back to article Terence Conran slams 'appalling' Olympic mascots

Sir Terence Conran has expressed his displeasure at 2012 Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville in a letter to the Times in which he describes the pair as "symbols of national mediocrity". The Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville Conran notes that the "appalling" duo "seem to have received their fair share of criticism" - a …


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  1. Duncan Hothersall


    Every time a Conran or a Bayley spouts forth on anything it tends to make me more fond of the item being criticised, what with them both being world-class wankers.

  2. Andy Hards
    Thumb Down

    Why oh why

    Didn't we commision Conran or his son to design these for us, for a nice few million of course. That's why he's complaining.

    I'm sure even Lord Foster would have given us his interpretational design for 10 or so million, but his ones would have broken before the event and taken two years to correct and make safe.

  3. Elmer Phud

    It gets worse

    From the promoter of Boris's Olympics in Boris's London (well, centre of london) -- Boris

    ""The fact that they are a coalition captures the spirit of the times. Wenlock and Mandeville are the new Cameron and Clegg and I'm sure they will be just as popular."

    We is fucked.

  4. Jim T

    Ummm ...

    I like 'em

    *duck and run*

  5. Eurydice Sophie Exintaris

    One word...


  6. Paul Webb

    Indistinguisable and non-descript

    Thy even have 'M' and 'W' on their heads so you can tell them apart. Why not just turn one upside down?

    ps: please do a Logowatch on Rackspace and the British Humanist Society.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prince Charles?

    To avoid complete disaster, Conran suggests consulting "international stars like Lords Rogers or Foster, or the Shanghai super-hero Tom Heatherwick", or even Prince Charles.

    Erm, what is it that Prince Charles is an 'international star' at that would be of the remotest bit of use in this context?

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Charles - truly competent.

      Didn't he have some say on the Chelsea Barracks project?

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Well, to _do_ look like non-wrinkly E.T.s..

    ...and I would expect these at the business end of a Minigun in a shoot-them-up game.

    But at least they are easy to mold out of plastics.

  9. Evil Auditor Silver badge


    With that I mean Conran. Instead, rather start with the positive sides of those digitally enhanced one-eyed Teletubbies.

    Er, well, they represent much of today's Britain? Can't come up with anything, really. Anyone?

  10. TimNevins
    Thumb Up

    Satanic Imagery

    This is by the book Freemasonly/Satanic imagery used on one dollar bills as well.

    The one eye is the all seeing eye of Lucifer/ Eye of Ra

    As seen on a one dollar bill.

    The Anti-Christ is said to have one eye.

    The MW is simply Master Mason.

    For more one-eye stuff look at logos for UbiSoft, LucaArts,AOL etc. The actual list runs into the thousands.

    1. RobbieCrusoe

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      "The MW is simply Master Mason."

      Errrrm... That would be Master Wason, or Waster Mason...

      You need to learn to spell mate, and get out of the house a bit more instead of eating up all the Dan Brown crap.

      1. TimNevins
        Thumb Up


        Yes. I know. It's upside down. I did not miss it.

        Same as the British emergency phone number 999 is 666 inverted.

        God is the Alpha and Omega (in numerics this represented as 10)

        And 9-11 is bypassing God (going direct from 9 to 11)

        Both emergency numbers are pleas for help from the wrong sort of helper.

        The first stone laid (breaking the ground ceremony)for the Pentagon was on 9-11-1941 (exactly 60 years to the day before 9-11-2001

        BTW Dan Brown is (from what I hear) a Freemason apologist.

        To date I have never read or watched a Dan Brown book/film.

        Why are you so vehement?

        1. RobbieCrusoe

          The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

          I've probably read all of what you have read, if not more, about the all seeing eye, and the numerology bunkum. At the end of the day, it is all a C O I N C I D E N C E. Whackos (not directed at you ;) ) will always find ways of linking a number or an event to another number or event, it is bound to happen with all that goes on in the world and universe.

          - I was born December 1971

          - "Ernie, the fastest milkman in the west" was in the charts at the time (No 1 I believe)

          - my milkman is called Bernie

          - B is the second letter of the alphabet

          - Second in the holy trinity (according to the sky fairy chronicles) is the Son

          - I am a son

          - My goodness, Ernie was my father!


        2. Naughtyhorse

          do I hear...

          the tell tale rustking of a tinfoil hat.

          I rather think i do

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Can I just say...

          <print>, <frame>

          You, Sir, are hilarious. Congratulations.

          Oh - wait - you're _serious_? Sheeeeit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @TimNevins You gotta laugh...

