Review and images by stargatedalek; edited by bmathison1972
Not long ago I received an eBay coupon as a consolation prize in one of their contests. Unsure what to spend it on, I remembered seeing some surprisingly impressive birds made using a plastic base with real feathers attached and decided to see if they were in fact any higher in quality than the equivalents I once had from many a local dollar store.
This pigeon is made by an unknown Chinese manufacturer (potentially multiple manufacturers may produce identical designs), and is made from a plastic body with real feathers glued to its surface. Though similar products are sold as décor items around the world, these particular birds can be found quite readily through online retailers marketed as toys or educational products.
After my last review, make no mistake based on this birds crude construction or cheap nature, this is a positive review.
Though clearly representing the domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica, the domestic form of the rock dove) the breed depicted appears to be too generic to pinpoint. It has the distinctive stripes of racing pigeons, so describing it as an unidentified hybrid including racing pigeon is the best ID that I think is possible. This is also the group typically seen in introduced populations, so no points for obscure representation here, even if pigeon figures are few and far between.
I can’t speak for the composition of the plastic (almost certainly not CE approved), though it seems to be decently durable at the very least. Most of the feathers appear to be dyed, but the bars on the wings have been painted on and it rubs off easily. Similarly, rather than painting them the feet and beak seem to have been coated in glue and then shrink wrapped with a red plastic that chips and flakes off quite easily.
Despite all of this I can’t help but be impressed. This figure is plenty large, and the sculpting of the feet and beak is not bad at all for what it is. The feathers don’t look particularly impressive, especially on the head, but it is leagues ahead of the smaller equivalents we’re likely accustomed to seeing sold locally.
It looks surprisingly good outside, even standing around on its own. If someone were to purchase a bunch of them and set them up outdoors they could probably look surprisingly realistic. While I certainly wouldn’t want to try cleaning one up to bring it back inside again, they are probably durable enough to be left outside for long periods, at least during warm months.
If you’re a 1:1 scale enthusiast who happens to have a soft spot for pigeons than let us be honest, this and hunting decoys are all we have really got. But if you’re a fan of fixing up weird figures with surprising potential, than this is a perfect project for you. Personally, I can’t wait to see how mine turns out when I’m done with it, and if I like it than maybe I’ll make a whole flock!