Monday, May 24, 2010

What the...? The 2012 London Olympic Mascots

(Click on picture to enlarge)
In 2007 the organisers of the 2012 London Olympic Games announced the logo for those games, a design based on the numbers 2012:

 The logo was largely disliked. Ken Livingstone, then Lord mayor of London, declared that the design company responsible for the logo should not be paid for what he called a "catastrophic mistake"..

Nonetheless it was defended by a London 2012 spokesperson:
"The emblem is flexible and will evolve over the next five years. Our emblem needs to be modern, bold, flexible and as relevant today as in five years' time. We want our Games to be different. We are hosting them in a different era, in 2012. The emblem needs to work across new platforms that reach young people."
The organisers have now released details of the mascots for the 2012 Games (above) and, if nothing else, the organisers are consistent:

They are named Wenlock and Mandeville and are animations depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton. They are named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner of the current Olympic Games, and Stoke Mandeville, a village in Buckinghamshire where the Paralympic Games were first held.

The mascots have cameras for eyes, taxi headlights, and Wenlock has friendship bracelets in the colour of Olympic rings. Mandeville has a pink stopwatch which symbolises that you can always do better.The story behind the mascots is that the pair begin life as two drops of steel from a factory in Bolton, taken home by a retiring worker who fashions characters out of the metal for his grandchildren. Their single central eye, explained as a camera lens, enables them to see the world, and respond to it. The organisers maintain that the mascots were designed after detailed consultation with children’s focus groups and families.

Comments by columnist Tabataha Southey:
“…(the product of) a drunken one-night stand between a Teletubby and a Dalek. …. I went to school with British children and what I can't believe is that not one of them in the focus groups ever said, “Excuse me, sir, but those mascots look like two huge willies!””

And for a list of the 10 worst mascots for the summer and winter  Olympics, including mentions of Sydney’s Syd, Ollie and Millie, and Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat, click on:

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