      >>This is by the book Freemasonly/Satanic imagery used on one dollar bills as well

      Sigh. Yet another bible bashing, "secrets is wrong" crowd. Some originality please?

      >>The one eye is the all seeing eye of Lucifer/ Eye of Ra

      Or, I dunno perhaps its a FRICKIN EYE??

      >>The Anti-Christ is said to have one eye

      So do about 1/10th of the world. So the Anti-Christ fits into the "1 in 10" bracket of people, a group more common than those with Autism, Cancer, AIDS, and other things. And in fact, so would someone that claims their eye causes them to sin. As in "[...]and if your eye causes you to sin, cast it out and use it no more [...]" depending on your translation of course, it can be slightly differently worded

      >>The MW is simply Master Mason

      Yeah.. um. How do you spell Mason again, using the W? Or Master? Dumb@ss can't spell.

      >>For more one-eye stuff look at logos for UbiSoft, LucaArts,AOL etc. The actual list runs into the thousands.

      So I guess commerce is a tool of the devil huh? Gee, wonder what all those Eye of God followers must think now that they're in league with the devil?

      In truth, the "evil eye" has its roots in Egyptian superstition; and has no other basis in the bible (though people have tried to add it without much success). In the 18th and 19th centuries it was used in Courts of Justice to remind judges of their responsibilities - which doesn't seem to be a good thing, considering the crap they spewed BUT it's use was in earnest, not for foul deeds.

      Look your facts up before spouting your rubbish all over the place.

      PS: hey el reg, can we have a Dumb@ss icon? Maybe Dub'ya or something.

    3. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Down


      Looking at the mascots, they seem to be tinfoil coated...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tim Nevins

      I think this sums people like you up nicely.

  11. Stone Fox


    I'm not sure how the moderators feel about links in comments, but the daily mash has a good story on these:

  12. irish donkey

    When I want a kitchen deisgn that will cost me millions....

    I ask you jasper

    but until then........

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: When I want a kitchen deisgn that will cost me millions....

      Well, you lot all vented about it as if people care what you think - why shouldn't he? I want to know what Will Self thinks about the Olympic mascots. Even if no one asked him. Especially if no one asked him.

      1. irish donkey

        Vested Intrest

        I say lets hear a diatribe from Will Self because that is what it will be (and possibly quite funny).... but it won't be sour grapes just because he didn't get the job.

        Sarah this is the first time you have commented on one of my post... does this mean we have a connection?

        1. I didn't do IT.

          Re: Connection with Sarah

          Get in line, lad. Get in line.

          Nope, sorry - starts waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back there.


  13. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I'm sure they'd clash

    with the Terence Conrad design home decor that was ripped out of any house twenty years ago for the reasons given above.

    Fashion - for people who cant afford personalities (TM)

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Oh FFS

    They are just a pair of crap sport mascots and all sports mascots are, by definition, crap.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    this is the most ridiculous thing I've seen this morning...

    irrespective of how much the respective Lords would have charged for this, what we have right now is beyond the realm of ridiculous...

    I wonder what age group they used for the focus groups? 2-1-6 months? hmm.. And what is it with these bloody focus groups driving everything?? Can anyone think of anything that was successfully designed by a fucking focus group?? They are all useless...

    I fear that this pinky and perky (insult to pinky and perky) ripoff will just make London the laughing stock world in a few years time...

    Lord Coe should hang his head in shame. I can't believe our* taxes are paying for this farce!

    * well strictly speaking, your taxes in a few weeks as I've moved to Switzerland, had enough of Nonsensical Britain!

    1. Shane Orahilly

      @AC 10:45

      "Can anyone think of anything that was successfully designed by a fucking focus group??"

      Ford Focus? Spectacles? Lasers?

      Mine's the blurry one somewhere between 3 and 15 metres away, ta.

    2. Witty username

      El Oh El

      I thought Switzerland was notorious for its immense tax, plus draconian speeding laws meaning any slight deviation over the limit results in instant beheading?*

      (*slightly dramatised*

  16. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I know them

    They are just two oversized, one-eyed GoGos (as anyone with an 8-year old child can attest). Not even mega-GoGos (those open up and contain a micro-GoGo inside).

    Must be the most expensive GoGos ever made though...

  17. Anonymous Coward

    international stars of aesthetics!?

    What is Conran thinking? He thinks Prince Charles is some kind of 'international star' of aesthetics!!?

    Surely not the same Prince Charles who prefers a hairy old boot to a blonde bimbo wife half his age?

