Beijing 2008 Olympic Mascots

The Official Mascots of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was unvieled today:

Image in courtesy of Beijing-2008.org

How do you like it?

Related entry: Beijing 2008 Olympic Emblem Unvieled

Update November 14, 2005

Huge traffic to this site again. Seems it has been indexed by Google 3 days after it was posted as the first page result for terms like olympic mascots, beijing mascots, even Beijing 2008. Amazing…

Since everyone is here, let me share some Beijing 2008 resources with you.

Report from Sina, China’s largest portal

The offical website (English, Chinese)

60 thoughts on “Beijing 2008 Olympic Mascots”

  1. You must be a commic addict.

    When would you guys ditch your distorted lens and realize that even the Japanese language itself was based (hated to say borrowed from) on Chinese?

    Oh, yeah, Japanese culture is hip. Oh, no Chinese pls. Give me a break.

  2. they look very strange, although people gave them a lot of meaning.

    it is a difficult task to find a suitable mascots, but in my opionion it is not the best choice.

  3. Ok, I must apologize. I should have realized that my comment would have set off the usual China/Japan political commentary. But that was not my intention. All I meant was that the characters have that ‘Japan Cute’ look, especially Ni Ni. And no matter what you think about politics in Asia, you have to admit that the Japanese have had a near monopoly on the ‘cute cartoon’ look from the late twentieth century on.

    So, please, for the sake of Wang Jian Shuo’s blog, enough about the politics between China and Japan. These are Olympic mascots, for crying out loud!

  4. I bet you can’t and won’t find many fake, i.e. unlicensed Olympic-logo bearing products, or Olympic mascots. Why is that? Is China a country where every man is wearing a fake polo golf shirt, and every PC is runing a copy of pirated MS Windows XP (or other versions, you name it)? WSJ (Wall Street Journal, not this famous Shanghai blogger WJS) tells its story:

    “On the second floor of the Silk Street Market, Beijing’s crowded counterfeit center, Xu Chao peddles knockoff Adidas, Mickey Mouse and Diesel T-shirts. But shoppers won’t find fake versions of products bearing the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games logo at his stall or anywhere else at the market, a few steps from the U.S. Embassy.

    “The penalties for selling Olympic items are several times higher than for other brands,” Mr. Xu says. The red logo of a running Olympian is the one brand peddlers of fakes can go to jail for stealing, he says.

    China is notorious as a knockoff haven, where poor law enforcement has turned a potentially huge consumer market into a land of 75-cent pirated DVDs and $10 fake Louis Vuitton handbags. Yet even amid growing consumer demand for 2008 Games trinkets, counterfeit Olympics goods are hard to find. Now, U.S. trade officials, business groups and intellectual-property lawyers want to know why the Chinese government can’t make other counterfeit goods just as scarce.”

    Voila! It’s not that Chinese government CAN’T, but WON’T crack down pirate Hollywood DVDs. They could, but they are only serious when they protect their profits, their own IP. They are just playing a dirty trick with the West, ripping the West off, piling up illegal wealth at the expense of western firms, one of them Microsoft, WJS’s formmer employer.

    Something you’ll never heard from this (in)famous Shanghai blogger.

  5. Please the western return back the Gold, Silver, Antiue stolen from China. (I don’t know what did Bellevue mean by his words, if he is for political reason, my words is a punch back; if it’s not, please just take it as a fact happened 100 years ago).

  6. Brad: In case you don’t know yet, lying is just not a big deal here.

    The Mandarin saying goes: 杀熟!Yes, friend lies.

    A clear sign that you are not living in China, or you just don’t blend in. (/sarcarsm)

  7. they do look weird but i guess it’s the meaning behind them that counts, and that’s not just representing the 5 colours of the olympic rings.

  8. Personally, I think they look too juvenile. Why is it that everything that would go over great with the 8 – 13 year old market elsewhere in the world sells like wildfire in Asia to adults? I don’t get it… they are strange looking cartoon *somethings* Why on earth would China want this to be the symbol of their entrance into the grand global arena? Anime?

    Just don’t get it…

  9. Anime is just the word, right !

    I haven’t seen any chinese characters with that look so far. ONLY japanese.

    This style do NOT origin from China.

    Suitable for 8-12 year old schoolgirls yes, but not suitable to promote a multi billion yuan sports event, huh ?

    Jianshuo, what do you think of these dolls yourself, as a chinese ?

  10. well, carsten, personally, I don’t think it is a bad design, but I think there must be better options. To critize is easy, to create is not. So I try not to say too many bad things on this.

  11. as mascots go, they aren’t so bad (nothing is as worse as Atlanta’s Whatzit!). The Olympics mascots the past few games have been extremely weird and not like an actual animal like in the old days, Korean Tiger (Seoul), American eagle (LA), and I think Barcelona had some kind of cat. Just look at Turin, Athens, Sydney, and Atlanta for examples of the goofy, computer generated/imaginary things that have served. China should have gone with some kind of REAL animal (ala the University Games using a Yangtze River Alligator).

