The London Olympics 2012 – Now With Added MascotsMay 21, 2010
We’ve been all a flutter, here in Londinium. Why would that be, you ask? Well, let me tell you, dear reader. The mascots for the 2012 Olympics made their debut on BBC1’s early evening magazine programme The One Show (why?!) on Wednesday night and, rather predictably, many people went mad for it, and not in a good way. Let me cut to the chase and just show you.
They’re called Wenlock and Mandeville. Wenlock is named after Much Wenlock, the Shropshire town that inspired Pierre de Coubertin to launch the modern Olympics. Mandeville is named after the town of Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire where the Paralympics were founded. They were created by an agency called Iris, where I’m sure they had focus groups to help them fine tune the designs, inspired by the last drops of steel used to build the Olympic stadium. These characters are supposed to appeal to kids (which is probably why many adults can’t stand them). There is a video showing how they came to create these mascots if you want to have a look here http://www.ourlondon2012.com/mascots/. This is not just an agency’s flight of fancy (well, not entirely). There is meaning behind it. The light at the top of their heads was inspired by the lights on our black cabs, the friendship bracelets worn by Wenlock are the five Olympic rings, the tag on Mandeville is a personal best timer. The head shape on Wenlock represents the three medals won in each Olympic event and the head shape on Mandeville is aerodynamic and features the three Paralympic colours. The single eye on both characters is a camera that captures everything as they go along. How appropriate for surveillance Britain in the 21st century. Here are some more pics.
Personally, I don’t think they’re as bad as has been made out (the oversized costumes aside). They’re certainly better than the logo, which quite frankly is a travesty and will forever be our shame. £400,000 for that shit. They really saw us coming.
I also happen to think they’re better than the mascot(s) for the 2004 games in Athens. I didn’t even know it existed, until the papers started comparing mascots of Olympics past. I mean, what is that?
And the Atlanta Olympics? America, hang your head in shame.
I’d better get used to Wenlock and Mandeville because they will be on everything very soon. They’ll need a better version of those costumes by the time we get to 2012, otherwise it will be an embarrassment. Mind you, not as much of an embarrassment as it will be for the poor out of work actors who’ll be wearing them to earn their crust. Well, you’ve got to start somewhere.