A tiny town is being over-run by Minions and the shadowy mastermind behind the invasion is proving harder to unmask than any criminal genius from the cult cartoon.
Scrap metal sculptures of Minions, the slavish race of short yellow henchmen for James Bond-style super villains in the Despicable Me series of kids’ movies, have been mysteriously popping up around the western Victoria town of Warrak.
Locals such as Mountainside Wines co-owner Shane Goninon are baffled about who made the 24 sculptures and why.
‘We’re (Warrak) only a little place of about 70 people and they’ve just been appearing and no one knows who is doing it so it’s really quite funny,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.
Mr Goninon said the first Minion appeared after almost everyone in the town attended a Christmas party.
‘One of the people up the road, John, went home after the party and out the front of his house was the first one and no one knew what was going on,’ Mr Goninon said.
Sculptures of cult cartoon characters the Minions have been mysteriously appearing overnight in the small Victorian town of Warrak
The Minion that appeared outside the property belonging to the local racetrack stewards adopted an appropriate jockey attire
‘They just put up on the community Facebook page that ‘we got home last night and Santa Claus has left a letter box.
‘Since then every couple of weeks they have been appearing overnight and we are up to about 24 of them now.’
Mr Goninon said the maker had to be a local because of the inside knowledge that went into tailoring the Minions for each recipient.
The second one that appeared was outside the property of a Melbourne Demons AFL club supporter so it was kitted out in the jersey colours of red and blue.
‘Someone further up there’s a mad Collingwood supporter, so theirs is black and white,’ Mr Goninon said.
A particularly thoughtful Minion was delivered to the home of Gwen Pilgrim.
‘They knew that Gwen was really into gardening so hers has got a plant growing out of the top of it,’ Mr Goninon said.
‘Which was really good because she is fighting cancer at the moment so she was really happy to get one.’
A specially tailored pot plant Minion appeared at the property of a keen gardener who has been battling cancer
This Minion has adopted the armour of Australian bush ranger legend and folk hero Ned Kelly
Since last December Minions have been popping up roughly every fortnight in the Victorian town of Warrak
Other examples of specially crafted Minions include a jockey outside the neighbouring houses of a father and daughter who act as stewards for the local race club, and a firefighter that appeared under the town’s central fire warning sign.
Outside Mr Goninon and his wife Jane’s property there is Minion pouring a bottle into a wineglass balanced on its head.
‘We’re a small boutique little winery and this one’s turned up and is pouring a bottle of one of our old labels, we’ve run out of that vintage so they did pretty well to get that,’ Mr Goninon said.
The town does not have many children but Mr Goninon said a family ‘down the road’ has two young boys.
‘When we were up to 12 or 13 (Minions) they were actually going out every morning to see if they got one and after a couple of weeks one appeared there so they were wrapped,’ he said.
Mr Goninon said the town’s Facebook community page was abuzz with Minion sightings and speculation.
Jane and Shane Goninon say they have noticed more cars going past their winery since the Minions began appearing
Some of the Minions, such as this reindeer one, act as letterboxes while others are just ornamental
‘As soon as any go up they put it on there and they get all the comments going,’ he said.
‘Two or three people are blaming each other and it’s all in jest. Everyone is having a talk and a laugh about it.’
With the Minions starting to attract attention from across Australia and around the globe, Mr Goninon said they were starting to prove a local attraction.
‘We’ve noticed more cars going past, families going past having a look,’ he said.
‘A few of the local nursing homes and schools have brought mini-buses around having a look.’
As to who the real culprit behind the scrap metal sculptures is Mr Goninon points the finger at born-and-bred local Daniel Buckingham who has a sculpture of Gru, the criminal mastermind who leads the Minions in the movies.
‘He’s the one a few of us suspect because he’s pretty community minded he’s got the skills to do it but he passionately denies it.’ Mr Gonimon said.
But Mr Buckingham and others have pointed the finger right back.
‘A few of the people are having a go at us saying we have done it to get more people going to the winery but anybody who knows me knows I don’t have any skills in that area,’ Mr Goninon protested.
‘I couldn’t make them to save my life.’
The Minions are made out of gas cannisters of varying sizes with eyes that appear to be metal dog drinking bowls with reflectors placed inside and arms welded out of tubing.
The Minion maker has has been able to remain anonymous by dropping them off under cover of darkness as there are no street lights in the region.
However, the mystery figure has been captured on one property’s CCTV.
‘Whoever was doing it was dressed up as Santa Claus in a bear suit,’ Mr Goninon said.
‘It looked like it only took them two and a half minutes to put the hole in, put the Minion in and fill it up with concrete.
‘They have a big jug of water and throw in a couple of handfuls of quick drying cement.’
When it came down to it Mr Goninon admitted that some mysteries are best left unsolved.
‘No one wants to find out,’ he said.
‘Everyone’s having a laugh with it.’
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