Monday, September 20, 2010

Fans in Mascots - Good or Bad?

One of the most often asked questions from potential clients is whether or not the mascot costume comes with a fan.  Many people assume that all "pro" mascots come with fans and elaborate cooling systems. This is rarely, if ever, true.

In my years of experience performing at major theme parks in highly recognizable character costumes, I can tell you that NONE of the mascot costumes had fans installed.  As a mascot performer, you quickly accept it as a fact of life that you are going to get hot and sweaty! To minimize the discomfort and reduce your risk of over-heating, I recommend not wearing a costume for more than 30 minutes in normal summer temperatures.  If it's an unusually hot day then cut the time down by 5 minute increments and see how it goes.  In cooler weather, you can probably go a bit longer if you want, but in general try to stay in the 30 minute range, then jump out for 30, drink some water and get back in! Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, as each mascot performer has his or her own tolerance level for heat. 

Ironically, many mascot costumes come with fans that blow air into the costume.  I believe this is why most people find that they are not very effective.  The purpose of the fan should be to exhaust heated air from inside the costume – think of it like a bathroom fan after you shower.  You want the hot, moist air to be expelled to the outside and the vaccuum that this creates will pull fresh air into the head through the meshed areas.  As the cooler air gets drawn in it does a more effective job at lowering the temperature inside the costume.

When it comes to keeping the fan operating, be wary of being sold any type of “specialty” battery pack to power the fan. Keep it simple by using inexpensive and readily available AA batteries (rechargeable if you like, to save cost).

So call me old school – I still don’t think that fans are entirely necessary but I do understand why many people find them useful or necessary. Based on feedback from my customers, it seems that I’ll be putting fans in all our mascots but I’ll leave it up to you to decide!  

What do you think??

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hogtown Mascots and The Colbert Report

Press Release

Celebrity satirist Stephen Colbert uses mascot on April 27th edition of ‘The Colbert Report’.

· Toronto, ON, April 28, 2010: Hogtown Mascots ( recently selected comedian Stephen Colbert as the next recipient on its mascot ‘hit list’, following the success of the ‘Big Ellen’ mascot campaign in April 2008, in which celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres also received a mascot of herself as a gift. According to company founder John Kernaghan, DeGeneres and Colbert were selected because of their quirky humour, self-deprecating style and wide audience appeal. “Both Stephen and Ellen are very entertaining, so sending them caricatures of themselves is as much a thank you from me as it is an opportunity for them to script the characters in a way that is consistent with the vibe of their shows.”, said Kernaghan. In last night’s edition of ‘The Colbert Report’, the Colbert mascot first appeared wielding a t-shirt cannon which it fired off into the audience. It appeared again at the close of the show, when Colbert personally thanked Hogtown Mascots on air, after which he put the head on and begin dancing with his harem.

· In the case of the ‘Big Ellen’ mascot, not only did it appear when she first revealed it to her audience during the letters segment, but the mascot continued to appear throughout the rest of the season rolling out gifts, participating in games and interacting with the public both in and out of the studio. It garnered enough attention to warrant a photo and caption in the April 2008 edition of In Touch magazine. Kernaghan is confident that based on past success with the Ellen show and because Colbert’s demographic is mostly college-age American youth, ‘Big Stephen’ will enjoy an equally colorful career.

· Hogtown Mascots not only gifts mascots to worthy celebrities, but it often chooses to partner with a worthy charitable organization once a year to receive a free mascot to help with fundraising efforts. In 2009, a mascot was donated to Gabbie’s Wish which raises money for Cystinosis research. Cystinosis is an extremely rare metabolic disease affecting children, which slowly destroys the organs in the body including the kidneys, liver, eyes, muscles and the brain.

· For further information, contact John Kernaghan or George Civello at Hogtown Mascots1-877-622-8422 or via email