Friday, June 17, 2011

PA. Lottery's 'Gus The Groundhog" Has A Secret

'Gus The Groundhog' is the mascot and the "spokesperson" for the Pennsylvania Lottery.
He calls himself the second-most-famous groundhog in Pennsylvania.
But Gus and the MOST famous groundhog (the one in Puxawlony who comes out in Groundhog Day) aren't related and really have virtually nothing in common. In fact, Gus isn't related to any other living creature.
That's cause he ain't real.
Gus is what is called an animitronic rod puppet.
And he's been VERY effective. Since he began shilling for the lottery, sales have $16 million a month to $22 million.
Here's what the web site character-shop has to say about Gus:
He has a foam body and a synthetic fur covering, but underneath he's like the Terminator, with machined aluminum joints, servomechanisms, and cables of steel!
Gus requires 4 puppeteers to operate: One for his head and body, one for his arms, and another 2 for all his facial movements. His face is incredibly expressive, with dual axis ears, eyes up/down. eyes side/side, and blinks, 2-axis eyebrows, nose up/down, 2 axis jaw, smile, and 4 axis lip movement. This enables Gus to smile, frown, smirk, speak, and come to life!
As he is so small, many of the servos needed to provide his animatronic funcions are mounted externally, with the cables running through spring housings on their way up to his head.
 Click here to read about Gus and other mechanical characters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't like the genderless groundhog and will not buy a ticket as long as he is around.