London 2012 mascots unite world in laughter, face palming
Published Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:36PM EDT
Canadians upset with the British press's treatment of the Vancouver Olympics are having the last laugh after the newly introduced mascots for the London 2012 Summer Games were met with nearly instant derision.
The mascots, Mandeville and Wenlock, can only be described as one-eyed alien Teletubbies that even 1970s-era "Doctor Who" fans would find embarrassingly cheesy.
"I think this one is going to have to grow on people, it's not getting great reviews," CTV London Bureau Chief Tom Kennedy told Canada AM Thursday.
Organizers said the idea for the characters came from two drops of molten steel dropped while making the last girder for London's Olympic Stadium, and the mascots tested well with children.
Olympic organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe said kids don't want cuddly animals as mascots and wanted "something they can interact with and something with a good story behind it,"
The mascots have been given a detailed backstory by children's author Michael Morpurgo.
Organizers had hoped to make about $25 million in merchandising sales of the mascots, Kennedy said.
But perhaps the designers might have thought of including a snickering teenager or two in those focus groups, because the Internet practically overloaded Wednesday in a rush to make comments about the mascots', er, phallic nature.
The mascots will both have their own Twitter pages, organizers said. Hopefully they don't search what people are saying about them.
What people are saying:
Robinbogg: Olympic mascots: Chuckle Brothers as drawn by Dali when on acid after not sleeping for 4 days.
TonyClement_MP: Hey just back online. Saw the pic of the UK mascots. See what happens when you create a Coalition?? #scarymascots
Wizardpants: Hey, the London Olympic mascots are giant one-eyed terror sperm that were born out of a rainbow!
The British press
The Telegraph -- Two parts-Pokemon to one-part lava lamp with yellow 'Taxi' lights on their foreheads . . .
The Guardian -- But seriously. Could they really not have managed to design Wenlock in a way that did not resemble a horror-film version of Mr Soft from the Softmint adverts? If it wasn't for the fact that focus groups of children and families helped form the designs you would have thought it would be enough to give them all nightmares.