Fri, August 24, 2012
Sports > Popular News > 2012 London Paralympic Games

Meet Wenlock and Mandeville - London 2012 Mascots

2012-08-24 09:21:16 GMT2012-08-24 17:21:16(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Wenlock and Mandeville. (Getty Images)

They are one-eyed creatures with metallic bodies, built-in cameras and sci-fi genetics, who have taken over London and divided public opinion. They are of course London 2012's Olympic and Paralympic mascots -- Wenlock and Mandeville.

Regardless of what people think about their design, Wenlock and Mandeville are already making an impressive – and unprecedented for mascots - social media performance.

As momentum builds around the first "Twitter Olympics," London's mascots are well equipped with their own Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, YouTube clips and interactive website.

According to their designers these are the first ever non one-dimensional mascots, who are designed for the digital age and know how to connect with young people.

There is no denying the fact, however, that Wenlock and Mandeville have proved highly controversial, described as everything from "a drunken one-night stand between a Teletubby and a Dalek," to having "just the right balance of digital zeitgeist and cheeky playfulness".

The pair were designed by marketing agency Iris and named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which helped inspire Pierre de Coubertin to launch the modern Olympics, and the Buckinghamshire village of Stoke Mandeville, where the Paralympics were founded.

Supposedly created out of magical droplets of steel left over from the Olympic Stadium, every element of their design is laden with symbolism.

The taxi lights on their heads refer to London's black cabs and their origins from a steel melting pot are likened to multicultural Britain. Their giant eyes even have built-in cameras to record their experiences.

People who are missing the cute and cuddling mascots – such as Waldi the Daschund and Mishka the Bear – should think again, London designers say.

May be mechanical objects are no less endearing than wide-eyed animals after all.

(Agencies)

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