Duck puppet used in Opening Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Constructed by Al Martinez Studios, from a design by Christina Smith, Designer, Ceremonies Team, Melbourne 2006.

Known as 'the Duck', this puppet was one of the stars of the Ceremony, held at the MCG on 15 March 2006. It was the toy pulled by the principal star of the Ceremony, 'the Boy' in the first artistic segment of the Ceremony, 'The Boy on the Bay'. The duck has a mechanism which makes its wings pop out when a wire is pulled.

The duck was moved down a stage constructed in the MCG by means of a white cord attached to its underside. It stopped on top of a concealed trapdoor and a transformation took place in which 'Stellar the fantasy duck' replaced it on the stage.

The crew working on the ceremony named the Duck 'Rufus'.

Design inspired by cartoonist Michael Leunig's drawings of ducks. Developed in mid-2005, the style and shape of the duck evolved significantly over the months leading up to the ceremony. See associated sketch material for references to developmental process. See video shot for 'Spirit of the Games' exhibition for interviews with Al Martinez about the process of making the puppet.

Physical Description

White duck puppet with a red collar and a bell. Puppet moves on three wheels, two at the front and one at the back. Duck is made from fibreglass-coated polystyrene, over a wooden frame. Wings made of white painted polyethelyene foam Wire attached to the front of the puppet, concealed in white fabric, was used to release its wings. Attached to this wire is a long white tape.

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