If they were handing out gold medals for the most bizarre Olympic mascots, the recently unveiled characters for the London 2012 games would wins hands down.

WTF were they thinking? Wenlock and Mandeville. Picture: Getty

That is, if they had hands. Wenlock and Mandeville (catchy names) were apparently “created from “the last two drops of British steel used for the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.” More like an alcohol and substance fuelled creativeworkshopthinktank.

To me they look like the result of a frenzied sexual encounter between a secondhand Logie award and a Teletubbie. And the blue one looks like it has an incontinence problem.

I’m no mascot designer, a job where you’re on a hiding to nothing (apart from the pay cheque), but at least previous Olympic mascots had some connection, however random, to their country and didn’t need a website to explain just what the hell they’re supposed to be.

These explanations usually contain the words “magical” and / or “mystical”.

Wenlock and Mandeville have arrived to howls of protest in the UK, so it’s probably a good thing they only have one eye.

I know times have changed since Misha the bear (or was it a mouse?) from the 1980 summer games in Moscow, but at least you didn’t need a masters in graphic design to get Syd, Ollie and Millie from Sydney, the Fuwa children from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and my favourite, Amik the beaver from the 1976 Montreal games – who looks a bit like one of those door sausages you use to keep the wind out.

Then you’ve had some other mascots that were very left of stadium – Izzy the something from the 1996 Atlanta games, and the rather phallic looking Phevos and Athena from Athens in 2004.

Design is obviously in the (one) eye of the beholder.

Then again, maybe my design sense is flawed from being slightly traumatised by a mascot years ago. Actually it was a rather famous, rotund animal character from a popular TV kids show. I was in Cairns and they happened to be shooting a scene for the show as I wandered past.

They had a break and the character took 2 his head off, and the bloke inside exclaimed “How f*****n’ hot is it?!” and lit up a cigarette. Well it was rather warm.

Wenlock and Mandeville are getting plenty of media coverage, which is probably the idea, but will they become as loved as our very own Fatso the wombat?

Wonder what he’s up to? Maybe we could lend him to them…

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44 comments

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    • Nitzpicker says:

      07:11am | 21/05/10

      i took a crap this morning, and before flushing i looked in the bowl and saw better mascots than these.

    • Adam Diver says:

      08:30am | 21/05/10

      Toilet humour - Awesome…

    • Peter says:

      12:29pm | 24/05/10

      Charming.. I was just having my lunch…

    • T.Chong says:

      07:39am | 21/05/10

      At first glance I thought they were some strange Japanese creation like robot Hello Kittys, or the single eye in the middle of its head was to do with watching the crystal chum bucket (thanks to Sideshow Bob) .
      I think they are trying to borrow a bit of Kang and Kodos with the single eye,but after that,they dont appear to have any relation to anything, least of all drops of molten steel.
      Too much okey dokey up the snoz at that ad. agency.

    • OldGirl says:

      07:48am | 21/05/10

      I don’t mean to be rude but they look like 2 dancing penises to me,  I think who made them is having a laugh at everyone

    • DanMunchie says:

      08:56am | 21/05/10

      Hahahaha, exactly what I was going to say. One-eyed monsters… Oooookaaaaay, thanks London.

    • Paul Horn says:

      12:04pm | 21/05/10

      Yes they should be renamed “The one eyed trouser snake twins”! Ooooh Ahhh.

      And for some strange reason images of those two pefectly processed telegenic tossers the poms have elected as their prime minister keep springing up. Effete pome gits yuuuck. What is it with that country?

    • Bruce says:

      01:03pm | 21/05/10

      Oldgirl: Yeh, I agree with you, that was my first thought, definately “one eyed penises on two legs”. There has to be “pommy” ironic humour in this. It could be, that the jokes is on us !!

    • Justan Oz says:

      02:30pm | 21/05/10

      Calm down Old Girl,we can’t have you getting too excited!!

    • BT says:

      02:40pm | 21/05/10

      Well the first Olympics were conducted in the nude…so who knows…maybe you’re right!

    • A Bob says:

      08:03am | 21/05/10

      Mutant Teletubbies?

