Introduction: How to Build a Perry the Platypus Inaction Figure

Picture of How to Build a Perry the Platypus Inaction Figure

Perry the Platypus Inaction Figure is a wooden toy that is modelled after Perry (Disney cartoon characters - Phineas and Ferb's pet platypus).

In the episode Toy to the World, Phineas and Ferb design a toy "so stupidly simple, so basically bland, so idiotically uncomplicated, that it can do absolutely anything."

For my son's 6th birthday party we all made Inaction Figures, it was a lot of fun!!

Here's a step by step guide to make your own Perry. Go on and make a Perry the Platypus Inaction Figure. It does nothing!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

You will need...

Wood (65mm x 45mm) for Perry's body - a length of 120mm
Wood (90mm x 10mm) for Perry's legs, bill and tail - a length of 250mm should be heaps
2 x Wooden plugs (19mm) for Perry's eyes
6 x Wood Screws (8ga x 25mm) for legs and attaching bill
Paint Brush & Paint - Green/Blue (for body), Orange/Brown (Tail), Yellow Brown (for legs, bill, tail detail) and White (for eyes) - a marker pen can be used for the pupils)
Wood Glue
for attaching eyes and tail
Mitre Saw for cutting body to length
Router - you could use a chisel & saw instead
Jigsaw for cutting out legs, bill and tail
Drill for screw guide holes for legs and beak
Tape Measure & Pencil
Screw Driver

Note on paint: Toys really should be painted with paint approved for children's toys - I just used normal test pots though, as this is the cheaper option.

Step 2: Cut Body to Length

Picture of Cut Body to Length

Take your 65mm x 45mm length and using your mitre saw, cut to 120mm.  This will be Perry's body.

Step 3: Cut Out Groove for Tail & Insert for Bill

Picture of Cut Out Groove for Tail & Insert for Bill

Using your router with a 10mm bit, cut a groove 10mm deep, 10mm below the top of the body. If you don't have a router, you can use a saw and a 10mm chisel.

You can cut out the insert for attaching the bill, with either a saw or by using a router (10mm deep by 20mm wide). The 'real' inaction figure doesn't have this insert, but I added this to aid attaching the bill with screws (easier for the children to assemble).

Step 4: Cut Out Tail, Bill, Bill Support & Legs

Picture of Cut Out Tail, Bill, Bill Support & Legs

Draw Perry's tail on the 90mm x 10mm length of wood. The tail length is 80mm (10mm fits into the groove in Perry's body). The tail fans out slightly to around 80mm. Cut out the tail with the jigsaw.

Again on the 90mm x 10mm length of wood, draw Perry's bill. The bill is 75mm long, 55mm protrudes as 20mm fits in the insert for screwing onto the body - note curved front corners. Cut out the bill with the jigsaw.

Draw Perry's legs. The legs are around 35mm high, foot base 25mm, with the width of the leg around 20mm. Cut them out.

The children didn't have a bill support but for posterity's sake, I added one here. The bill support is around 20mm x 20mm with a slight concave curve and two straight edges at 90 degrees. I'll show you how to attach this in step 7.

Step 5: Sand Perry's Pieces

Picture of Sand Perry's Pieces

Taking your sandpaper, sand off the rough & sharp edges ready for painting.

Step 6: Drill Guide Holes for Legs & Bill

Picture of Drill Guide Holes for Legs & Bill

With a small bit (suitable for your screws), drill the leg guide holes (25mm from the base of the foot). Drill two guide holes for the bill screws (around 10mm in from its base). You can counter sink the holes using a larger bit in reverse (this helps the screws sit flush with the wood's surface).

I also marked where the legs will be screwed into the body, 15mm high from the bottom, 35mm in from the front, 20-25mm in from the back.

Step 7: Attach Bill Support to Bill

Picture of Attach Bill Support to Bill

Screw Perry's bill on, then glue on his bill support (centred, flush with his face). Wipe away any excess wood glue. After the glue has set, remove the bill, ready for painting.

Step 8: Paint Perry's Pieces

Picture of Paint Perry's Pieces

Paint Perry's parts and leave them to dry. Green/Blue (his body), Orange/Brown (his tail), Yellow Brown (his legs, bill & tail detail) and White (for his eyes).

Since I have attached the bill using an insert in the body, you may want to paint that part of the bill, body coloured (the first 20mm in from the base of the bill - I liked the new look so kept it bill coloured). You can use a marker pen for colouring the pupils.  The tail pattern/texture can be painted on with the bill/feet colour.