    Troll, obviously, because it looks like Camilla.

  18. Peter 51
    Thumb Up

    Erm, they're not bad at all

    As someone who thinks the logo was a great big pile of poo, the mascots came as a pleasant surprise. Visually interesting, original and given the video with then in, expressive.

    Much better than yet another anthropomorphised lion or bulldog as some commentators seem to be suggesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Screw that, Britain wants _furries_!

      1. Dave Bell


        Well, the mascot for the World Cup in South Africa looks to be a better job of design.

        And doesn't anyone remember Animalympics?

        There's certainly better models for a cuddly toy.

  19. The BigYin

    Whilst I may agree...

    ... with Sir Conran; I am still in shock that a country like the UK thinks it is fit to host the games.

    Oh, wait.

    Hosting games (at vast public expense) to distract the peasants from the fact the country has gone to hell in a hand-basket. That's been tried before, hasn't it? Did it work back then?

  20. bluesxman

    (mildly) influenced by DOTT?

  21. Miek

    Wow, inspired

    Did they actually employ pixar or just rip-em-off ?

    1. Ivan Headache

      Certainly not!

      If they were Pixar they would be loveable (and imaginative).

      These are just pathetic.

    2. Captain TickTock


      Matt Groening more like

      How about Troll for mascot?

  22. Dan Wilkinson


    They're just mascots for the kiddies! In no way better or worse than any other Olympic mascot (although the blue sperm things was actually a pretty bad one...)

    Who cares, I'll be watching the running 'n stuff rather than hand-wringing about the choice of a carton representative.

    And with any luck, I'm hoping for some World Cup Willy action this summer too...

  23. ShaggyDoggy

    Huh ?

    I thought the mascot was Lisa Simpson.

    ... or is that the logo

  24. Rob Crawford

    Oh look

    another puddle of piss for the public to look at.

    As if it's not bad enough having to pay for the regeneration of east london we are going to have to tolerate more inane logos/characters.

    Personally I think they should have had Michael Barrymore as the olympic mascot as he is genuinely worthy of the loathing which would result

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Look you numpties...

    These things aren't designed for you nor me, when has a mascot ever been there for anyone who is 16+? When was the last time you saw an adult jumping around pointing at a football mascot in the grounds? Never.

    They have been designed for the teletubby loving kids. So the quote "horrible computer generated Smurfs for the iPhone generation" seems to be spot on for their target audience. The iPhone generation isn't us, its the next generation. Its those kids who these mascots will draw into the games.

    Let your young children watch the animated adventures of these two and then make a judgement.

    Get a grip! Why are these 'forums' always full of people complaining that whatever it is doesn't suit them?

    1. mmiied


      cos this is the internet that is what it is there for ..well complaining and porn but I allready looked ta porn today

    2. James Hughes 1

      The reg commetns section

      is just like Have Your Say on the BBC site, but with techie people.

      Average IQ still the same.

  26. Stoneshop

    The UK recognised as the leading creative country?

    By whom, exactly? Sir Terence Conran, obviously, but who else?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      That was my biggest reaction as I read the article. I've never heard this before, and wouldn't ever put the UK at the top of the list if asked. What a silly statement from a rich twat who is pissed off he didn't get asked his opinion. Go back to your opulent room and pout, you petulant child.

      Ask 20 people what they think and you'll get 21 opinions. At some point you have to stop asking. I don't think these things are terribly interesting, but how can you manage by consensus, when creative types never agree on anything to begin with??

  27. envmod


    I like the logo and I like the mascots. What does Conran want - some aesthetically pleasing work of high art? They're mascots for God sake. Fuck Conran - he doesn't know shit about what "real" people want or like to look at. And what's this "horrible computer generated Smurfs for the iPhone generation" rubbish all about? Sounds like a bitter old man being bitter that he's old and doesn't understand things anymore to me.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: +1

      He's a very successful bitter old man if that's what he is.

      It's odd how when people virulently criticise something, others line up to accuse them of bitterness or jealousy (or, if they're a woman, being uncontrollably hormonal, obviously). Very often it's just pure exasperation at mediocrity or inadequacy or crapitude, with no agenda or personal issues attached. This does exist as a force in the universe, you know.

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Not quite

        There's only one universal human force: the act of reproduction. I could show you a cause and effect chain which links this force to the accusation of bitterness, etc. But, right now I can't be arsed for more than a compain about someone complaining about complainers.

