Quik Bunny, also referred to as Quicky or the Nesquik Bunny is an anthropomorphic rabbit character that serves as the official mascot of Nestlé's powdered beverage brand, Nesquik. The bunny made his debut in 1973, sporting a pink coat of fur on the strawberry cans of Nesquik. The character was later updated, featuring an animated brown bunny wearing a large red "Q" on a collar-like necklace
Quik Bunny's given name evokes associations with speed and easiness within the consumer's mind. The animal choice of a bunny was intentional, as a play on the phrase "Quick, like a bunny". In television commercials, Quicky's voice acting work is done by Barry Gordon, though several other voice actors have periodically taken over the role. In 2000, the character's name was changed to the "Nesquik Bunny", replacing the "Q" necklace with an "N".
History with the Macy's Parade
Quik Bunny made his Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in the 1987 Parade, appearing as a walk-around character costume. During this appearance, he waved to the crowd along the Parade route as he made his way to the famed Herald Square.
The Quik Bunny was later transformed into a ballooning behemonth for the 1988 Macy's Parade, in the form of a six-story tall giant helium balloon. The character's parent company, Nestlé, approached Macy's in early 1988 about the possibility of having their mascot represented in the Parade. "We debated back and forth," explained Parade director Jean McFaddin, "was it appropriate?," fearing the character may only be seen as a product endorsement. Nestlé was put on hold, until fortuitously, McFaddin dreamed up the idea of having a giant balloon celebrate the marching bands.
She asked Nestlé, "Will you agree that he can be beating a drum?", and the company agreed. The Quik Bunny balloon features the "march hare" himself outfitted in a bright green band uniform with 21-foot epaulets, an 18-foot hat and a 121⁄2-wide drum. In total, the balloon measures 68-feet tall and 34-feet wide, weighs 520 pounds and requires more than 15,000 cubic feet of helium to fly.
Throughout the Quik Bunny's appearances in Parade, the balloon would experience multiple traumas as a result of its large size and upright position. During its premiere flight, the balloon's left foot was snagged by a tree branch, however only a marginal amount of helium was lost.
Following his appearance in the Macy's Parade in New York, the Quik Bunny balloon flew south and made an appearance in early December at the Macy's-Egleston Christmas Parade, which featured fellow balloons, including newcomers Snoopy and Woodstock.
In 1991, the Quik Bunny balloon was blown into lamppost as a result of heavy winds. The impact tore open the balloon's left hand and attached drum stick, both of which deflated in the process.
Quik Bunny made a special appearance at the Mall of America in September 1992. For this appearance, the bandleader bunny was joined by Bart Simpson, Spider-Man, Betty Boop, The Pink Panther and Woody Woodpecker as they marched in a special Parade in the mall's parking lot, alongside marching bands and treats for the more than 15,000 spectators in attendance.
The 1993 Macy's Parade was one of the windiest yet, resulting in several balloons being damaged. The Quik Bunny was one of these balloons, as his right arm suffered a minor puncture in addition to a deflated tail. In 1994, the balloon was pushed into a tree along Central Park West, leaving the Quik Bunny with a deflated left ear.
Quik Bunny would make appearances outside of the Parade at the 1995 and 1996 Macy's Balloon-A-Thon events. The exhibition of air sculptures and fantasy floats gave visitors a up-close-and-personal look at the famed holiday spectacle, and was ticketed as "the largest exhibit of Macy's giant balloons ever gathered under one roof!"
Quik Bunny would experience his most major accident during the 1997 Parade. Winds gusting up to 40mph battered nearly half of the Parade's inflatable cast, and the drum-playing rabbit was no exception. The balloon's appearance was delayed as a result of it having problems leaving the 77th Street inflation area. The balloon was eventually able to join the line of march, taking the Barney balloon's planned position. During the struggle of turning the balloon onto Central Park West, the left ear was popped by a tree and rapidly deflated. As the balloon travelled down the Parade route, it experienced further trauma.
Upon arriving at Times Square, a lamp post snagged the balloon and tore the aforementioned ear and a portion of the hat clean off, exposing the inside of the balloon. Despite its extensive damages, the balloon continued down the Parade route but was eventually pulled at 36th Street. Following this appearance, the balloon was shipped back to Macy's Parade Studio and repaired by a team of master balloonatics.
The Quik Bunny would return to the lineup for the 1998 Parade, only to face turbulence once more. Before Parade step-off, the balloon swayed wildly in the winds as a result of a balloon handler shortage. Despite their best efforts, the handlers already on the balloon were unable to keep it stable, as it crashed into a nearby tree and deflated, causing the balloon to be removed.
Quik Bunny was able to make a successful reprise appearance in the 1999 Parade, noticeably deflated as a result of both the newly-attached utility vehicles, and the extensive damages from previous incidents. Following this appearance, the Quik Bunny balloon was permanently retired from the line of march.
Though the balloon took its final flight in 1999, Quik Bunny made an appearance in 2001 as a costumed character on the Toon Balloon-Abration! float, alongside other Macy's balloon characters who celebratied the Parade's diamond jubilee milestone. Since this appearance, Nestlé nor Quik Bunny have been represented in the Parade in any way.
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