Step 9: Assemble Perry

Picture of Assemble Perry

So this is where the kids got to have fun putting their inaction figures together. They screwed on the bill, glued and slotted the tail, screwed on the feet and glued on the eyes. A little tip here would be to have them name their Perry (with a marker pen), as they look very much alike!

Step 10: Let the Inactivity Begin!

Picture of Let the Inactivity Begin!

I hope this instructable has inspired you to a little inactivity of your own.


Mdlh (author)2015-05-08

how long does it take you to prep/cut all the body parts for one platypus? I was thinking about constructing these for a kids party but I'm not sure how involved it's going to be?

Someone should sell pre-cut kits!

rocketsurgery (author)Mdlh2015-05-10

It really doesn't take too much time as long as you have the right tools. Having a jigsaw or rotary tool certainly helps with the beak, tail and legs. Again, having a router speeds things up with the tail slot, but you can spend more time with a saw and chisel. All up I made nine kits in an evening (including painting etc). It really doesn't take too long, following step by step. It certainly was a fun activity with the kids putting them together. All the best.

saints76 (author)2013-11-01

You should really consider selling these ! Really love them!!!

rocketsurgery (author)saints762013-11-08

You're very kind :)

HDKdesign (author)2013-05-30

Oh my goodness- I never realized how soft my carpets are!, but more importantly, I'm gonna pull a Doctor Doofenshmirtz, so to save money on paint I will grow 3 genetically engineered trees (one in each color needed) so they will already be colored! But then of course the eyes will be either blue or brown.....ohh well, that is a bridge I'll cross when I get there!

(You're going to have to watch a few episodes to get the first and last parts!)

BOT4 (author)2012-01-21

Haha, thats so awesome! your creation inspired me to build a mini version of it like a key chain. You got to love Perry ha :)

craftycat721 (author)2012-01-16

AGENT P! i am so going to make this! thank you for the instructable!

You are very welcome craftycat721, thanks!

patriots8888 (author)2011-12-10

Looks great! I'm going to try and build one

Thank you! If you take a photo, it would be great to see! :)

astroboy907 (author)2011-11-22

Just found this. Our whole family loves P&F, and my sister would love this for Christmas... Might have to make a few for the whole family!! :)

Hey thanks for the comment!!! Let the inaction begin! :)

Yep.. trying to find the best way/time to get this done before christmas with minimal tools- will work on it...
And at the last resort- learn how to use the laser cutter at school and custom cut it :)

astroboy907 (author)astroboy9072011-12-09

oh, and noticed something weird in this... The inaction figures feet, both here and in the show, are yellow colored, like the tail. But Perry himself, has 2 "teal' feet and two tangerine feet. Odd... perry the platypus

Yes very odd :) someone else noticed this in previous comments. So do you make the inaction figure like the inaction figure or do you make it a little more like Perry, tough decision!

guitar-hero (author)2011-07-17

dude, why?

guitar-hero (author)2011-05-30

perry, ooh perry, je bent m'n allerbeste vriend!

Lang leve phineas en ferb!

Ik weet zeker dat ze zullen leven voor altijd ... Het is een klassieker die reeds

vast wel! Het word nog dagelijks bekeken. Ik twijfel alleen of er meer nieuwere afleveringen komen.

Ik heb alleen keek ze op youtube ... Ik gebruik deze website om te zoeken naar de nieuwste afleveringen

Ik gebruik wikipedia ook om de episodes van South Park te zoeken XD.
Ik denk dat ze nu nieuwe episode's aan het maken zijn.

happyjo (author)2011-05-03

Wow! I just love the look of this! :D

rocketsurgery (author)happyjo2011-05-04

Make one... they do nothing... :) Thanks happyjo...

ac69ir (author)2011-04-16

greetings, you responded to my reply beofre and i would like to thank fonext the detailed conversion. My next question is would you be willing to make kits for ppl to buy, I tried to make 1 and i failed horriblely, but i have added some nice tools to my garage.. lol and you would have to paint them or assemble, just cut the wood, to save and i can get the nails to save on shipping so please let me.... thanks in advance the birthday isn't december 2012

rocketsurgery (author)ac69ir2011-04-17

Hi there,

Thanks for being interested in the inaction figure... I would normally be happy to help out... but unfortunately, I don't live in the States... We work in aid and development in Kabul, Afghanistan. Maybe you could find a friend who could help you use those nice tools in your garage? I think you can can do it - just take it slowly... step by step... Hope you find a solution (the kids really enjoyed their Perrys).

