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May 19, 2010 12:22 PM   Subscribe

Meet Wenlock and Mandeville - the official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots... the press are talking them up... but there are some objectors Previous design work for 2012 has not gone down well. Past Olympic mascots.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (89 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
One of them is wearing the "Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob" logo. Excellent.
posted by eriko at 12:25 PM on May 19, 2010


...and the other is wearing a crotchless unitard. Oh, England!

He said they had the most positive reaction in workshops to road test them.

Really? Were the other designs, like, a scone covered in thorns and a hubcap with seasonal affective disorder?
posted by Greg Nog at 12:29 PM on May 19, 2010 [33 favorites]


They seem to be going for some kind of record in the category of poor design for these Olympics. Mandeville has sort of tentacle hands to go with his crotchess jumper.
posted by Babblesort at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2010


They are really terrifying, aren't they?
posted by PinkMoose at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2010


my first reaction to that photo was AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
posted by raw sugar at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2010


It's like the polished, web 2.0 version of a turd.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Eyeballs with legs, one of them in a crotchless leotard? Why?
posted by longsleeves at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2010


Come back Izzy, all is forgiven...
posted by Gridlock Joe at 12:32 PM on May 19, 2010


Blowjob logo. Scary mascots (crotchless unitard!).

2012 is shaping up to be the most inappropriate games ever. Well done London!
posted by mazola at 12:33 PM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dear Olympics:

Please stop with the silly mascots. Olympics don't need mascots.

Thanks
posted by birdherder at 12:33 PM on May 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


When does The Doctor show up to save us from them?
posted by JoanArkham at 12:33 PM on May 19, 2010 [9 favorites]


I watched the little video ("Meet" link) and thought they were cute. I was all ready to comment and say: "They're cartoons. They're fine. Who cares?"

Then I saw the photograph ("Talking" link). Shudder.
posted by 256 at 12:36 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Olympics don't need mascots.

It's all about the merchandising...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:38 PM on May 19, 2010


The blue one is incontinent, the orange one has Lisa Simpson giving a blow job on his chest.

They're probably reasonably emblematic of the UK bid, all told.
posted by Coobeastie at 12:39 PM on May 19, 2010


...has not gone down well.

I see what you did there.
posted by rokusan at 12:39 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


They do look like Doctor Who aliens, don't they? Like if the Daleks mated with Teletubbies.
posted by spoobnooble at 12:39 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh my god I didn't think they could do any worse than that abominable logo, but they have.
Crap logo, crap mascots, crap low-budget P3 buildings... almost makes me glad I don't live in London any more. Almost.
posted by Flashman at 12:39 PM on May 19, 2010


I don't know about y'all, but I'm going to have nightmares about being trapped in a confined space with those creepy, alien-looking mascots.

They will fuck me endlessly, relentlessly.
posted by rokusan at 12:41 PM on May 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


They look like they've escaped from late 90s Wales.
posted by dng at 12:42 PM on May 19, 2010


"Among the designs rejected at the start of an open pitch process were anthropomorphic pigeons, an animated tea pot and a Big Ben with arms and legs."

Now you now how these won.
posted by sleepcrime at 12:43 PM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


And on the design front 2012 is looking a lot more Millennium Dome rather than London Eye or Gherkin
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:43 PM on May 19, 2010


Come on England, what's with the Euro trash design?
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:43 PM on May 19, 2010


"Organisers hope Wenlock and Mandeville will rank alongside the more fondly remembered mascots, such as Waldi the dachshund from the 1972 Berlin games and Misha the bear from the 1980 Moscow Olympics – rather than the much maligned Izzy of Atlanta 1996."

Hope springs eternal, doesn't it?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:44 PM on May 19, 2010


Why is the London Olympics trying to pretend it's taking place in Tokyo in 1987?
posted by PenDevil at 12:44 PM on May 19, 2010


See also.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:44 PM on May 19, 2010


"OI KIDS WE TOOK YOU OUT OF YER DICKENSIAN WORKHOUSE CUZ THEY SAID WE NEED A FOCUS GROUP, YEAH?"

