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Old 06-01-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
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Pink Flamingo Lives

BOSTON — The original pink flamingo lawn ornament, the symbol of kitsch whose obituary was nearly written after its central Massachusetts manufacturer went out of business, is rising phoenix-like from the ashes and taking wing to upstate New York.

A manufacturer that bought the copyright and plastic molds for the original version plans to resume production in Westmoreland, which is south of Rome in Oneida County. HMC International LLC will pick up where Union Products left off last year when it shuttered its Leominster plastics factory after 50 years of flamingo making.

J.C. Waszkiewicz, head of family owned HMC, said Thursday he expects retailers buying his firm’s flamingos wholesale will appreciate subtle design differences between knockoff versions and the original by Don Featherstone, who studied art before Union Products hired him in 1956 to expand its lawn ornament lineup.

“Once I began discussions about buying Union Products, I started examining the different products on the market, and I realized Mr. Featherstone created a great-looking flamingo,” said Waszkiewicz, whose firm closed on its purchase of Union Products in April for an undisclosed price. “There are other people who have tried to capitalize on his design, but none that I’ve seen hold a candle to the quality and detail he created.”

Waszkiewicz’ firm expects to resume Featherstone flamingo production by Labor Day.

The ornaments hit the market in the late 1950s when the color pink was in vogue, and America’s exploding population of suburbanites sought to add flair to their lawns. The flamingos typically sell at $10 to $20 for boxed sets of two — one standing nearly 3 feet high with its head held proudly erect, the other bending over as if munching on grass. Their legs consist of spindly metal rods that can be planted in the ground. The Featherstone originals have their creator’s signature etched into the bird’s plastic rear end.

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Old 06-01-2007, 11:26 AM   #2
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Yeah! Glad to hear it ~

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Old 06-01-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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The folks who paid hundreds for the last few originals may not be happy about this.
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:32 PM   #4
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I'm wondering if there will be some slight difference in the coloring or plastic make up that will differentiate the new products from the originals. If so, those $100+ pairs may still be a good investment.
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:39 PM   #5
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Just as I was trying to buy stuff for my new AS they went poof

Now I can get my fix of tacky again - I love it
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:59 PM   #6
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Lead a Snot into Temptation...

I have the knockoffs (bought them at A/S in Jackson Center, shame on them) and have always wanted a set of the originals.

Last weekend I saw a vacant house for sale, and in the yard were two pairs of the originals! It took all of my willpower to avert my eyes and walk away without freeing them from their flowerbed.

Now I can get some to add to my flock and keep a clear conscience. I'll buy a gross and sell them to fellow Airstreamers.

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Old 06-01-2007, 02:50 PM   #7
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:00 PM   #8
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Talking A near tragedy.

This is a small limb of the tree that came down on my deck, crushing my turkey cooker, guard rail, table, chair, and my Big Green Egg barbeque.

The look on my wife's face when she saw this was priceless. It could have been worse. Now we have plenty of firewood.
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Old 06-02-2007, 05:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SilverRanger
This is a small limb of the tree that came down on my deck, crushing my turkey cooker, guard rail, table, chair, and my Big Green Egg barbeque.

The look on my wife's face when she saw this was priceless. It could have been worse. Now we have plenty of firewood.
Oh no! That poor flamingo! Tell her to look on the bright's not your trailer!

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