A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

29 November 2007

Stupid-Ass Mascots

The mascots for Vancouver's 2010 Winter Olympics have been revealed, and what a load they are.

Now doubtless you are asking yourself, as were millions of Vancouverites and other BCers yesterday: "WTF are those supposed to be?" Whoever designed these is out of their teeny tiny mind.

First there's the look. Critics are already referring to the furry four (yes, four) as "Pokemon Lite". The first question people normally ask when confronted with them is "WTF are those supposed to be?"

Then there's the actual animal/creature/thingies they represent. Now you'd think that after the debacle of stealing an Inuit inukshuk (below) to represent the games in the first place, they'd be smart enough to stay away from native symbols.

The tundra-dwelling inukshuk is regionally inappropriate: gravely out of place in the coastal rainforests. When the symbol was unveiled, one could hear Innu elders quietly murmuring in inuktut: "WTF is that supposed to be?" Well, one actually couldn't, 'cos, you see, they live up in the north, not in British Columbia.

But nooooo. The thinking that powers the 2010 Winter Olympics can be summed up this way: If you repeat stupid often enough it'll turn into smart.

So here we have, according to the 2010 site,

Sumi: an animal with the wings of the Thunderbird and the legs of the black bear, wearing an orca hat. He's the paralympic mascot. If I were a paralympian, I might be suing someone about now.

Quatchi: "A shy sasquatch." Although I'd say relative to other sasquatches, he's a sodding publicity hound. I mean, how many goateed sasquatch have you seen prancing about at gala openings lately?

Miga: The spirit of the Sea Bear, part orca, part Kermode bear. See also: "football bat."

Oh, and their sidekick: Mukmuk, the only real animal in the group. He's a Vancouver Island marmot, which makes him one of about 200 surviving Vancouver Island marmots in the world. Presumably the reigning liberal government is quietly stating their intention to make sure he too becomes imaginary ere long.

Whatever godforsaken design firm came up with these things? Maybe the same idiots who brought London this abortion.

Mme Metro also points out that when you have to stop and explain WTF those things are to everybody every time they get trotted out, it's not an indication that you're doing something right. As an example of how to do it, consider the Olympic mascots of the Sydney 2000 games. Ollie, Syd, and Millie (referencing the Olympics in Sydney at the Millenium) There was a fourth, a frilled lizard named Lizzie, but she dropped out quietly shortly after the launch:

They're intuitive: We get that they're Aussie. The Vancouver mascots could be from Tokyo, for all anyone knows.

Look, if we're going to have Japanese-looking mascots for the Olympics, there's alread one which is much more appropriate: He's called Unko, or some such. I couldn't find an image, which is probably a good thing. Because he's a turd. Yep, that's right. He's a golden turd with sneakers, and wherever he goes he brings money.

Which in my opinion makes him a fine mascot for the Vancouver 2010 games.


At 5:08 p.m., Blogger mur said...

You are right, they are pretty non-descript and hello kittyish. Still, not as bad as that Whatizit thing from was that?
Also Australia still has a few not quite so lovable mascots for their next olympic merchandising. Bitey the Funnel-web spider, Chainsaw the Great white shark and Tourist-chomper the salt water crocodile.

At 4:39 a.m., Blogger azahar said...

Those are just awful! My condolences.

At 7:12 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Metro-Boy

I think you would make a good mascot. What would your schtick be? I gots to know.


At 9:13 p.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

They are obscenely cynical; obvious productions of some marketing team's most revoltingly condescending beliefs. They're completely slanted towards the Japanese market of the past five years...which, of course, won't be there in 2010. "Qwatchi?" What the hell kinda bullshit is that? I hope the people responsible end up disease-ridden and living on the street because their apartments were eminent-domained for a speed-skating rink or something.

BTW speaking of cynical, Blogger has switched their comments so I have to do this:

At 8:22 a.m., Anonymous PJ said...

They do look very Japanese anime-ish. As a professional designer, I have to say that this is a case of trying to please too many groups, from little children to native people to global travellers to The Bay, which is merchandising the toys.

At 9:03 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

Ah yes--don't even get me started on that one. Oops--too late!

These fabulously Japanese-looking native-themed Canadian characters, sold as fluffy stuffed characters by Canada's charter store, for the public-relations purposes of the 2010 Olympic Winter games held in Canada, are of course manufactured where?

Hint: they're hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Again, a highly appropriate symbol:
Native tradition, appropriated by (primarily) people of European ancestry, sold to the world, and outsourced to China.

Completely congruent with the spirit of the 2010 Games.

At 10:00 a.m., Blogger The Nag said...

What upsets me is that there will likely be more mascots than Canadian gold medals.

At 12:45 p.m., Blogger azahar said...

"BTW speaking of cynical, Blogger has switched their comments so I have to do this:"...

Not at all, Rain. Just do what I did. Start a Blogger blog with links to your REAL blogs and also put in some ads. Who knows, we might even make a buck or two.

It also means our avatars show up here.

Still, it was very sneaky-cheaty of Blogger to do this.

At 12:46 a.m., Anonymous raincoaster said...

Az: thanks for the tip, but I already have three Blogger ID's, three ones, and two ones. If I want to use "raincoaster" I have to link it to which I do NOT want to do. IT's a pain in the ass.

And no, I've done the numbers. Adsense is not the way to riches.

At 9:00 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

See my post above for my ideas on Der Google's latest numbers game.

At 9:13 a.m., Blogger Doug Haslam said...

Glad to see someone shares my, um, ambivalence for Olympic mascots. My dislike is pretty universal (and completely unfair).

At 8:20 a.m., Blogger Slave to the dogs said...

Mur, don't forget Stinger the box jellyfish!

Those DO look Pokemon-esque. Who are the Olympics for, the 6-year-olds?

At 9:45 p.m., Anonymous Jenn said...

Muk Muk RULES, there I said it. The others look like rejects from the Hello Kitty factory or Pikachu friends or something. I think Muk Muk should be the Mascot. I mean he is a Vancouver Island Marmot, what is more Vancouver 2010 than that...and he IS cute and cudly. I saw a pic of him on a snowboard the other day and thought, I would buy that if I could, but alas no, you can't. What I have to say is.. WE DON'T LIVE IN JAPAN! Vote Muk Muk.

At 8:44 a.m., Blogger theadvocate said...

The 2010 games area JOKE. its all about the natives .CANADANS ARE NOT represented at all. Even the mascots are native with a foreign twist, how pathetic.I wish all disaster and calamity to the games I hope that global warming IS a real thing and we have 30* weather on opening day. These games are an EMBARASSMENT to this country. Well at least there till be a new line of designer toilet paper available. While depicting the mascots on every sheet Canadians can TRULY express thier feelings for the games.

At 4:11 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Yeah, theadvocate. Those Natives ought to just go back where they came from ...

I think these mascots are stupid because they're badly designed and commercial, and as such they misrepresent all Canadians.

Most gallingly, these mascots are important figures in the Native traditions, set up to be mocked and devoid of context.

No flavour but plastic, no story, just PR.

And I strongly disagree that it benefits the Aboriginal bands any more than it does non-Aboriginals.

At 9:25 a.m., Anonymous Spurwing Plover the fighting shorebird said...

Ollie(Kookaburra,Sid(Platipus,MillieEcidna three very familiar austrilia denisins


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