    • shabangabang says:

      08:27am | 21/05/10

      I was thinking the offspring of The Stig and a Teletubby

    • acker says:

      08:13am | 21/05/10

      @A Bob I agree when I saw them the first thing that crossed my mind was they look like blood relatives of Twinki Winki and the other Teletubbies…tele tubby bye bye

    • Kaff says:

      11:09am | 21/05/10

      Nah, not Teletubbies.  They look more like bleached and stretched aliens from Boobah…

    • Graham says:

      08:36am | 21/05/10

      What does a cyclops smurf in crutchless tights represent?  mmmm yep probably says a lot!

    • Castro says:

      08:41am | 21/05/10

      The UK has lost all credibility as a country.  It should be closed down immediately.

      Recently the election proved what a farce the original Westminster system has become, and now this.  Why not a lion or bulldog or Britannia; symbols of the power and majesty of the country?  Why this?  Probably so they don’t offend any minority group or be accused of pushing any kind of view of what England or London is that isn’t ideologically sound.

      Seriously, what we are seeing here is the ultimate victory of post-modern relativism triumphing in the social wars over common sense, tradition, and mos maiorum.

      Great Britain was, only a single human lifetime ago, the greatest nation on earth and has now been reduced to a guilt ridden vassal of the EU.  Post-colonial shame, the unquestioned approval of multiculturalism, and the pathetic actions of the self-reproachful elite and the acceptance of this by the servile middle classes are all to blame.

      As someone who has lived in England, I am sympathetic to the majority of English people who, I am sure, would be pretty embarrassed about their country.  The danger is it will happen here if the middle classes allow themselves to be squeezed into silence by the lumpenproletariat and the governing elites.

      Finally, c’mon these things aren’t even ‘things’!  What is doing?  If they look like anything, it is roll on deodorant!  This is the crappiest marketing since i-vegemite or whatever it was called.

    • Rossco McGlashan says:

      01:07pm | 21/05/10

      Couldnt have said it better myself. Britian really is a vile self loathing country now bathing in its own stench of political correctness and multicultural cowardice.

    • Sheedy's Left Foot says:

      08:56am | 21/05/10

      They were never going to be released with universal approval were they, especially not down here….where we have olypic sized chips on our shoulders as nothing will ever be better than Sydney….

      Anyway what they have done well is create a story around them which is what the kids wanted when they were asked about creating mascots for them.

      Their names relate to Wenlock, a place in the UK that is believed to have hosted the precursor to the modern games from which Pierre De Coubertin visited, took inspiration from and created the modern games.

      Manderville is also highly appropriate as it relates to Stoke Manderville hospital, the birthplace of the paralympic movement.

      So whilst they may look like kids cartoon characters, it is kind of the point as olympic mascots tend to be aimed at kids, not bitter adults with little sense of fun.

      What’s that saying about book, cover etc?

    • Trolldoll says:

      07:23pm | 21/05/10

      First point, no Olympic games will ever be greater than Melbourne where, in the closing ceremony, all the athletes entered together for the first time, that’s right that was an australian inovation,

      Second Point, Your comment about books and covers is irelevant as the cover if a book is supposed to sell the story to the casual viewer. Not inspire them to go on a research quest to the local library,

      Third Point, the Mascotts realy do look ridiculous, It’s hard enough to take Mascotts seriously these days without one of them looking like it’s just p!$$ed it’s self

    • A Bob says:

      07:40pm | 21/05/10

      Fair cop. I take back what I said. In hindsight, they look more like post-modern Mr Gumbys.

    • Justin says:

      09:13am | 21/05/10

      Are we sure they haven’t been seen outside of Ken’s at Kensington?

    • Maxwell Silenciaga says:

      09:24am | 21/05/10

      Just proves the old adage about there being far too much blow being consumed by advertising and marketing execs…

    • Chris says:

      09:34am | 21/05/10

      Wenlock and Mandeville,

      With names like that for mascots it looks like the Brits have got the Quidditch medals in the bag for 2012.

      Formed from the last drops of steel - more like created from the last drops of Acid at a rave party.

      Where is Fatso the big ar$%d Wombat when you need him.

    • stephen says:

      10:26am | 21/05/10

      I once went out with an English chick who looked like that, so’s if the Poms wanna give the rest of yous a look ter see whats on offer, I can’t see nothin wrong with that.

    • Saskia says:

      10:46am | 21/05/10

      Imagine how popular an Olympic Paddington Bear, Rupert the Bear, The Wombles etc etc would have been as examples… 

      What a shocker.  Huge own goal.  The classic notion of Britishness as a formal little bear or womble is already so popular and cute - kids and adults around the world love it.  Would have been cult status and a collectors item.

