Buffoons of The Week: 2012 Frick and Frack

22 May

Honestly, I cannot blame Wenlock and Mandeville (the actual names of the mascots for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games) for looking the way that they do.  That honor is indisputably reserved for the London 2012 organizing committee!  Now, I do understand London’s attempt to go bigger and bolder after the successful representation from host cities in years past, most notably Beijing’s 2008 spectacular Bird’s Nest Olympic display and multiple mascots, but two overweight cyclops aliens? For real?

Although it’s not quite clear what species Wenlock and Mandeville (named after two small English towns) are, the two mascots are said to be based on a story by children’s author Michael Morpurgo, in which they are formed by a welder from the last drops of steel from the girders of the Olympic Stadium in east London.

Committee officials envisioned the mascots being a huge hit with children and inspiring young people to become interested in the Olympics, but I can’t see how these indistinct characters would garner the type of excitement and attention the committee is clearly hoping to get.  Having earned the distinguished honor of hosting the largest assemblage of sporting events in the world, I would have expected that more creativity would have went into the design of London’s representatives to the world.  But before I’m accused of being a hypocrite, I would be remiss not to mention that when the Atlanta organizing committee had the opportunity in 1996 to reveal their progressive and cutting edge mascot, they too revealed an indolent design in the presentation of “Izzy,” that gelatinous looking blob-thingie.  The London Olympic Committee is optimistic however, and hopes that these “unique” mascots will receive a more positive reaction than the London 2012 logo did.  The emblem was openly criticized when it was unveiled in 2007 and was even blamed for eliciting seizures from some television viewers.

But regardless of how buffoon-worthy I believe this duo’s appearance is, organizers believe that the mascots will also be an important revenue-raising tool for meeting the London organizing committee’s $3 billion operating budget, and the sale of mascot toys, paraphernalia and other items should raise 10 to 20 percent of London’s merchandising revenue.  I suppose that when it’s all said and done, the end justifies the ugly.


3 Responses to “Buffoons of The Week: 2012 Frick and Frack”

  1. Normal In London May 23, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    I think they’re lovely – however, the costumed ones that are the picture that people always show to slag them off are crap.

    The little animation introducing them is really cute 🙂

  2. Tiffany May 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    They look like mutant seafood, kinda creepy.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

    • The Fanny Pack May 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

      LOL! A belly-ache waiting to happen!

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