Friday, May 21, 2010

Meet Wenlock and Mandeville

Wenlock (left) and Mandeville (right, and NO, not the kid :D )

These are the new mascots for the 2012 London Olympics, who were officially introduced to the world on 20th May 2010. My initial reaction was WTF? That reaction was not unique to me it seems. The general reaction seems to be the same. It’s difficult to understand what they were aiming for. They look like some one-eyed, alien/monster blob crossbreed. The London Organizing committee is opting for the Futurama look, first with the bizarre looking logo, and now with these guys. The target audience is supposed to be kids, but seriously?

Their names however have some historical background to them. It comes from two villages in England. Wenlock, who is the Mascot for the Olympics is derived from “Much Wenlock” and Mendeville, who represents the Paralympics is derived from “Stoke Mandeville”. Much Wenlock is considered as the birth place of the modern Olympics. It seems that a Doctor in that town had been organizing annual games to promote physical health of the people in the area. These games had given inspiration to Barron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympics Committee, when he visited in 1890. Stoke Mandeville’s claim to fame is the Spinal Injuries unit where the Paralympics movement began.

One reason given for the design is their flexibility it seems. Blobs can be morphed into anyone. After all, this is the digital age and kids seems to fascinated with all things futuristic.

I guess it finally boils down to the taste of the people. Some may like them, while some will not. I certainly am not a fan. On the other hand I thought the Beijing mascots were quite ok, while some people disagree.

I guess time will only tell if Wenlock and Mandeville can bring in the bacon, 15 million pounds worth in merchandising income that the organizers are banking on.

Beijing 2008 Mascots, The Fuwa

Images thanks to


Wenlock and Mandeville said...

I think these characters are a breath of fresh air. All the previous Olympic games have consisted of a personified animal. At least this is something different.

I think a lot of effort has gone into the creation of this duo and people are too quick to slate them!

Azrael said...

Thanks for the comment Wenlock and Mandeville. :D

Like I said, it all depends on the tastes of individuals.

One thing that I realized later was that they are achieving their objective successfully. That of being instantly recognizable. After all, we are all talking about them. That's what a good mascot should be. You may like them or hate them, but people are talking about them. More the people talk about them, more they become successful. When you consider from that pov, selecting these two guys was a good decision.

Scrumps said...

I think they're awesome! :)