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Northland kumara grower giving Big Fresh’s famous giant vegetables a new lease of life to honour dad

Animatronic vegetables that were a feature of iconic supermarket chain Big Fresh are set for a new lease of life in Northland after being discovered at an Auckland op shop.

Seven Sharp reports the Kaipara Kumara packhouse at Ruawai is home to a piece of New Zealand history that's about to be joined by a whole lot of new friends.

Big Fresh was known for its eccentric accessories, the animatronic vegetables.

But when Whangārei Big Fresh was bought out by one of the big supermarket chains, Peter Blundell's dad, Gary, swooped in and gave them a new home on the roof of the Kaipara Kumara factory.

Kumara the "king" stands proudly on top of the factory, surrounded by commoners like the carrot and avocado.

"Dad did set them up with motors so they were moving and stuff like that. But that didn't last long with the weather and everything like that," Peter said.

"His theory was he would put the vegetables up there and put the kumara front and centre as being the king of the vegetables," he said.

"[They] might cause accidents sometimes because you quite often see people stop on the road taking photos."

Unfortunately, the smiling, if somewhat creepy mascots of other Big Fresh stores around New Zealand were lost - until now.

Some were found at an Auckland op shop and Ruawai's mascot family is about to get bigger.

It was Peter's sister-in-law who spied them on Trade Me and he said they cost "about four grand".

They decided it was the perfect way to honour their dad. But first up, the new members need some tender loving care in the maintenance department.

And then, when you drive through Ruawai you'll see them join their brothers.

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The now-defunct supermarket chain’s characters are set to live on in Ruawai. Source: Seven Sharp