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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

wtf: can’t sleep, London Olympics mascots will kill me

According to the Guardian, these candy-colored fiends

are based on a short story by children’s author Michael Morpurgo that tells how they were fashioned from droplets of the steel used to build the Olympic stadium.

They’re called Wenlock and Mandeville, though I suspect even their mother can’t remember which one is which. From the Guardian:

Wenlock, named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock that helped inspire Pierre de Coubertin to launch the modern Olympics, and Mandeville, inspired by the Buckinghamshire town of Stoke Mandeville, where the Paralympics were founded, will become very familiar in the next two years. The chairman of the London organising committee of the Olympic games (Locog), Lord Coe, said the mascots were aimed squarely at children and designed with the digital age in mind. He said they had the most positive reaction in workshops to road test them.

Yeah, well, clowns are aimed squarely at children, too, and no one is stopping clowns from eating our brains while we sleep.

And you. Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Escape. Them:

They will become a range of up to 30 cuddly toys, including versions based on celebrities and sports stars, as well as adorning badges, T-shirts, mugs and more.

Reader Paul, who sent me the photo, thinks they look like Doctor Who monsters. I can see that, if it’s a monster whose evil consciousness is too big for just one body, and so it is divided into two hideous corporeal forms that each have one giant eye and yet see together, all the better to plot how to take over the universe by riveting us all in unutterable horror till we all simply die of thirst.

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  • Martin

    The only thing I love about them is the names. They make me think of a Victorian buddy cop movie.

    I can imagine them being the guys you call when Sherlock Holmes is too busy.

  • FunWithHeadlines

    “Doctor . . . should I be getting worried right about now?”

  • Actually there’s a Paul and a PaulW, and I was the one who asked if you thought those two were Dr. Who monsters…

    They’re gonna have to re-shoot the “Fear Her” episode to include these mascots. I guarantee it’ll raise the Behind the Sofa Meter to 11.

  • the rook

    as a matter of fact, i’ve already seen a creature similar to them on doctor who.


    centauri appeared in two jon pertwee episodes.

  • LaSargenta

    They’re called Wenlock and Mandeville,…

    Why not Gog and Magog? Where’s the stadium in relation to the Guildhall?

  • Don’t worry, PaulW, I wasn’t going to take credit. I just didn’t have time to give it back.

  • Keith

    I for one wish to welcome our new Olympic mascot overlords.

    I’ve seen other people say these guys make them think “Doctor Who monster.”

  • Mo

    Clearly the UK’s excessive video surveillance has started affecting the kids…

    But yeah, they’re kind of like something halfway between an Adipose with lobster claws and an Atraxi.

  • Ah, the creative industries of London: specialists in grossly overpriced bullshit. I can’t help but be reminded of a friend in my north of England hometown who, on hearing I’d visited the Millennium Dome, commented: “I’ve heard it’s middle-class wank.”

  • @the rook, I wonder why they haven’t brought more of the friendlier alien races like the Centauri or Draconians back for cameos.

  • Me thinks the designers behind these one eyed monsters had been watching to much “Monsters Inc”!

  • Kathryn

    I’m going to watch Carmen at the former Millennium Dome this evening. It may have been a terrible middle-class wank of an idea back in 1999 but it’s doing rather well as a venue now. Though it’d be even better if the Jubilee line didn’t have so much engineering work on!

  • Ah, but I (or rather my friend) was referring to the exhibits in the Dome, which were indeed wanky in the extreme. Sorry if that wasn’t quite clear.

  • Althea

    Maybe there’s still time. The dreadful Atlanta mascot, “Izzy”, was even more dreadful before they redesigned it. There was a huge outcry of “Are you kidding?” and it became at least tolerable.

    Of course, Atlanta revealed Izzy at Barcelona, and London is only 2 years away, so they’d better get on the stick before Wenlock and Mandeville are set in stone. Or get stoned.

    At least Mandeville should be redesigned so he doesn’t look like he wet his pants.

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