Pins with packaging (3), Sydney 2000 Olympic Games mascots, Syd, Millie, Ollie, plastic/metal/paper, mascots designed by Matthew Hatton, Sydney, 1998, pins made in China, c.2000
In 1998, SOCOG launched its family of three mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. These characters - an echidna, kookaburra and platypus - would "inspire, entertain, inform and embrace people in a friendly, welcoming style that would encapsulate the spirit of Sydney" (Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Image Guidelines, SOCOG Image Department, 1998). They would also serve more practical functions of promoting and adorning merchandise, and appearing on banners, signage and other decorative material for the Games. Each mascot would also be patron to several Olympic sports.
Sydney graphic designer, Matthew Hatton, developed the suite of three mascots in 1997 as part of an official competition. His intention was to create characters that would represent the earth, air and water, and would encapsulate the spirits of Sydney, the Olympic Games and the new millennium. The resulting characters, 'Syd', 'Olly' and 'Millie', became integral to the visual theme of the Sydney 2000 Games.
Syd, a platypus, was a dynamic athlete who embodied the Australian character and represented the environment. He was patron of environmental programmes, including Green Games 2000, a major environmental initiative for Sydney 2000. Olly, a kookaburra, was custodian of the Olympic rings and symbolised the ethos and history of the Olympic Games. He was a representative for current affaires and general information. Millie, an echidna, was mastermind of new technologies and represented hope and optimism for the new millennium. She was an advocate of the internet and education. Together, these three figures served both highly profitable icons for Sydney 2000.
The Sydney 2000 Image Department monitored and approved the creative use of the Olympic mascots on official merchandising. Its 1998 publication, the 'Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Image Guidelines', specified the correct size, colour, pose and background for each mascot, and included brief character profiles, personalised footprints and signatures.
These three pin sets represent 'Syd', 'Millie' and 'Olly' - the three mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Each set, comprising a plastic pin and card, illustrates one mascot and lists the Olympic sports that the mascot was patronise to. (Syd was patron to fourteen Olympic sports, Millie was patron to nine, and Olly was patron to five.) The sets, which are individually numbered, retailed for AUD$6.95 as official licensed products of the Sydney 2000 Games. They are important examples of the inexpensive souvenirs that commemorated the Olympic Games, and are complementary to other souvenirs in the Sydney 2000 Games Collection.