      Every Olympic mascot has been a dud and the Brits had the chance to have a classic and they messed it up possibly worse than ever!

    • The Watcher says:

      11:14am | 21/05/10

      The all seeing eye is watching you while you are still asleep sheeple. Wakey wakey.

    • BT says:

      12:35pm | 21/05/10

      Well let’s face it, the Brits didn’t have a lot of fauna to choose from. Deer or fox won’t cut it, particularly as the royals are likely to call a hunting party and release the hounds on them. So I guess that leaves a badger or a squirrel, hardly inspiring stuff. So inexplicable blobs from the country that produced the tv show Mr Blobby was the next logical step I suppose. The theme song hit number 1 in the UK so I guess blobs are pretty popular over there.

    • Justin says:

      12:40pm | 21/05/10

      They shouldn’t be allowed out in public unless they’re wearing a burqa.

    • joe says:

      12:57pm | 21/05/10

      These mascots look like the result of having one too many colonic irrigation procedures

    • sam says:

      01:10pm | 21/05/10

      maybe they can play with the western dogs"a.f.l.” as they have been panned by international media outlets who have dubbed them “gay”.

    • Sean Williams says:

      01:18pm | 21/05/10

      Judging by this article and most of the comments I’d say it’s Australians who are the “weird mob”. I mean, to be so obsessed with and bitter towards a country whose only crime is to look upon you with a kind of mildly interested friendliness is truly the sign of a kind of national psychological meltdown. It really can’t be healthy to be stewing in such a ferment of jealousy, rage and inferiority all the time to the point that even a pair of stupid mascots can whip you into a state of post-colonial apoplexy. Calm down dears

    • Justin says:

      02:09pm | 21/05/10

      At least our mascots had two eyes each.

    • chris says:

      07:57pm | 24/05/10

      Lighten up, FFS.

    • E says:

      01:26pm | 21/05/10

      Ok so their logo is lisa simpson giving head and now they have these “one eyed monsters”.. someone is getting quite a laugh out of all this!  Or winning a bet :D

    • Trevor says:

      05:35pm | 21/05/10

      “That is, if they had hands.”

      Well, um, maybe it’s just me, but this sentence appears immediately below a photograph where they DO seem to have hands.

    • Phoney says:

      11:36pm | 21/05/10

      I think as a marketing design the mascots are going to be a mega-seller.

      They do look like mobile phone covers…

    • Robert of Rural SA says:

      11:52pm | 21/05/10

      They look more than just a little bit creepy. Did the Poms steal a couple of Dr. Who characters? ?

    • Marie says:

      12:37am | 22/05/10

      Hears an idea, Kangaroo’s riding bicycles.

    • Stanley E Mish-Wills says:

      10:56am | 22/05/10

      These things look like triffids ,and it appears that one has wet itself

    • The Cricket says:

      11:37am | 22/05/10

      You just wonder what the marketing gurus were thinking. These mascots may appeal to wanky, arty types but certainly not the the overwhelmingly majority of average Joes and Janes.
      Simply bizarre.
      A unicorn or lion may be unoriginal but it wouldn’t have turned the Olympics into a laughing stock!

    • Rhiannon says:

      09:31pm | 22/05/10

      Okay, so our mascots are a little lacking in soul and really don’t seem to represent anything to do with us.  Does that really justify such a torrent of anti-Brit abuse?  We’re generally pretty positive about you.

    • George H says:

      09:39pm | 22/05/10

      The man in charge of branding for the 2012 games, his first name escapes me someone Olins, is the son of a very senior mason. Thus the single ‘all seeing’ eye on the mascots. I wont detail it hear but for those interested there are groups who believe the 2012 games are a huge masonic conspiracy, check it out on google. And there are others who think that the ancient Mayan calender ends in 2012 and aliens will be picking up the worlds elite. Whatever floats your boat. I don’t get it!

    • Bob H says:

      03:57pm | 24/05/10

      Well that’s the important stuff sorted, mascots are what the games are about after all.

    • Toque says:

      07:07pm | 22/05/12

      The problem is that ‘Britain’ isn’t one country.  London 2012 is really the English Olympics, so the organisers have to make sure that there is absolutely nothing English about them, for fear of upsetting the Scots (who are voting on independence) and the Welsh.

      They should have used the English Lion and the City of London flag, which is the flag of England.

 

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