“Make your own ice balls!”
Released in 1974 by Kenner Products, Ice Bird was a toy to make snow cone-inspired treats at home.
Everything needed to get started was in the box. The main component was a plastic orange and yellow bird with a round opening on its back and small metal grater attached to its base. A rectangular tray was included that could be filled with water and placed in the freezer to create a large block of ice. When frozen, the ice block was removed from the tray and set within a shallow recess designed to securely hold the ice block in place.
With one of the plastic cups inserted upside-down into the round opening, the bird could then be slid along the ice until the cup was packed with ice shavings. Once the cup was removed from the bird, a syrup could be drizzled over the shaved ice.
Two tiny plastic spoons and five flavour packets were included: two cherry, two grape, and one lime. An instruction sheet was included and also offered a recipe to make syrups from powdered drink mixes commonly found in grocery stores.
A slip of paper with “Important!” printed at the top promoted adding sugar to the water that was poured into the tray to make the ice. The added sweetness made the treat that much more attractive to children with a sweet tooth.
Kenner Products functioned under the General Mills banner from 1967 to 1985.
Mint-condition examples of the toy aren’t always easy to find. The little plastic bird took some abuse, as pressure was applied to it to force the grater into the surface of the ice. This sometimes resulted in hairline cracks in figure.
Watch a classic commercial for Ice Bird on the Toy Tales YouTube channel.