Danny09 (author)2010-12-30

"Aren't you a little young to build a Perry The Platypus Inaction Figure?"
"Yes, yes I am."

rocketsurgery (author)Danny092010-12-30

Hey Danny09... actually the quote from that episode was uncharacteristically...

"Hold on there, aren't you a bit young to be toy designers?"
"Well... I don't think so."

Danny09 (author)rocketsurgery2011-01-01

Yeah, but I made up this one to suit the project.

ac69ir (author)2010-12-28

so I'm not sure if you are still checking these, but is it possible to do a version in inches......, i';m not that crafty, and how big are they, from the angle of the picture they look pretty small,

By the way this rocks....

rocketsurgery (author)ac69ir2010-12-28

Thanks ac69ir...

Phineas and Ferb is definitely a favourite! Really the size doesn't matter that much... but try to get the same proportions... The measurements in inches should be...

Wood (2 1/2 inches x 1 3/4 inches) for Perry's body - a length of 4 3/4 inches
Wood (3 1/2 inches x 2/5 inch) for Perry's legs, bill and tail - a length of 10 inches should be heaps 2 x Wooden plugs (3/4 inch) for Perry's eyes 6 x Wood Screws (1 inch) for legs and attaching bill

Hope that helps... again, don't worry too much about the dimensions... get the wood that is around about what you are looking for (that's what I did)... you certainly don't have to be 'crafty'... just take your time and enjoy making something fun!

Ward_Nox (author)2010-10-02

you know i just found out that one of the co creators of P&F wrote for family guy and went into it with the idea of writing a less vulgar version of family guy but keep a similar type of pop couture hummor

CoolHat17 (author)Ward_Nox2010-12-01

How interesting. :D

briancyt (author)2010-10-03 it's like an exact match to the original

yggdrazil (author)2010-09-08

Love it! I must make some for my young-uns. You should so sell them (if Disney would let you :)

rocketsurgery (author)yggdrazil2010-09-12

Thanks for the vote of confidence... not sure if they would sell... they don't do much :)

Ward_Nox (author)rocketsurgery2010-10-02's just a platypus

softballch1k99 (author)2010-08-22

so cute loveit

Thanks softballch1k99... you're very kind :)

naturaldesignchick (author)2010-03-28

Can you teach us how to make a Brick next? Please?

Best. Instructable. Ever.

go to home depot or any hard ware store and buy a brick.

It could never be that simple... naturaldesignchick is an artist and therefore can appreciate the complexity of simplicity... the Brick™, yes, 'is fun', but really how 'fun' would a home depot brick be...? Not nearly as fun as defining the laundry on a wall...

you can't be serious

Yes, uniqueutopia is serious. I've got the definition for laundry on my wall. In the laundry room. As in, "You better help with this chore!"

tba469 (author)2010-06-26

Great guide. I am trying to convert this to inches for us metrically impaired, but the measurements just don't seem right to me. Converting the size for the body, I am coming up with about 2 1/2 inches by 1 3/4 inches, with a length of about 4 3/4 inches. When I look at a board like that, it just doesn't seem right. Are my eye tricking me? Does that conversion seem right? Thanks again, I am going to try to get 5 Perry's ready for my kids and their friends.

rocketsurgery (author)tba4692010-06-26

Hi tba469, Your conversions are fine-ish... really it's more about the approximate ratios and rule of thumb... I'm sure your Perry's will be unique and most likely more true to the original (see the ones below)! Make sure you have enough screwdrivers to keep the kids happy... Hope it all goes well.

solarblade90 (author)2010-06-20

HAHA!! Awesome...Just awesome!

merijnvw (author)2010-04-23

 great instructable! Here is mine next to my cat

rocketsurgery (author)merijnvw2010-04-30

Nice job with your Perry... slightly more inactive than your cat!

I liked your cryptex instructable by the way...

FlutterTree (author)2010-03-31

W00T!!! PERRY FOREVER!!! Or, maybe the show will get canceled, and then, NO MORE PERRY!!!! ( No, I do not watch the show).

Stryker (author)2010-03-29

Thanks for the inspiration, here is my version from a few hours in the shop, paints we had on hand and scrap wood.  My only real change was cutting a groove in the mouth.

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