Toyota SpongeBob SquarePants Highlander unveiled

This one-of-a-kind Spongebob Squarepants - themed Toyota Highlander

This one-of-a-kind Spongebob Squarepants - themed Toyota Highlander debuted last week in Los Angeles and features custom interiors with several of the show's characters. (Credit: Cars.com)

Who drives his own crossover under the sea? If you read that question to the tune of a certain Nickelodeon children's show's theme song, the answer is obvious: SpongeBob SquarePants! This past weekend, Toyota unveiled a one-of-a-kind 2014 Highlander concept created to sponge off the popularity of the wacky and wildly popular cartoon character.

The world's "first SpongeBob SquarePants-inspired vehicle," which debuted July 13 in San Diego during SpongeBob Day at the Padres versus San Francisco Giants baseball game, features exterior and interior designs customized in honor of the pants-wearing, pineapple-residing Porifera and his pals. The SpongeBob Highlander will tour the nation, making stops between July and December in Baltimore; Orlando, Fla.; Minneapolis; Chicago; Vail, Colo.; Oakland, Calif.; and Los Angeles. It ends its trek at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9. The redesigned-for-2014 Highlander first bowed at the 2013 New York International Auto Show last spring.


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While "SpongeBob SquarePants" is one of the most popular children's shows in TV history, and is still listed at No. 1 among TV.com's top shows for youngsters, the Wall Street Journal reported last year that its ratings had slipped substantially — possibly due to market oversaturation (get it?). Has the 14-year-old SpongeBob fallen out of favor with today's kids? Might there have been a better choice among children's programs for Toyota's concept?

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