo while other people viewed our display boards and waited their turn.

At some venues we had as many as 3 technicians applying temporary tattoos with a fourth person helping people choose their tattoo and getting them lined up for the next available technician.

So why did people loose interest in Temporary Tattoo Parlors?  One reason was that temporary tattoos became common with the introduction of lower quality and cheaper products.  The perceived value of a quality temporary tattoo dropped to that of lower quality products in the consumer's mind.  For festivals, we always based prices on the cost of the quality product plus the markup for displays and the time to apply the tattoo.

A small tattoo would run $2 or $3 with large tattoos selling for as much as $9.  The most popular were in the $4 to $6 range.  After a while, it was no longer cost efficient to work festivals due to the vendor fees and reduction of sales volume.

We also worked company picnics and similar events where we billed the sponsor on an hourly basis.  That worked for awhile, but tight budgets resulted in sponsors choosing face painters at half the cost of what we could charge.  After all, we had product cost and provided a quality waterslide temporary tattoo with professional application that was waterproof and could last for days.  It also involved a lot more labor in setting up our extensive displays. Eventually, we gave up doing events to focus our attention on providing high quality waterslide temporary tattoos to individual users through our mail order division.

Does this mean temporary  tattoo parlors are a thing of the past?  Not really.  They are still popular at parties and school events.  We even offer a wide assortment of Temporary Tattoo Parlor Kits that includes tattoos, laminated display sheets, inventory system, and detailed instructions. These are great fun at birthday parties and even adult parties. 

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