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The King (of Kitsch) Has Left the Building

by on Nov 10, 2006

On November 1st 2006, the original pink plastic flamingo was slatted for extinction. Due to rising production costs, its manufacturer, Union Products of Leominster, MA decided to put an end to its life.

The Birth of an Icon

Born in 1957 to its creator Don Featherstone, the plastic birds have become the symbol of kitsch. To read more about the man and his bird, read Mr. Featherstone’s book, The Original Pink Flamingos: Slendor on the Grass. Mr. Featherstone sculpted his original prototype from clay. He used as his model a National Geographic photograph to ensure the bird’s realistic features.

Father Featherstone

Mr. Featherstone was saddened by the proposed passing of his creation, as was Union Products’ CEO Dennis Plante. Both men hope for the birds’ de-extinction, which is a distinct possibility. With a production number of 250,000 birds a year, the ‘mingos have been a popular item. Two companies–one in the U.S. the other in Canada–have expressed interest in picking up the pink plastic torch.

The Return of the King

But until the resurrection of the King of Kitsch, you can get your fill of everything flamingo at where you can even find pink plastic “poser lawn flamingos.” Not as good as the original, I’m sure, but they’ll get you by in a pinch.