Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Beijing 2008 Friendlies Mascots

The Five Friendlies Fuwa, the mascots for the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008, are a good example of kid-friendly (pun-intended ;)) character designs. Each mascot represents the corresponding color-matched Olympic ring and embodies aspects of Chinese culture, goodwill, and their commitment to a Green Olympics (from the catalog included with this set of cell-phone straps).
So the pointers to remember when helping your kids in creating their own cute characters: try to sketch them 3 heads tall, round shapes, and round faces with big eyes suggesting cuteness. Assigning a bright primary color to dominate the look of a given character makes them more recognizable and can help convey their personality and skills.

As for Fuwa merchandise, if you get the chance to travel through China you might want to make certain to pick up some officially licensed items at the Friendship stores like this cool set of mechanical pencils (which didn't make the trip back with me from the West Coast, so it might be very nice if someone could pick me another set on their upcoming trip to China if they happen to come across them at the Great Wall Badaling store or the Terracotta Warriors Xian store *hint*) and other compact stationery items (like the set of color-coded 10 wooden pencils with the characters printed on the barrels) since I have yet to see any of them among the online selection available for purchase worldwide. Many such items are likely to be exclusives for specific brick-and-mortar stores in Mainland China (for I was unable to find a second mechanical pencil set in the Olympic store on Nanjing Road, Shanghai).

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