Big Fresh animatronic food characters go on sale

Huge animatronic anthropomorphic food items that once entertained and terrified children in a supermarket have gone on sale. 

The human-sized characters once graced the premises of a Big Fresh supermarket, before the chain was shut down in 2003. They're now up for grabs on Trade Me

"Since moving to smaller premises unfortunately we just don't have the space to keep these NZ iconic characters," seller Junk & Disorderly said. 

"We are very sad to part with them and want them to go together rather than splitting them up and selling them individually."

Eleven characters are up for grabs, "including a banana, a luncheon roll, yogurt, butter, cheese, carrot, mushroom and other bits". 

"All have been a bit knocked around with the moves they have had but would be pretty easy to return to their former glory if that is what you want.  As per photos some parts mostly limbs have been removed so they are easier to store and move around."

Big Fresh characters
The crew are being sold altogether. Photo credit: Junk & Disorderly/Trade Me

The reserve price is $4500, and the auction ends on September 22. If you're the winner, you have to pick them up yourself.

"They were stars in a rather strange show called Get it To Te Papa," the auction reads.

Lightbox show Get It To Te Papa found the items at Junk & Disorderly in 2018.

Inventor Bill Harris said he came up with the idea after a "couple of wines".

"It took the boredom out of ordinary-day shopping," he told host Hayden Donnell, adding that he wished they'd been donated to kindergartens after the chain was closed in 2003.

"It takes a lot of space and has a lot of gimmickry with it," Progressive Enterprises managing director Ted van Arkel said at the time. "That was fine in the early '80s but consumers have moved on."

Newshub has asked which store the characters on sale came from. 

Kiwi users of web forum Reddit were excited to see the characters again.

"Makes me realise just how homogenous and boring our supermarkets are these days," wrote user camelsauce. "Who says you can't do your shopping and be horrified at the same time?"

"I still get the sausage song stuck in my head every single time there's a barbecue," said user soonhappy. "Really, what would you do in a world without sausages?"