Get the Pink Flamingo

Sena bought a yard ornament. No, it was not a pink flamingo. It’s a Fiery Metal Kinetic Dual Spinning Garden Stake (FMKDSGS). A name like that and right away you know it’s going to be one of those products requiring owner assembly and your skills and patience will be tested. Take my advice and get the pink flamingo.

Our skills were sorely tested, mainly because the product arrived with puzzling and missing instructions and what looked like extra parts. It’s from the Alpine Corporation, a wholesaler based in The City of Commerce, California although the box label clearly says the product was made in China. I usually have pretty good luck with products manufactured in China, but not this time.

The Owner’s Manual does not include a picture showing all the parts needed for assembly, for some reason. On page 2 there are pictures of the rear and front spinners, the stake parts, a connector, and a cap nut. However, there are no pictures for the two sets of nuts, what I think might be some kind of spacers or bearings, and covers that arrived with the product. There are no instructions for what to do with them. The post was crooked because the sections didn’t screw in straight.

I found a pdf of the Owner’s Manual on line, but it had all the same flaws as the original. I couldn’t find a YouTube video about assembly. I tried installing the nuts, bearings, and little covers where I thought they should go, but often the spinners refused to spin and the connector would come loose. It would only sort of work without wiggling apart when I put the spacer/bearing piece on the threaded top section of the pole or connector first, then slipped the cover over the spacer bearing, and twisted the nut over that.

At times, I half-expected little gray aliens would manifest from the spinners (could be some kind of vortex wormhole) and laugh at me.

The product is sold under slightly different names by on-line retailers. I could not find anything about FMKDSGS at the corporate Alpine web site. The Alpine contact form spelled one retailer’s name (Menards) wrong (“Mernards”). It’s not BBB accredited but there are a couple of complaints about customer service and work environment.

I tried different ways to connect the mystery parts to the two spinners. I got pretty frustrated, which was echoed by a couple of reviews by other Amazon customers who complained about missing instructions and being forced into trial and error problem-solving. We didn’t see those reviews before buying the product.

After a lot of trial and error, I thought I made the thing work.  I still didn’t know if it was put together right, though. Both spinners spun although the front spinner often stalled. It didn’t immediately fall apart when it was stuck in the ground and took the breeze. However, we were not confident it wouldn’t collapse in the near future—so we returned it to the store.

Pink flamingos don’t look that bad.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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