Memory Lane: Build Your Own Birds

Don’t be fooled by these unprepossessing little pieces of plastic. Sure, it looks like the easiest model in the world to assemble. But wait, there’s more!

This is the parakeet from Bachmann Birds of the World, vintage 1959. And if you can do a good job of following the instructions for hand-painting it… voila! See the source image

I kept my finished model parakeet at Grammy’s house–mine was painted blue and white instead of green and yellow–and it never failed to turn heads, sitting on its perch in the living room. It was very realistic!

I kept my scarlet tanager at home. There were many birds in this series, but I didn’t get into collecting them. I sorta wish I had, though.

Toys for kids, featuring the development of manual skills, learning to follow directions, and patience in working toward a goal–yeah, tell me you can get that with “Zombie Apocalypse.”


About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

10 responses to “Memory Lane: Build Your Own Birds

  • unknowable2

    That sort of skill building seems to have been lost on the latest generation.

    • leeduigon

      Nobody has any patience.
      But where would be the fun in assembling a model that was pre-painted and could be snapped together in a matter of seconds? I mean, you want the pleasure of **achieving** something, don’t you?

      Oops! I forgot! Achieving anything is racist.

  • Phoebe

    I had a couple of kits, but they were made of many pieces of wood — many, many pieces. Even a single wing was built of several layers of thin balsa wood. I loved them. I remember a cardinal and an oriole, and I know there were at least two others, but I can’t remember what they were.

  • Erlene Talbott

    How cool! When my sons were in school shop class, the elder carved an antelope head from wood pieces, stained it and brought it home. I still display it. The younger son made small pieces of jewelry from metal and painted them. I still have those and wear them. Making things like that develops useful skills for a lifetime.

  • Joshua M. Swanson

    Wow! That is one beautiful-looking bird! I used to like to play with these kinds of toys.

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    I remember these. For awhile my family was into paint by numbers and we still have some from our childhood.

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