Thursday, October 30, 2014

10 School Mascot Ideas from Hogtown Mascots

Choosing a school mascot should be a fun task. However, you do not want just any mascot - you want a great one that truly represents the spirit of your school! This means that you will have to take care when deciding what exactly your mascot will be. 

We are going to help you make your decision a little bit easier with these ten great school mascot ideas:
1. Fierce Spartan warriors
The Spartans were fierce warriors who worked tirelessly to achieve their goals, no matter what the odds. Whether you need him for a basketball game, football game or other competition, your Spartan warrior is sure to motivate your school's athletes. 
2. A cool bear
Bears are huge, ferocious and intimidating; there isn't much you can do to detract from that. However, adding a school varsity jacket and some hip accessories to your bear is a great way to add a fun factor that is sure to get the crowd excited.
3. A bumble bee
Bumble bees are quick, agile and when you mess with them, you are sure to get stung -- and if you bother one bee, the rest are sure to swarm you. This is a great way to infuse a team spirit into your school's athletes.
4. A wolf
Wolves are the ultimate pack animals. They work together and communicate effectively to achieve all of their goals - this is a great thing for your school's athletes to remember.
5. An elephant
Elephants are big, powerful and generally unstoppable beasts. This makes an elephant mascot a great option to remind both your school's athletes and their opponents that your team is a force to be reckoned with.
6. A shark in a home uniform
When a person invades the territory of a shark, the shark usually wins. As such, a shark mascot is ideal for home games when you want to remind the opposing school that they are in your house, and winning against your team won't come easily.
7. A flaming phoenix
Okay, so your phoenix mascot shouldn't really be on fire. But a phoenix mascot with some flame-like effects is a great way to use the symbolism of the legendary bird: no matter how hard things get, we will come back even better than ever.
8. A big headed eagle
Speaking of birds, no list of potential mascots is complete without adding in the eagle. This bird has one simple meaning: victory. The giant head is sure to attract attention and entertain the crowd.
9. A gladiator
Gladiators were known for their intensity and ferocity, so a gladiator mascot is sure to get the crowd excited as soon as he enters the gym or field.
10. Zeus
Zeus is a mighty being who wreaks havoc on those who oppose him. Plus, his lightning bolt would be a great prop to symbolize lightning striking every time your team scored.
Regardless of which animal, human, or object you choose for your school's mascot, make sure that it is completely unique!
For more school mascot ideas...
Whether you are ready to start getting your custom mascot created or you would just like some more school mascot ideas, Hogtown Mascots can help. We are a premier mascot production company, and we can help you through the mascot design process from beginning to end.
The Hogtown Mascots team can be reached via phone at (877) 622-8422 or via our website at

Thursday, October 23, 2014

7 Safety Tips for Your Custom Mascot

Acting as a custom mascot can be a fun and rewarding experience, but can also be a challenging and tiring experience that puts performers at risk of various issues ranging from injuries to heat exhaustion. However, simply by following basic safety precautions, you can protect your performers and allow them to have an enjoyable, comfortable experience while in costume.

1. Make Smart Costume Decisions
You need to think carefully about the actual design of the mascot when designing your custom mascot costume. It is always best to avoid long tails, excessive material and other features which may be trip hazards or make it difficult for the performer to move around. Also, avoid pieces within the costume that could cause injuries should the performer fall.

2. Perform with an Escort
Mascots have significantly restricted vision and mobility, making even the simplest tasks, such as climbing stairs and walking near traffic, dangerous. The best solution is for mascots to always be accompanied by an escort, who should be responsible for explaining what is happening outside of the mascot’s field of vision, guiding the mascot, and protecting the performer from overly enthusiastic fans. The escort will also act as the character’s voice, and will respond verbally to the character’s gestures as they interact with the audience.

3. Practice Before the Performance
The mascot should run through the routine first out of costume and then in costume before the event. Difficult movements like walking on stairs with the mascot feet on should also be practiced well ahead of time. At this time, it is also very important to rehearse signals that will enable the mascot to communicate with their escort.

