Expo Oz Suit - Head

Production date
1986
Country
USA
State/Province
California
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Object detail

Description
Large platypus head with blue beak and oversized slouch hat.
Expo Oz became an international celebrity as the official mascot of World Expo ‘88. Launched on 30 November 1986, he was the focus of publicity leading up to the event, both within and beyond Australia, and later made over 1500 appearances on the Expo site.

The playful character was designed and developed by Bob Moore, character artist for Disney Enterprises, California. Though based on the uniquely Australian platypus, Oz bears some resemblance to his famous American cousin, Donald Duck. Oz was designed to be, above all, ‘warm and cuddly’ and to share the characteristics of a young child — ‘mischievous, inquisitive, excitable, fun and, of course, cute’. Expo organisers consciously avoided a less friendly, robotic character.

Expo Oz was dressed in a jaunty slouch hat, and a green and gold safari suit, its colours reflecting the sunshine and vastness of Australia. The heavy fur costume was worn by dancers, usually female, who had to be short, fit and versatile, able to perform a routine of dancing, prancing, waving, greeting visitors, riding a bicycle, skating, etc. The character did not speak, so was generally accompanied by a human ‘minder’, who was to be a ‘good all round’ average young Australia man, ‘clean cut and personable’. In November 1986 Bob Moore visited Brisbane to provide instruction in animating the character. Four costumes were produced: one kept overseas and others worn in Australia.

At the Expo opening on 30 April 1988, Expo Oz led a procession from Brisbane’s King George Square and thereafter became a daily performer at Expo, as star of the Day Parade and of the Expo Oz Show in the Piazza. Besides his Expo duties, he made regular television and press appearances, visited shopping centres and joined in public events.

Expo Oz also featured in a range of Expo merchandise — from badges and toys to T-shirts and umbrellas — and in the Westpac Oz 88 money box. In addition, he was the subject of a charming children's book, The Story of Expo Oz, by Julie Proctor with illustrations by Mike Champ, published in 1987.
Classification
CH classification COSTUME unisex
Production date
1986
Production place
Measurements
L1030 x W540 x H600
Media/Materials description
Other Synthetic Fibre (Textiles) Acrylic
Plastics (Synthetic Materials)
Cotton (Textiles)
Steel (Metals - Ferrous)
History and use
Mascot for Expo 88 World Fair in Brisbane 1988.
Expo Oz became an international celebrity as the official mascot of World Expo ‘88. Launched on 30 November 1986, he was the focus of publicity leading up to the event, both within and beyond Australia, and later made over 1500 appearances on the Expo site.
Registration number
H22331.4

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