LONDON – The host city for the 2012 Olympics has made an interesting choice for their mascots!
The London Olympics’ new mascots have gone away from the usual trend of using jolly animals for Olympic mascots. The London Organizing Committee seems to be paying tribute to the digital world and the evolving way that children communicate these days with their choices.
On Wednesday, the committee revealed Wenlock and Mandeville, the mascots for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. The pair – each with a single giant eye – were chosen from a shortlist of hundreds by experts and schoolchildren. The ironic part is that the characters are more creepy than cuddly and could certainly be part of a bad nightmare for any child.
Each eye is supposed to be a camera, a light on their heads represents a London taxi cab and bracelets around their wrist represent the five Olympic rings. Their aerodynamic shapes makes them look like a much more modern version of Gumby.
“The one thing that came out of our research with children is they weren’t looking for a cuddly toy or something human, but something rooted in a very good story,” Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the organizing committee, said in an interview. “I’m not saying this is high art, this is fun.”
Staying in tune with the digital theme, Wenlock and Mandeville will exist as virtual characters on Facebook and Twitter pages. Children will be allowed to create their own narratives for the characters.
“Kids now expect to interact and make things their own,” said Grant Hunter, the creative director at Iris London, the agency hired to dream up Wenlock and Mandeville. “The possibilities are endless.”