"ROIGHT"

"OKAY KIDS SO WHAT DO YOU FINK OF YOU FINK OF ENGLAND"

"OLD MAN WHO AINT GOT NO JOB"
"KIDS WHA AINT GOT NO PARENTS"
"DANGEROUS METAL WASTE PRODUCTS DRIPPING ONTO CONCRETE FLOOR"
"BEING BURDENED WIFF THE WASTE METAL THE WHOLE RIDE HOME SOS WE LEARN OUR LESSON"

"ROIGHT ROIGHT HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT RAINBOWS"

"WE AINT NEVA SEEN A RAINBOW SIR"

"YOULL LOVE IT, WELL PUT A RAINBOW IN THERE TOO"
posted by Greg Nog at 12:46 PM on May 19, 2010 [50 favorites]


Okay then.
posted by zarq at 12:46 PM on May 19, 2010


One of them is wearing the "Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob" logo.

Oh, I thought that was the Sportsfest logo.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:47 PM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


They look like Kang and Kodos. Fitting, given the Lisa Simpson BJ logo.
posted by the dief at 12:47 PM on May 19, 2010


They look like Homer Simpson designed them. Come to think of it, he's actually a better designer than the committee that came up with these.
posted by jontyjago at 12:47 PM on May 19, 2010


Seriously though: it's London, in England. Bulldog, lion, sorted. Maybe just a pair of bulldogs. Stop trying to be so fucking clever.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:50 PM on May 19, 2010 [12 favorites]


LION AND UNICORN MAKE THE OLYMPICS THAT REBIRTH OF LISA FRANK
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel really, really sorry for anyone who has to design a mascot. They have to be inoffensive, cool, cute, universally appealing, symbolic, representative, unique, inclusive, colorful, revolutionary, neutral..... etc etc.

Oh, and the main thing is, they have to be made into one of those big cuddly toy suits.

I mean, how many possible variations are there on one of those suits?!

Granted, Wenlock and Mandeville were not variations I would have anticipated...

Here in Shanghai, the mascot for the 2010 World Expo, Haibao, is an example of a different kind of mascot disaster: the generic blue blob inexplicably plastered everywhere disaster.

The lack of excitement he inspires in kids is one of the saddest things in the world.
posted by HELLOWORLD at 12:54 PM on May 19, 2010


Oh Vancouver. Although your games are quickly becoming a distant memory, I long for your adorable mascots to return so I can wash away the stain inside my head of one-eyed monsters in crotchless unitards.
posted by cazoo at 12:54 PM on May 19, 2010


Seriously though: it's London, in England. Bulldog, lion, sorted. Maybe just a pair of bulldogs. Stop trying to be so fucking clever.

Throw a damn bowler hat on top of a bulldog, give the thing a monocle, BAM!

Roight, Roight, Guvner, I'll take my design fee now...
posted by Chrischris at 12:55 PM on May 19, 2010 [5 favorites]




Seriously though: it's London, in England. Bulldog, lion, sorted. Maybe just a pair of bulldogs. Stop trying to be so fucking clever.


Or a cartoon image of a surveillance camera mounted to a pint of beer! London!
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:59 PM on May 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


Dr. Who? No. But I do expect them to burst into a lively rendition of "I want to eat your face".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:04 PM on May 19, 2010


They remind me of Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba.

Great, now I'm going to have There's a Party in My Tummy... stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
posted by zarq at 1:04 PM on May 19, 2010


Is there some requirement that Olympic mascots must be designed such that they do not in any way stimulate anthropomorphic pareidolia?

Seriously, there's been over 20 years of olympic mascots that I have to stare at intently in order to figure out if they even have a face.
posted by ursus_comiter at 1:07 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


You just wait. The next design task will be the various uniforms for athletes. We're talking MC Hammer parachute pants and a neon beret. Oh and face masks that make you look like a lamprey.
posted by msbutah at 1:12 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is why Switzerland needs the Olympics a third time.

Mummenschanz freaking mascots.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:16 PM on May 19, 2010


Chrome-plated sex toys available at a discount from Argos.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:20 PM on May 19, 2010


Was Pedobear too busy to be bothered?
posted by fijiwriter at 1:21 PM on May 19, 2010


So we can look forward to a generation of kids with recurring nightmares of one-eyed aliens in crotchless chaps?
posted by JaredSeth at 1:27 PM on May 19, 2010


They're like Sheldon J. Plankton's ugly cousins.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:37 PM on May 19, 2010


"They remind you of aliens, which is really weird and cool," said 10-year-old Ali. "It reminds you of the Olympics, which is worldwide so it's something you'll want to remember forever," added 11-year-old Zanyab as they cavorted with life-size mascots for the cameras.
posted by doublehappy at 1:46 PM on May 19, 2010


"Organisers hope Wenlock and Mandeville will rank alongside the more fondly remembered mascots, such as Waldi the dachshund from the 1972 Berlin games and Misha the bear from the 1980 Moscow Olympics – rather than the much maligned Izzy of Atlanta 1996."

