Fruit or Fowl?

Submitted by Douglas Wood March 18th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a piece of fruit! It’s a bank! It’s all three! This plastic 1/2 Orange, 1/2 Bird character (cleverly named “Orange Bird”) was the corporate mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission. It (not sure if it’s a boy or a girl) appeared at the Sunshine Tree Terrace concession stand at Disney World beginning in 1971 as well as in commercials, print ads, souvenir shops etc.

Despite appearing in commercials and on a record with notorious homophobic Florida Citrus Commission spokeswoman Anita Bryant, the androgynous aviary citrusoid managed to emerge unscathed from a huge controversy in 1977. When Bryant began campaigning against anti-gay discrimination legislation, she was soon dumped by the FCC but the more sexually enlightened Orange Bird was not.

3 Responses to “Fruit or Fowl?”

  1. Allee Willis

    An excellent sign of Kitsch is something that tries to be all things to all people. Being a toy, a bank, a fruit, someone who hates fruits (Anita Bryant) and a 45 as well as one of those overstuffed figures that walks around places like Disneyland has not disappointed.

    I love the look of this thing, the font on the bank and everything about it ( except for Anita Bryant). Excellent selection of photos as well!!

  2. denny

    Doug….you beat me to it! I too have the “Orange Bird” lp and wasn’t sure about posting it because of Anita Bryant. She makes me want to spit tacks. Such a shame because I think Anita Bryant actually had a wonderful voice. I found my lp at Amoeba Records on Sunset.

  3. Douglas Wood

    Actually, I don’t have the record, just the plastic bank. I found a photo of the record on a website, so feel free to post it yourself if you’d like. Yes, I agree Anita Bryant is heinous, but her connection to the Orange Bird somehow increases its kitsch value for me.