Here at CWC we make very many costume characters. We make tall costumes, short costumes, fat costumes, thin costumes and everything in between. Out of the thousands of costumes we have made, there are a few particular styles of mascot that are requested and brought to life more often than others.
After trawling through data from the past few years, I have come up with a top five list of mascot shapes, and I’ll aim to give you an insight into why these choices are so popular. Who knows, it may even start you thinking about what mascot is best for your needs…
Click the title of each section below to be taken to the relevant costume pages. More costumes are being added all the time so keep checking back for more inspiration and ideas.
When somebody asks you to think of a typical mascot shape, bears are usually not far from the forefront of people’s minds. One of our most popular shapes, the classic bear can take on many forms. It can be cute, it can be comical, it can be in clothes or completely naked (or should I say bare…), the bear is a versatile choice for any company looking to engage with an audience young or old. Used in sporting events (Olympics, football and many others), presidential campaigns (the infamous Theodore Roosevelt who gave name to the Teddy Bear) and charities (BBC Children In Need is a very high profile example) to name a few, the bear is seen as a symbol of strength, courage and endurance, not to mention a nostalgic treat for the majority of us.
I remember gripping my Teddy tight as the monsters of the dark crept around my room, its fur reassuringly warm as it protected me from the gremlins living in our spare room and I’m sure I’m not the only one who still holds his teddy in high regard. This feeling of security that many of us have held on to from a young age makes the Teddy one of the more approachable characters in the costume kingdom. With so many positive attributes, it’s no wonder the bear is such a popular choice of mascot.
We briefly touched on what the term humanoid meant with regards to costume characters in a previous post (see the jargon buster – 10 terms to talk like a mascot maker post) but just to refresh for those that are new to our blog, a Humanoid is a character that is human-like in design and shape but is ultimately larger than life and in some cases a caricature with exaggerated features and body shape. This type of mascot is a popular choice across a broad range of industries. We’ve done humanoids for theme parks, TV shows, small businesses and charities to name a few and there is something reassuringly familiar about this body style.
Humans can relate to mascots that express human needs better than those that don’t. This isn’t exclusive to humanoid mascots but is a prominent reason why this particular type of character is so popular. Suited to more active mascot work, humanoid shape bodies are a great choice for sporting clubs and occasions where the character plays an energetic role, such as a performance event entertaining the crowd. Popular choices are superhero style designs and characters that look like employees or are in a certain job role (such as our lovely town crier mascot), sporting the uniform of the club, group or company they are representing.
An icon of strength, athletic ability and pride, the Lion is a great choice of character for those wanting to portray the aforementioned traits, or for those looking to create a mascot with an air of authority (Lions are well known as the king of the beasts). Lions can appear friendly or fearsome, furry or muscular, timid or forthcoming, it’s an animal that can adapt to many needs whilst maintaining an element of regality within its character. It’s a popular choice for many sports clubs, amateur and professional, invoking the spirit of the Lion into the fans and players whilst the character entertains from the sidelines.
A good few of the Lion costume characters we have brought to life are dressed in regal clothing. The mane, being a majestic natural crown, makes the lion a perfect choice for playing the part of royalty. The Barbary lion is a national symbol of England (amongst others), perhaps explaining why this animal is so popular in this part of the world. Stretching back to medieval times when English warriors were known as lions (including Richard the Lionheart), the Lion has been a prominent symbol in British culture ever since.
What list would be complete without the ever faithful dog? Not this one as dog costumes make up a decent portion of the costume characters we bring to life. Dogs are a man’s best friend and are easy for people to identify with because they are such a popular pet and a common sight throughout the world. Dogs are also intelligent and loyal creatures. Choosing a dog costume humanises and emphasises these familiar traits and gives your character a head start with building rapport, instilling a safe and approachable vibe to the on looking crowd. Because of this reason, dog mascots are great for interaction and delivering an important message, such as safety around the workplace or on the streets.
On the opposite scale (and I’m thinking mainly sports clubs and play centres with this one), dogs can also be cheeky, energetic, curious and lovingly mischievous, acting up and generally being entertaining. This makes them a great choice for a costume character that interacts with younger crowds. We’ve made dogs for charities, police forces, football teams and many more. The popularity of the canine costume character never fades.
Quite a broad category but an important one nevertheless, Inanimate costume characters as a whole make up a significant number of the costumes we create each year. Mainly used for advertising specific products or services, clients have certainly not let their imagination get in the way of creating the ideal mascot for their needs. Before we discuss it further, let’s have a quick re-cap over what an inanimate costume character actually is. An inanimate costume is a costume with few or no moving parts, made to be in most cases larger than life and an exaggerated version of the original item.
Great examples of inanimate costume characters we have made in the past are: a giant potato, a giant mobile phone, giant balls of Wool, and possibly my personal favourite, Pvt. Touchwood Sweetheart, the official Touch Wud mascot we made to commemorate the centenary of the 1st World War back in 2014. This list could go on for ever as there are so many amazing examples of inanimate characters we have made but I’ll let you explore the costumes on our website for yourself. A great advertising tool and a real talking point for potential customers, inanimate mascots are a fantastic way of putting your product at the forefront of people’s minds. What better way than having your giant snack bar shaking hands and interacting with customers? It’ll certainly be a memorable experience for them and one they won’t forget no matter how short the interaction (providing your character has been well designed of course). Large and small companies alike have commissioned pieces to go alongside promotional tours, attend meet and greets or even just to be part of a promotional display, since these characters don’t necessarily need to be worn and can be created to be displayed as a statue without a wearer.
So there we have it, our top five most popular costume character shapes. Although these are here to give you some food for thought into what type of mascot you could have, there are many other shapes that make fantastic costumed characters so don’t count anything out until you’ve given it some proper thought.
The most important aspect of creating your costume character is the initial design stage. Spend time thinking about what it is you want to show. Is it company values or a specific product? What message are you looking to deliver and who do you want to deliver it to? Does your company already have a Logo mascot that could be turned into a costume? With these simple considerations in mind, all it takes is a little bit of imagination. If you’re feeling stuck then give us a call. We’ve got a wealth of experience in designing characters for a range of industries so there’s a good chance we can point you in the right direction and produce the perfect character for your needs.
If you’re after something a little different to those mentioned above. Please browse through our costumes pages as we’ve got plenty of ideas to inspire. 🙂