I admit I'm not the most loyal Olympic viewer, but I have watched enough over the years. I can't for the life of me recall a single mascot from past Olympics.

In fact, up until this thread I wasn't even aware that there were mascots for the Olympics, unless you count those miniature pre-teen gymnasts.
posted by bondcliff at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2010


I disabled the wendell account in the nick of time. Because you know I would have felt obligated to use Wenlock as my profile picture. And that would not have "gone down well". I wonder how mandyman feels about Mandeville.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:51 PM on May 19, 2010


CCTV cameras with magic rainbows and neon jewelry. This can't go anywhere good.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 2:01 PM on May 19, 2010


Olympics don't need mascots.
It's all about the merchandising...


I wondered why Vancouver had not one but two ugly mascots. Then it occurred to me that they could sell twice as many of them that way.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 2:02 PM on May 19, 2010


Yikes. Cleanup on Airstrip One.
posted by ChuqD at 2:10 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait until they become giant sized and fight Ultraman! It's going to be the highlight of the games!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:12 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good lord those...things...are terrifying. If you pause the video in the "Meet" link at 1:46 it's not hard to imagine Wenlock and Mandeville are aggressive alien invaders who just activated their death ray.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:17 PM on May 19, 2010


So if you actually click around on their site a little bit, you find out that the lights on their heads are supposed to be inspired by the black taxis of London. Why? Why?? If your Olympic mascots have symbolism pulled from cars, don't you think someone might tell you that you're doing it wrong?
posted by Mizu at 2:28 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


When your ass gets beat by a laughably horrible parody Olympics mascot named Springy, it's time to fold it up, designers.

With all the Simpsons references, how can I possibly be the first to mention Springy? What the hell? Is everyone in here under 30 or something?
posted by norm at 2:49 PM on May 19, 2010


Those things are hideous. But at least no one will be able to smuggle Pedobear into the logo.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:06 PM on May 19, 2010


That cartoon video is just so nauseatingly corporate-cutesy. Like a teddy bear designed by the Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern.
posted by gottabefunky at 3:16 PM on May 19, 2010


"Organisers hope Wenlock and Mandeville will rank alongside the more fondly remembered mascots, such as Waldi the dachshund from the 1972 Berlin games and Misha the bear from the 1980 Moscow Olympics – rather than the much maligned Izzy of Atlanta 1996."

Do you think they meant the 1972 Munich games, famous for something other than the mascot? Or the 1936 Berlin games, I would be fascinated to see what the mascot for that was like.
posted by biffa at 4:02 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yep, Munich. Waldi was later assassinated by a Shin Bet kill squad.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:13 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Terrifying example of what happens when the English design by committee.
posted by shinybaum at 4:19 PM on May 19, 2010


Argh! The logo... the font... the shiny blog things doing some kind of horrible high five... the horrid EVERYTHING!

/frantically closes browser in attempt to avoid having to claw out own eyes.
posted by Artw at 4:26 PM on May 19, 2010


And lets not forget that this Olympics was the setting for one of the worst episodes of Doctor Who ever.
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on May 19, 2010


Yeah, pretty much every bit of graphic design they've done so far for these Olympics really sucks. Which is weird, because the architectural design is rather nice - I go past the Olympic stadium and aquatic centre on the train on a semi-regular basis, and I already really like what they've done with it.

They should just re-use World Cup Willie and have done with it.
posted by ZsigE at 4:39 PM on May 19, 2010


Oh god... the place is going to be saturated with this shit, isn;t it? For the first time I am really glad I don't live in London or the UK anymore. I didn't even say that when the Tories got in.
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM on May 19, 2010


Hey, I think these mascots are great. Anything that reduces public enthusiasm for and hastens the decline of the Olympics is fine by me.

Also, it's an ego boost to know that the scraps of design knowledge I've picked up here and there have already made me better at design than a design team fulfilling what I assume is a seven-figure contract.
posted by No-sword at 4:47 PM on May 19, 2010


> For the first time I am really glad I don't live in London or the UK anymore.