        1. Citizen Kaned


          with what now, 10% of the population being gay. yeah, they are reproducing at an astounding rate arent they? :)

      2. Anonymous Coward


        Well, you would say that wouldn't you? What with being uncontrollably hormonal.


        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: @Sarah

          Yeah, yeah, I set 'em up, you do a joke alert and pretend to run away. Very good. Cake is in the post.

          1. Xerxes

            The cake...

            ... is a lie, but I'll have some too, please, Sarah!

      3. OffBeatMammal

        certainly making people emotional

        my 2p ... these things are just bland chav dolls, but they're no less "representitive" or badly designed than earlier Olympics mascots... Izzy from Atlanta for instance was about as culturally void and unlikely to cause offense and these blobbies.

        Until Izzy mascots had always been based on national animals or had some cultural connection but these... they say nothing. for mascots from recent Olympics to compare to...

  28. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Down


    Fair enough they didn't want a furry animal, but they just look really unrefined.

    The single eye doesn't work - even less so when the pupils are so small, as if they're having a light shone at them.

    Don't mind the idea of a drop of steel from the stadium, but the resulting characters just seem a bit amateurish.

    1. asiaseen

      when the pupils are so small

      or have imbibed some serious Class A medicaments

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Childrens TV

      They look like characters out of a budget children's TV show...

  29. sad_loser

    agree with AC 'look you numpties'

    at least they are not pedo-bear clones like most of the crappy mascots.

    Conran can insert his opinion where the sun don't shine.

  30. fixit_f

    Oh yeah, cos Terence Conran is a design genius

    Didn't he design the interior of the original Land Rover discovery, turning a premium motor into one of the nastiest chunks of brown/blue plastic crap imaginable? OK he was constrained slightly by the Leyland parts bin, but you had to sit in one to realise how nasty and flimsy it was.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Simpsons

    I think someone owes Matt Groening a large royalty check for the use of Kang and Kodos.

  32. Anonymous Coward


    Instead we get a mobile bottle opener and a Tivo remote. Ok, so they're not very interesting, but I think they're alright and we could have done a lot worse. At least one of them has a nice pornographic image stamped on it's chest. (Which reminds me - why isn't fellatio an Olympic sport? Surely enough people worldwide participate to make it one?)

    On the other hand, we could have just rolled out a Dalek at a fraction the cost. No "design" fees, instantly recognisable, and green as the Beeb doesn't need the old ones any more. Might make people run a bit more quickly too...

  33. Adrian Esdaile

    Seeing as it's their 30th Anniversary?

    Why not The WOMBLES?

  34. Naughtyhorse

    white it is true to say

    That Conran is an oaf of the highest water, and that the design of a 3rd rate temporary whelk stall (non-wobbly) would overtax the , ahem abilities of foster.

    The fact remains the mascots are pretty shit, an the whole limpiks will be too.

    but when push comes to shove, who actually gives a shit? another 2 week upheaval of the tv schedules, london rush hour made even more unbearable, another 10 million armchair experts in 3-bloody-day-eventing.

    wake me up when it's all gone away.

  35. jubtastic1
    Thumb Down

    Could I add my vote for

    Sack the muppets responsible.

  36. Reality Dysfunction

    Mascots in Sex Bracelet scandal.......

    Did no-one notice the sex bracelets they are wearing? More than just a cuddly mascot one of them is up for a lapdance. Don't tell the Daily Fail......

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    creative country, who knew?

    " UK is recognised around the world as the leading creative country"

    Never in my 40 years have I ever heard anything like that about the UK.

    Who knew?

    -A Canadian

    1. Jerome 0

      re: creative country, who knew?

      He's probably thinking of the music.

  38. Rogerborg
    Thumb Down

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.


    I think they're ideal for getting the half-million Olypmic tourists (fully 25% of whom might leave the country afterwards) used to the baleful unblinking stare of ridiculous costumed mongtards, so that they know what to expect from the raft of "Police" Community Supper "Officers" who will be drafted in to rugby tackle anyone caught taking a photograph inside the M25.

  39. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Could be worse

    Firstly they are better than the bulldog in a union-jack T shirt or whatever the Daily Fail wants.

    Then they are much less embarrassing than the ones for Vancouver.

    They took elements from a few different native gods/spirits and youth-alised them, then got the chiefs of the local indian bands to welcome them to the opening ceremony.

    So roughly like saying - we based the mascot on Jesus but added wings, a jet pack and he transforms into Mohamed, then got the chief Rabbi to introduce him.

