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Pink Flamingos: The Comeback Kid Of Collectibles

Jan 16, 2008
Pink Flamingo collectibles are either totally loved or completely ignored. Of course all this depends on taste and subjectivity. Some consider it art as others consider the pink flamingo worthless. The popularity of the pink flamingo as a decorative object dates back to the 1940's a company called Union Products in a small Ma. Town called Leminster.

For years, the company produced various two dimensional yard ornaments such as dogs, ducks, etc. They had not yet thought of the pink flamingo. Sales were brisk, and there was not a lot of motivation for research and development of new product designs.

Union's lawn ornaments were were cute, but not really known to be but there was not a lot to them. Just painted two dimensional animals. So Union recruited a serious art student who worked at Union named Don Featherstone. Although he was a commited sculptor and classical art student, his first project was to redesign their popular duck and this time make it 3-dimensional The company figured it would be a bigger seller. The company was wrong and the 3d duck ended up in the local park. He had used a live duck as a model but still no real success. He then figured people wanted color and something exotic. Pink Flamingos came to mind but he could not find a live one for a model so he turned to National Geographic.

Don built the first model out of clay. Then he made a plaster cast. The plaster cast, in turn, was used to form the molds for the plastic. The original design called for detailed wooden legs, but they proved to be too costly and were replaced by the metal ones still seen today. While the exact date was never recorded, the first pink flamingo was created several years before 1960. Sometimes in 1957 the first one was made. This was excellent "trend timing" for the flamingo. The American population was moving out of the city and behind white picket fence lawns, a perfect resting place for the big pink bird. The late 1950's fashion trends were bright, bold colors. Grays and blacks were the "colors of the bland 1950's and people were ready for a change.

The plastic industry was thriving and now allowed for hot colors like bright green, vivid ruby, and, of course, hot flamingo pink. Pink refrigerators, washing machines, and of course and Cadillac dealers couldn't keep the pink ones in stock. The love of the pink flamingo was short-lived due to timing. The 1960's was a time of rebellion, especially against anything man-made, and the plastic flamingo was certainly not heaven-sent (though many serious collectors still consider it so). All the major department stores, (Sears being the biggest back then as this was way pre-Walmart) removed the items from lack of sales.

Collectors went underground to flea markets and niche gift shops as they still do. Many collectors are still very serious about the pink flamingo and go so far as to take them on vacation with them as if they were friends or relatives. But what is art to one is garbage to someone else. For instance, bans have been placed on pink flamingos in many towns nationwide. As a result, Union Plastics was forced to introduce a blue flamingo to work inside the laws of city ordinances. But the angry anti-flamingo-for-yard-art communies changed the laws to ban all plastic flamingos. Many residents refused to obey the obey this law which has rarely been enforced in most towns that have it.

Pink Flamingo collectibles are hotter today than they were the day they were released. There are serious collectors and trade shows. They are some of the most desirable items for hobbyists around the country, and the Internet is where the majority of the shopping is done, saving collectors large amounts of money from having to travel to find their beloved bird. Now they are available on everything from day planners to mousepads to to hoodies to track suits., all valuable and desirable collectibles (for those who love them that is and it appears there are a lot of you out there!!)
About the Author
Internet's Top Offbeat Cartoonist and e-store owner runs several stores that sales a large variety of rare brand new pink flamingo collectibles America's Favorite Collectible: The Pink Flamingo, and
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