Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The London 2012 Mascots

I love the Olympics.  Granted, I'm not much of a sports guy, but the concept of the entire world taking some time off to kick a ball around is something I can get behind.

The next Olympics on the horizon are the Summer Games in London, England in 2012.  Now, London's had some trouble with their Olympics already, and that's negative reaction to their Olympic symbols.  Backlash came from all across the world when they unveiled their squiggly logo a few years back:

But, London still had time to recover.  Yesterday, London 2012 revealed their mascots.  Mascots have become an important part of Olympic merchandising over the years.  They say it helps to get the Olympic message out to kids.

So, who gets to join the illustrious comapny of Springy the Springfield Spring, the Atlanta Whatzit, and the Montreal Vampire?

These guys, Wenlock and Mandeville

Right away, the world was united in one question:  what the hell are those things? 

The answer:  they are drops of steel that dropped off the edge of a welder's torch as the last girder was being welded into place at the Olympic Stadium, and they were brought to life by a rainbow.  I am not making that up.

So, this guy is Wenlock, and technically, only he is the mascot of the London 2012 games.  His head is designed to look like the top of a London taxi.  He sports the Olympic rings as friendship bracelets.  He is named for the British town of Much Wenlock, which hosted a sporting competition that inspired the Olympics way back in the 1890s.

This fellow is Mandeville, and technically he's the mascot of the 2012 Paralympic Games.  His head is designed to look like a bicycle helmet.  He's named for the British town of Stoke Mandeville, which hosted the first Paralympics back in 1948.

They both have one eye, because it's supposed to be symbolic of "the single camera lens that allows the world to watch the games."

The reality is they are the ultimate result of design by committee.  They were the result of more than 40 focus groups that determined that kids no longer want "cute and cuddly," instead they want "characters with intriguing backstories that they can interact with."

And interact you can!  With their unveiling yesterday, they also got their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

So, what do you think of the London mascots?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, and one-eyed monster jokes. 

Here's the London 2012 website, if you desire to learn more.

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