Wednesday, 18 June 2014

World cup mascots

Here at Promotional Props and Costumes we specialise in creating mascot costumes for advertising, marketing as well as stage and television and with the FIFA World Cup 2014 in full swing in Brazil we’re all is excited about football and in particular their tournament mascot Fulecco.

Fulecco is an armadillo, originally conceived from the three-banded armadillo which is native to Brazil and we think he really does show the true nature of Brazil and its passion for football while appealing to everyone watching.

Official tournament mascots have become a really important factor of World Cup tournaments representing the fun nature of the event and a positive atmosphere. They serve, like most mascots, to promote the event and entertain the crowd and many have become household names and celebrities across the world.

We thought what better opportunity than now to look back at the World Cup mascots since they first started appearing at World Cup tournaments in 1966. 

World Cup 1966 – England
Willie the first World Cup mascot was chosen to be a lion because the animal was a traditional symbol of the United Kingdom. Willie started life as a cartoon, sporting a Union Jack football shirt and 60s style mop-top mane.  This is the mascot that parents have to thank for kick-starting the merchandising boom for most international sports events. 

World Cup 1970 – Mexico
Put simply, Juanito is a young boy wearing the iconic but rather oversized Mexican Sombrero hat with a football. He was the first human mascot and was supposed to represent a typical young football fan.

World Cup 1974 – Germany
Tip and Tap were probably launched as a duo due to the divide between Germany at the time with the iconic symbol of the two boys hugging as a sign of hope that the divided country could play together without difference while welcoming other countries. The human form was kept due to the Mexican boy of the previous World Cup with the abbreviation of WM for the German word for the World Cup.

World Cup 1978 – Argentina
Gauchito Mundialito kept to the style of the previous three mascots depicting a young boy however this time as a young Argentinean cowboy. This mascot was initially criticised as being too similar to the Mexican mascot but his hat neckerchief and whip are typical of gauchos.

World Cup 1982 – Spain
Naranjito was an orange – odd yes! But this was the typical fruit grown in Spain. Some have referred to his appearance as an unique style of a Humpty Dumpty but he was extremely popular with Spanish children. His name comes from the Spanish word for Orange (Naranja) with ‘ito’ added (meaning young)

World Cup 1986 – Mexico
Mexico opted for a completely different type of mascot the second time around – a jalapeno pepper with a moustache and of course the iconic sombrero. Pique, his name, was chosen for its Spanish connection to spicy peppers and sauces.

World Cup 1990 –Italy
Ciao – meaning hello, hi, or goodbye was the chosen name for Italy’s mascot. A simple stick figure with a football as its head. Adorned in the Italian colours the mascot was in keeping with the host country’s flag. Quite possibly not as endearing as previous mascots but distinctive.

World Cup 1994 - USA
The USA hosting their first World Cup opted for a dog called striker as its mascot. A common domestic pet in America he wore red, white and blue just like the US colours. A lot of people felt this mascot was a little juvenile and meaningless but it appealed to kids and families nevertheless.

World Cup 1998 – France
With a  blue body, just like the host nations team shit, Rooster, his name (and the national symbol) was chosen as the 1998 World Cup. Many people linked his likeness with the likes of Woody Woodpecker holding a football but according to some surveys, this mascot goes down as one of the most memorable.

World Cup 2002 – South Korea/Japan
This familiar trio, Ato, Nik and Kaz had a back story being member of the team Atoball. Ato is the coach while Nik and Kaz are team players. They were the first futuristically designed mascots using computer-generation which isn’t surprising considering Japan’s involvement in hosting. Their designs were also said to have inspired the Olympic 2012 mascot designs.

World Cup 2006 – Germany
As the second lion to be used as a mascot for the World Cup, but this time wearing a Germany Shirt, Goleo also had a sidekick, a talking football named Pille which proved successful for sales of merchandise and was excellent for marketing the Germany 2006 tournament.

World Cup 2010 – South Africa
This world cup saw leopard Zakumi as mascot. A common animal found in South Africa but this time represented as cute, colourful and passionate about football – his colours green and gold were chosen as representative of the host nation’s team. His name, Zakumi comes from a combination of ‘Za’ for South Africa and ‘Kumi’ meaning ten.

World Cup 2014 - Brazil
By selecting a three-banded armadillo to represent the country, Brazil are showing their biodiversity of species. They are also drawing attention to an animal which is rather unique. His name comes from a combination of the Brazilian words for football and ecology. It is already being stated that this is potentially one of the most popular mascots of all time.

At Promotional props and Costumes we use a variety of techniques to ensure that me create and construct a mascot costume that is durable, effective and functional. We can copy an existing design or work with you to create something new that works.

From characters to animal suits we have created designs which represent a cross section of sectors and don’t limit our abilities – check out our previous designs here.

If you want to create a mascot costume for your sports team, club or company then get in touch with us today.

Enjoy the World Cup...Come on England!

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