Friday, 21 May 2010

London 2012 Mascots

Earlier this week the London 2012 team presented us with the two characters that are going to be our Olympic mascots. Wenlock and Mandeville are their names and they are the latest in the line of attempts to modernise the games. Personally, I do not understood the perpetual need to try and turn our Olympic stadium into an arena for modern art.

The two mascots look like Flubber has procreated with Wall-e. According to one their designers Grant Hunter, they are supposed to represent all aspects of the Olympics and of Britain. The three lines coming from their heads represent the three podium places and the they each have the trademark taxi light on their foreheads, as if I even needed to point that out for you. Wenlock and Mandeville are going to be interactive characters so you can expect to be seeing a lot of them on the TV or the internet over the next two years.

Ultimately, Olympic mascots tend to be obscure and soon forgotten so these latest little figures provide no great shock or disappointment. The mascots themselves I do not really care about. The problem for me is that they represent what has come to be an annoying trend. This is the insistence of trying to portray the London 2012 games as being on the cutting edge of modern technology and art. The logo, the monstrosity that will be outside the stadium and now the mascots have all sacrificed our tradition and culture in favour of a poor attempt to create a look into the future of the games.

These things will most likely become quickly outdated and stand only as a monument to the failed attempt to put Britain at the forefront of the modernising 21st Century. The lesson from the failure of the Millennium Dome has clearly not been learnt. Perhaps this whole post has more to do with my dislike of modern art than the merits of these Olympics symbols and contraptions. I just do not feel they represent our country very well or are aesthetically pleasing.

There is not too much more I can really comment on the matter, I think my disapproval has been made quite clear. I would like to hear what others think of Wenlock and Mandeville and of the attempt to make the Olympic village into an extension of the Tate Modern.

Thoughts, comments and opinions please...


  1. I like the mascots, although they do work better in cgi than real life. They could do with giving Wenlock legs that are more suitable to walking/running than the current waddle. I'm not so sure about the representing our country theme that a lot of people come up with. A lion (singular) is not something you would automatically associate with Britain. 3 lions then yes but that is inseparably linked with the England football team not athletics. Last time I checked athletes representing Britain do not race with 3 lions on their kits. Not least because it is more associated with England than Britain. Thus that rules out a lion for a mascot. Next suggestion I have heard suggested is a bulldog, to me that aside from being associated with car insurance now is not a significant iconic representation of Britain. Anything else that might be suggested?

    Do you remember the Beijing mascots? A bit more recently the Vancouver mascots? I only heard Vancouver had mascots when they were mentioned in connection with W&M revealing.

    I don't know anything about the monstrosity you are talking about am assuming the picture is an artists impression? In which case I agree that is unnecessary. I don't particularly follow the developments of the olympic village although seen as it will be there long after the games they have to make it somewhat nice to look at.

    The logo is naff and that is all that needs to be said on that subject.

  2. Wenlock and Mandeville?! what horrible names, they sound like Dickensian workhouse owners. they look like another classic example of some thirty somethings in a boardroom trying to reach "the young generation" wait and see they'll have Jamelia doing the national anthem next.
    What ever they try i really think it's impossible to make it all look as good as china because...

    1. the Chinese do mass choreography like no one else
    2. Fireworks were invented by China
    3. the organisers response to the show in Hong Kong is Brian May playing queen on a double decker bus, pokemon rip offs and what looks like a giant climbing frame in one of the shittest poorest areas of London.

    what is wrong with Crystal Palace athletics ground i ask? less is more


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