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.
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!!
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.
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.