    Fake Olympic stuff could be found EVERYWHERE in Beijing in the past, now its a bit harder, but not too bad, if you look, you’ll find it (more like the sellers will find you!). The problem is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to buy official things, with only one location in the entire city actually selling official goods (in a small space inside a department store on Wangfujing) and a small stand at the airport.

  12. Does someone still have a primary school book of ‘Art’ dated back in 1980s? I bet we can find a lot of characters look exactly the same as the new mascots… (I still remember the days that I often got very low points from the art teacher when we were asked to imitate those things), in that way we can prove they had nothing to do with the ‘Japanese Cute’. Actually those kind of pictures we started to have already on kindergarten walls, so that’s more than 20 years ago …

    And really I don’t feel they look like the ‘Japanese Cute’, therefore no need to start a topic that when did the Japanese start to borrow our school art book characters ;-)

    But, but, I don’t like these mascots, because of the same reason that I didn’t liked their ‘brothers and sisters’ in my school art book 20 years ago… they look so dull, not at all creative, no imagination.

    I have to say that I am disappointed to see the mascots – I had expected some better design.

    However, there must be a lot other Chinese who liked them, or I wouldn’t have read that customers were queuing to get those?

  13. they all look alike, why not just have one.

    plus the meaning behind them have little cultural meaning collectively.

  14. Cultural meaning? None. Political motivation? You bet. The choice of using Tibetan antelope, which is native to Chinese-occupied Tibet, as one of the 5 mascots (huan huan), is a shameless attempt to legitimizing Chinese atrocity against Tibetan nation and wildlife in the occupied land.

    The International Campaign for Tibet has criticized Beijing’s adoption of the Tibetan antelope as one of five doll mascots for the 2008 Olympics, saying that it should not co-opt this symbol of Tibet’s wildlife heritage, especially without better protecting its survival as a species.

    “The appropriation of the Tibetan antelope as the Olympic mascot is a way of China attempting to assert the legitimacy of its rule over Tibet,” said John Ackerly, President of ICT. “It is ironic that they have chosen a species that is endangered in Tibet partly as a result of the Chinese presence in the region.”

    The Tibetan antelope is believed to have numbered approximately a million at the turn of the 20th century, but thousands were slaughtered for sport and meat by soldiers of the Peoples Liberation Army in the 1950s, ’60s and 70s. In the 1980s, when the antelope’s fine wool, called shahtoosh, became popular internationally, Chinese and Tibetan poachers began taking a large toll, up to 20,000 animals per year. The total number is estimated to have dropped to under 100,000 in the mid 1990s. Although it has since recovered slightly, the animal is still in danger of extinction, and China’s record at protecting it is poor.

    The railway currently being constructed from Golmud in Qinghai to Lhasa in Tibet may endanger the Tibetan antelope further. While tunnels have been built to allow the antelope to cross the railway line, the railway will bring many more people – and potentially more poachers – closer to the antelope’s breeding grounds and habitat.

    The Tibetan antelope was listed as a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1975. In 1979 all international trade in Tibetan antelope parts and derivatives became illegal. The U.S. government listed the Tibetan antelope, also known as chiru, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act in 2003.

    “The threat to the Tibetan antelope’s survival can be compared to the threat to the survival of the Tibetan people’s unique cultural identity as a result of hard-line policies and fast-track development by Beijing,” said John Ackerly, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.

  15. hey bellevue, your points don’t seem that far off, but you really come across as a dick with an axe to grind. all you can do with such behavior is “prove you are right”. do you want to be right and alienate or communicate? whee look i rhyme :p

  16. Love the little mascots and even more so after seeing the background of their development.

    As for americans criticizing china, I guess we didn’t kill all the Indians, all their culture and take all their land so why not preach! Easier than doing something at home.

  17. A lot of discussion on the mascots. Like it or not, it has generated huge business opporunities in China and worldwide already. Related domains now are very expensive and mascots products are being sold in many places.

  18. Quote: “…The red one looks like the head is on fire.”

    LOL

    That’s because his head is on fire. Each mascot represents something either related to the Olympics or to China. The red one is the Olympic flame. Hence, the fire.

    For anyone who doesn’t know (and is curious), the mascots are cartoon renditions of: a panda, a carp, a Tibetan antelope, a swallow and the Olympic flame.

  19. They do have a Japanese air about them. But they look more chinese or korean. Not Japanese. Yes, they’re very cute (Kawaii!) But cute is one of the things that East Asia do well! They rock at designing cute mascots! Hello Kitty (Japanese), Koge-pan (Japanese), Pucca (Korean), Baditz Maru (Japanese), All examples of how well east asia do mascots! I think the new olympic mascots suit their country very well, and can be marketed to children!

