Monday, June 08, 2009

Mascots for Sports

While on the topic of mascots (which I am exploring for my dip) Here's a link to the mascots for Beijing Olympics. The explanation (Or faff as we fondly like to call it) seems pretty convincing and has been well-established. I personally love these mascots. Any takers?

As I read on, I found that mascots are often heavily criticized not by designers, but by the media and the public. Here's what I found about the Fuwa generating negative publicity...

I am rating the Fuwa the worst mascot because, while others have been unpopular, confusing or silly, these bad luck dolls of Beijing are becoming downright ominous. Fuwa translates to the ‘good-luck dolls’ but you be the judge. First, the famous Chinese artist, Han Meilin, had two heart attacks while he was designing them. And now, each of the five characters that make up the Fuwa have been linked to events which have led to the superstitious term ‘the Curse of the Fuwa’. Nini (swallow/kite/locust figure) is linked to the Weifang T195 (“kite city”) train accident in April 2008 and the locust infestation in Inner Mongolia in June 2008. Yingying (the Tibetan antelope) is an obvious choice for association with the Tibetan unrest. Huanhuan, representing the Olympic flame, is being linked to the torch relay protests. Also, the Sichuan area, which suffered a catastrophic earthquake on May 12, 2008 is well known for its pandas and the fourth mascot, Jing Jing, is a panda character. The fifth and final Fuwa mascot is Beibeig, a fish who is representing the element water in the group. He is being associated to the floods in South China as well as an algal bloom in the Olympic sailing course.

According to Wikipedia, some people are now calling the characters “Wuwa” (witch dolls) instead of Fuwa and “online criticism of the dolls has frequently been censored”.

Personally, I think they are cute but I wonder how souvenir sales are doing? Are people reluctant to bring the bad mojo of these Fuwa/Wuwa into their homes?

the link -

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