Mascots

The Olympic's visual theme has so far skewed odd – and its mascot choices are a double-Futurama-whammy. Writes Jason Toon:

Amid all the ridicule for the London 2012 Olympic logo, it's easy to overlook the equally bizarre Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots for this year's games. Some say they're a bold departure, others say they're softening up the youth of Earth for the imminent metal-cyclops takeover.

Seth Stevenson delves into the mascots' industrial roots and worries about their marketability for kids:

According to their backstory, Wenlock and Mandeville are drops of molten steel. They flecked off a structural beam during the building of London’s Olympic Stadium. Perhaps you feel differently, but in my experience there is nothing soft or furry about molten metal.

And yet there's a tradition of Olympic bogeymen:

Sadly, Wenlock and Mandeville … mark a regression to the terrifying mascot designs of yore. Those dark days when children’s dreams were haunted by creations like Schuss (the "skiing sperm" of Grenoble) and Schneemann (Innsbruck’s lumbering snowman, who sported two soulless, coal eyes).

(Photo by The Department for Culture, Media and Sport)