    (PS, The mascots are incorperated with elements of the land, Fire, Sea, Forest etc)

  20. they look pretty chinese to me.

    sure they are “cute” but I don’t think japan is the only country allowed to produce “cute” things. I think bashing on them for their japanese influence is sort of like bashing on almost every modern american rock band because much of their sound came from the british invasion… or almost every hollywood action movie that uses elements of HK cinema. that’s how pop culture works. (if you could call the olympics “pop” culture…. I don’t see why not) when something is extremely successful everything that comes afterward ends up looking a little bit like it. -then the lines between what’s “british” “american” “japanese” or “icelandic” get blurred.

    and that’s supposed to be a good thing, right?

    really, I think they are tastefully done…. expecially when compared to the mascots of other recent olympic games.

  21. What a bunch of fukwits.

    “China copies everything”

    “Japanese culture came from China”

    “You should all give back Chinese gold”.

    Well, Bellevue, don’t be suprised that Wangjianshuo won’t mention anything political. If you want something insightful and thought-provoking, then you are on the wrong site. Try an intellectual one (not mine).

    To all – why waste your already wasted time by caring and arguing about Japan/China.

    Many people dislike the mascots. With the basis of not really giving a shite – I think they’re OK. I’m sure kids will like them, which is all that matters.

    And if China is twisting things politically with them? Who cares. If you don’t expect that then you’re in the wrong country.

    All countries use various means to get just a little piece of propaganda across. Hang on a minute – propaganda… panda… THAT RHYMES!!!! I THINK I’M ONTO SOMETHING!!!! etc.

  22. look everyone out there saying dumb things about these 5 mascots are idiots….yes IDIOTIC JERKS!! the 5 mascots represent fire,water,wood,gold….etc. there not there for you to accuse and they are CUTE and i like them! I come from America and i read a few comments that are ‘dumb’ and i want to say to those people….get a real life who do you think you are? did you invent the mascots? do you know what it means?! stop acting smart! and so what about the Japanese and chinese thing? OMG get over it!!!! i dont give a shit if u lke it or not go GET A FUCKEN LIFE OK? GO FUCK YOUR MOM! AMERICA LOVES THE MASCOTS AND YER, PPLZ WHOO DONT LIKE THEM….. YOU SUK AND WHY DONT YOU GO SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE HEAD????!

  23. especially DAVE…do you have a knife? RUN INTO IT!!!!! KILL YOURSELF!!! YOU DON’T DESERVE TO LIVE!!!!!!! its not on fire the head is not on fuking fire ok? it represents the olympic torch!!!!!!! you fucking filthy cock! go fuk a horse or a cow ok? b’coz you r 1!!!!!A ANIMAL!!! no1 likes you and ur such a dick UR A LOAD OF CODSWALLOP!!!

  24. I CAN NOT BELIEVE THE COMMENTS HERE BY SOME REALLY BRAIN DEAD PEOPLE.I HAVE VISITED CHINA 3 TIMES IN 3 YEARS AND I FIND IT TO BE A WONDREFUL COUNTRY. I FELT NO BAD FEELINGS TOWARD ME ANYWHERE I WENT. AS FOR THE MASCOTS,YOU MUST LOOK PAST THE HATE YOU FEEL AND LOOK AT THE FUN THEY REPRESENT.THIS WORLD WOULD BE BETTER IF EVERYONE WOULD JUST OPEN THIER HEART AND LOVE EACH OTHER. GO TO CHINA,SMILE AND BE FRIENDLY, YOU WILL FIND THE CHINESE PEOPLE WILL WELCOME YOU. I WAS IN CHINA NOVEMBER,2005 AND THE MASCOTS WERE FOR SALE EVERYWHERE. I RETURNED WITH A GOOD COLLECTION AND I LOVE THEM.

  25. I love these mascots. My dad was just in Beijing and brought home 5 (1 of each colour) of the mascots – 3 for my triplet sons and 2 for my nieces.

  26. Frankly I love them. I think they really show a very asian influnece- not Japanese just oriental in general, people need to work that out.

    But it’s a little sad to be getting so het up about it. Some people like them and some people don’t. Get over it.

  27. I agree with Zoey and J Melton and you shouldn’t make fun of any countrys like China because it is a super cool place to live in and i use to live there and I think the mascots look cute and chinese but people have different things to say. It doesn’t matter what they look like that much because they represent the Olympics and China.The shows are pretty good if you can understand them

  28. My school is having an olmpic quiz and if I answer the question correctly, I wuld gat a prize. Could you Please help me?

    My question is:

    What am I?

    I am one of the athletics events.

    My event is very long. I begin in one place and finish at the olympic stadium on the last day of the games.

    If you find an answer for my question, plase e-mail me at tlc.isabella@gmail.com.

    Thank You!

  29. OMG I love the mascots they r 2 cute. Do the sell them on tees in aussie please please tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG i luv them

    xoxo

  30. I think they are very cool because they are so cute my favorite one is Huanhuan because he looks so cute.

    AND GO KPS Hi Alex.W

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