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O gauge UFO scene from Menards

An action accessory from Menards
O gauge UFO scene from Menards

Price: $99.99 (no. 279-4439) Features: Fully landscaped diorama with illuminated flying saucer and farm shed, human, cow, dog, and alien figures, motorized cow abduction action. Power supply: Menards no. 279-4062 or no. 279-4050 4.5-volt power supply (sold separately).
Farmers have many worries. The weather changes all the time but never for the better, fuel costs always rise, and the fluctuations of commodity markets make farming more of a gamble than anything seen in Las Vegas.

And then, of course, there are Martians stealing your cows....

Based in Eau Claire, Wis., where I imagine this sort of thing happens all the time, Menards is well positioned to bring the interstellar drama of rural life to O gauge layouts everywhere. Its no. 279-4439 O gauge UFO Scene is a fully assembled and landscaped diorama 15¾ inches wide, 9¾ inches deep, and 7¼ inches high.

The silver flying saucer features a motor-driven claw in its belly that slowly lifts a cow. But the farmer isn’t giving up without a fight. He has thrown a lasso around Bossie and is hauling her back to earth. The tractor beam reasserts itself, pulling the farmer forward as the cow rises. The farmer figure strains back on the rope and lowers the cow. Back and forth the struggle rages.


In common with many of the structures Menards has released, the UFO Scene makes effective use of LED lighting. Bright white lights in the saucer’s underside spotlight the cow-lifting action while a belt of LEDs around the middle of the craft alternately flash blue, red, and green. Up top, the little green man at the controls sits under a clear plastic bubble. The cockpit is illuminated in slowly pulsating green light as white and red LEDs blink on the instrument panels.

The diorama includes an illuminated farm shed, four trees, four round hay bales, and three additional cows. Jack the German Shepherd defends the farmer from two hulking aliens at the UFO’s base.

The craft is lettered Greater East Martian Cow Abduction Co. (“Our Mission Statement: We Take Your Steak!”).

Menards’ UFO Scene is a creative and well-made accessory. Its clever lighting draws the eye, and the tug-of-war action is entertaining.

Now that the company has made a full-fledged action accessory, it will be interesting to see what it has in store for the future. Until then, though, “Keep watching the skies!”


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