  40. Paul Thomas 1

    RE could be worse

    The Vancouver mascots weren't well received when they were announced, but turn's out the kids loved them. They had a live skate show twice a day downtown with the mascots, it was like they were rock stars to all the under 10's leaning over the sides screaming their names. They also toured schools an events and no doubt made a ton of money for the organisers in terms of merchandise.

    Still I think the London mascots are pretty awful, though not surprised they don't look like or represent anything British or even represent London as that would be way too controversial.

    Still think they should have gone with something cuddly, despite what they think the focus groups said kids love stuffed toys.

    Mind you given that we constantly deplore advertising to kids, isn't there something to be said about using children focus groups to design these things, when the Olympics is one of the biggest commercial events in the world.

    What is a children's focus group, mine don't seem to have the same opinion on anything for more than 10 minutes.

  41. Dan_Hibiki

    who voted?

    "The sad thing is that the UK is recognized around the world as the leading creative country"

    Since when?

  42. Puck


    *opens mouth, points at Sir Terence, and emits bloodcurdling screech a la bodysnatchers*

  43. Morpho Devilpepper

    2 thoughts

    1) What ARE they, anyway? Androids? Microorganisms? Anthropomorphized genitalia?

    2) It occurs to me that TimNevins is an anagram of "inventism," which could be construed as the religion of making up weird crap.

    1. Jacob Lipman

      England shafted at the Olympics

      Thank you, Mr. Devilpepper, for finally pointing this out.

      I thought I might have been the only one to recognize the phallic symbols being trotted out for the kiddies. England's mascots are one-eyed monsters. Reminds me of a lovely song written by one Mr. Eric Idle.

  44. Criminny Rickets


    They remind me of some of the binome characters off of Reboot, a Canadian animated series.

    Check for comparison.

  45. Alice Andretti

    Numerology, base 10, leap years, etc.

    "The first stone laid (breaking the ground ceremony)for the Pentagon was on 9-11-1941 (exactly 60 years to the day before 9-11-2001"

    Not to be disrespectful or anything - assuming you were serious in your posts and not just fooling around - but it seems to me that, a couple of points:

    1. Exactly-anything, WRT years and calendar dates, is a human invention. Remember that little thing about leap year and the 1/4 day or whatever it is? We humans have chosen to regard our calendar as having "exact" dates because we like to have that sort of thing be all neat and tidy - makes it easier for us to keep track of stuff - but the orbits and things keep their own schedules. Or maybe I'm remembering things wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's what we were taught in school (long time ago).

    2. Base-10 numbers are another human invention. Numerology would be completely thrown off kilter if we happened to use base-2, or base-whatever, some other number system, instead.

    Therefore, while it's tempting for us humans to try to make sense of the universe, and to try to make order out of chaos (that's what our brains are good at - that's why we see faces in clouds), I have to respectfully conclude that numerology perhaps isn't as meaningful as its proponents might wish.

    That said, that doesn't mean that numerology hasn't been employed by humans as a way to assign order to a confusing/frightening universe.

    Traditionally, various cultures *have* intentionally used number patterns for all kinds of things, including architecture and other things, in attempts to bring good luck or avoid some pitfall or other. However, tradition is not always founded in reality and it isn't always very useful.

    However, there *is* the "power of thought" aspect of things, or the "believe it and it will happen" angle. It's easy to form *associations* with certain symbols, such as a particular number or whatever, based on one's life experiences or some other personal/historical event or something that a person or culture remembers in either a good way or a bad way - even animals form associations like that (that's why animals can be trained, via either positive- or negative-reinforcement) but - at least in my opinion - that doesn't endow the symbol *itself* with the good or bad thing. It's just people's *memories* and *associations* of some symbol or other. As such, that limits its scope.

    I could be wrong :) and again I mean no disrespect to others' beliefs, but sometimes what we start out thinking of as a helpful thing (e.g., numerology or some other belief), can turn into a trap that rules people's lives, which is probably not what they thought they were getting into when they started. Some things are best to just not get started with. Habits can be hard to break. I speak from experience.

    Just my two cents' worth.

    (I half figure the OP was just trying to provide entertainment, but if not, my monologue ;) above applies.)

  46. Schultz

    Olympic mascots?

    For Olympic mascots they look a bit out of shape! Don't they have hormones in Mascotland?

    Keep it real!

    (At least my icon seems to be on a good trip)

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Taking the p*ss?

    I'm a bit disturbed that the paralympic mascot (the blue one) appears to have wet its pants. Is that a reference to disabled people with bladder control issues? Can we get that mascot sponsored by Tena Lady?

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