The Olympics are a curse for most hosting cities.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:52 PM on May 19, 2010


I am almost positive they're inspired by this.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:29 PM on May 19, 2010


That video is to sanity what the Eurovision Song Contest is to music.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 5:58 PM on May 19, 2010


I lived through the SLC Winter Olympics and I can't even remember what our mascot was. All that it did was give Utahns a perpetual hardon for Mitt Romney. Oh and my precious Trax line that I ride into work every day.
posted by msbutah at 6:48 PM on May 19, 2010


Mr Foop, I prefer to think that Mandeville was named after the canyon road where an ER doc went all road rage on a couple of cyclists last year in Los Angeles. But that's just me.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:29 PM on May 19, 2010


They do look like Doctor Who aliens, don't they? Like if the Daleks mated with Teletubbies.

It's like the new Daleks mated with Alpha Centauri!
posted by homunculus at 9:46 PM on May 19, 2010


I think it's just fantastic that The Residents were allowed to design the mascots.
posted by quarsan at 10:58 PM on May 19, 2010


Oh god... the place is going to be saturated with this shit, isn;t it?

At the moment we are being swamped by World Cup England tat... no doubt as a patriotic ex-pat you'll want me to sent you some... ENG-GER-LAND! ENG-GER-LAND!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:49 AM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Organisers hope Wenlock and Mandeville will rank alongside the more fondly remembered mascots, such as Waldi the dachshund from the 1972 Berlin games and Misha the bear from the 1980 Moscow Olympics

Does anyone remember any Olympic mascot ever? Apart from the Montreal Vampire, obviously.
posted by ninebelow at 3:03 AM on May 20, 2010


Hilariously snarky report from Newsnight.... Olympic mascots: Love them or loathe them? "Sticking to a strict brief of not tempting fate the designers say they are bits of metal that fell off the stadium..."
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:24 AM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Love the Newsnight clip, particularly the very end!
posted by knapah at 8:26 AM on May 20, 2010


Autobloggatio: I’m the guy who really likes the mascots. Yes, I’m the one!
posted by joeclark at 9:10 AM on May 20, 2010


Does anyone remember any Olympic mascot ever?

Granted, I was in my young teens at the time, but when Barcelona hosted I thought Cobi (which the Internet now tells me is supposed to be a sheepdog? OK...) was really fucking cool. Of course, I was mildly scandalized upon hearing the artist designed it while high.

I watched the little video ("Meet" link) and thought they were cute.

I watched the video and thought it would be cool to be in condition to bike everywhere when I'm retirement age, but then the mascots showed up and I couldn't think anymore.
posted by kittyprecious at 9:53 AM on May 20, 2010


That animation is the most shameful Terminator 2 reboot I've ever seen.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:24 AM on May 20, 2010


I ran these guys through my patented de-chibifying process. The results were… dubious.
posted by egypturnash at 3:04 PM on May 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


ThatCanadianGirl - Vancouver Olympics... Two? No, three goddamn mascots.
Four if you count the little vermin (a marmot) that is their "side-kick".
Five if you count their friend from out of town.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:20 PM on May 20, 2010


Oh god, you're right, Zack. See, I blocked them from my memory, they were so..... unmemorable.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:28 AM on May 21, 2010


I liked Vancouver's three goddamn mascots.
posted by mazola at 8:10 AM on May 21, 2010


...designed using the findings of a creative process that lasted more than 18 months - it had to be restarted after complaints in Parliament - involved more than 40 focus groups and cost £400,000.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:29 AM on May 21, 2010


Don't you mean four goddamn mascots? No love for the goddamn Island Rat?
posted by Zack_Replica at 9:58 AM on May 21, 2010


poop. that didn't link to the picture of the cute little bastards.
Maybe Britain could use a marmot as a mascot instead of the dancing penises. Or a hedgehog. Or a stoat. Marmot is nicer on toast though.
They remind me of these aliens from "The Bringers of Wonder" 2-part episode from Space: 1999. Only not as "messy".
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:42 PM on May 21, 2010


I said I liked Vancouver's THREE goddamn mascots!

The Marmot can GO TO HELL!
posted by mazola at 12:45 PM on May 21, 2010


I'm sensing little love here for The Proud and Mighty Beast That is The Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota Goddamnensis).
Perhaps a childhood trauma? Perhaps, instead, an example of how the wrong mascot can cause severe aggression. London, take note.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:15 PM on May 21, 2010


Marmot on toast is definitely an acquired taste. To enjoy that strong flavour you pretty much have to have been raised on it.
posted by Flashman at 8:52 PM on May 21, 2010


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