what a fuss over a sasquatch and his pals

The mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were unveiled today. Quatchi is a sasquatch. Miga is a, um, sea bear (according to the Olympics site, "the sea bear is inspired by the legends of the Pacific Northwest First Nations, tales of orca whales that transform into bears when they arrive on land.") Sumi is all over the place: thunderbird wings, bear legs, orca hat - representing the theme of transformation. You can get the low down on the mascots' site.

Boy, for a bunch of cute little cartoon characters, they sure evoke a lot of negative reactions.

Juding by the reactions of people around me at work today, and from reading a little online, lots of people immediately took issue with the mascots. The comments I heard ranged from "too cutesy" to "too anime" to "not 'Canadian' enough" to "confusing" to plain old "ugly". I even heard one count of "hideous".

Personally, I like them. I do find the combo creatures a bit odd (couldn't they just pick, say an orca, without mixing it with a bear?), but I love the fact that there's a sasquatch in the gang. I admit that I do have a bias for sasquatch in pretty much ANY context though. ("Hey, is that a sasquatch in your annual report? Awesome! Very professional.")

The new mascots were made by Meomi, a Vancouver/LA duo who do a lot of character design and recently created the ultra-cute-tastic picture book, The Octonauts.

What do you think about the new mascots? Yay or nay? Hot or not? Better or worse than previous Olympic mascots?

To refresh your memory, here's a gallery of other Olympic mascots.

Fiber Babble  – (November 28, 2007)  

I didn't even know that there was such a thing as 'official' Olympics mascots. Looking at those from previous years on the CTV site, I think this new batch may be a bit of a step up.

Sure, other than the big guy they're a bit ambiguous, but so what? They're kinda cute.

Claire  – (November 28, 2007)  

Sasquatches are cool and those characters are adorable. I like them.

Anonymous –   – (November 28, 2007)  

Love 'em! I thought the Torino ones were bad -- these are cute and at least they tried to incorporate some Canadian ideas.

Lindsay  – (November 29, 2007)  

As soon as I saw that there was a sasquatch, I thought, "oh man, Siobhan's going to like this."

Gwen  – (November 29, 2007)  

All yay. I think they're really cute, especially Sumi's hat, and if Miga were all orca, he/she might be kind of bummed about the lack of water sports at the Winter Olympics! I think they're a cut above of recent years' mascots. Holy half-assed Torino.

Unknown  – (November 29, 2007)  

Mascots are supposed to be for kids and these are very kid friendly. So, what us adults think about them is pretty irrelevant.

Carol Browne  – (December 05, 2007)  

I'm a fan of the Sasquatch myself. Team Yeti!

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