4. Avoid Overheating
Including features such as a fan or cooling vest inside your custom mascot can help performers stay cooler, provided that this equipment does not add too much additional weight to the costume. Performers can also keep cool by wearing light, loose-fitting clothes. We recommend that the performer wear a t-shirt or tank top, a bandana or headband to keep hair back, and shorts or tights. Avoid sweatpants, trousers, long sleeved shirts or any other bulky clothing. The escort should always be on the lookout for signs that the mascot is suffering from any discomfort inside the costume.

5. Take Regular Breaks
The performer should typically spend 30 minutes, and never more than one hour, in costume before taking a break for anywhere between 15 minutes to half an hour. In hot temperatures, reduce performance times further and increase the length of breaks. Remember to drink plenty of water during break times to stay hydrated.

6. Keep the Costume Clean
Performers become hot and sweaty inside the mascot. To avoid the spread of bacteria and mold, air dry the costume completely before you store it or wash the costume. If you see mold within your mascot costume, do not wear it and contact your mascot costume manufacturer.

7. Choose the Right Performer
If you are looking to hire a new performer to be a mascot, you must bear in mind that not just anyone is suitable for this type of work. When considering someone who has never worked as a mascot before, you should be willing to have a trial run before the event. If the performer is not completely comfortable being in the costume, you need to find someone else. In addition to being comfortable as a mascot, your performer absolutely must have the right energy to perform effectively. This includes being able to make big gestures, convey emotions through the costume, and interact well with children. Remember, performers can be coached to improve their mascot acting skills!
One of the best ways to stay safe is by designing your own custom mascot costume based around the needs of your performer. Contact us at Hogtown Mascots to find out more about how we can help you create the perfect custom mascot.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 Things to Consider When It Comes to Custom Mascot Design

A mascot is a great solution to increase the recognition of your brand, better identify with your consumers and help people remember who you are. Plus, a really good mascot just looks plain cool!
Before you can start using a mascot to help enhance your brand, however, you need to have it designed. This design process is not one that should be approached haphazardly either. You need to keep in mind the important elements of custom mascot design, and a professional mascot designer can help you create the perfect character. Here are five factors that you absolutely must consider when creating your mascot:
1. Your organization's values
When designing a mascot, what your organization is all about matters more than anything else. This is for the same reasons that your core values are reflected in your slogan, your logo and the way that you train your team members: you want to let the world know what your organization is all about.
Since your organization's mascot is all about reflecting what your team is all about, make sure that your core values are reflected in the design of your mascot.
2. Your organization's colors
When people see your mascot, they should immediately be thinking about your organization's brand. A great way to make this happen is to keep your organization's colors in mind when designing your mascot.
If you do not already have a specific color scheme that reflects your brand, now is the time to create one, because people are better able to identify you if you have an organizational color scheme. If your color scheme is good enough and your mascot wears it well, people may even begin to identify that color scheme with your brand specifically, no matter who uses it (think Laker purple)!
3. What you want your mascot to be
Generally speaking, there are three types of mascots: human, inanimate objects and animals. Here is how each category can alter the perception of your mascot:
A human mascot can help your organization provide a very relatable and friendly image to your audience. For example, a police officer mascot would be great for a pest control company, as it implies that they will get rid of the bad guys (the pests).
Inanimate objects
This is a great option if you would like to inject the vibrancy of your product into your mascot. For example, a company that makes deodorant could create a deodorant stick mascot with muscular appendages to imply the strength of the deodorant's protection.
An animal mascot tends to project a family friendliness (this is why sports teams and toy manufacturers use them so often). This is an excellent choice for brands that deal with children.
Not sure which style is best? Browse our gallery to get inspired! Of course, our expert custom mascot designers can advise you on the best type of mascot for your purposes.
4. Concept design
Mascot design doesn’t always happen overnight. Don't be afraid to inject any fun ideas that you have into a mascot design. At Hogtown Mascots, we typically like to create at least two contrasting mascot design concepts to show you so that you can make the right decision for your brand.
5. Your mascot needs to stand out in a crowd
If your mascot looks like someone else's, it won’t be clearly identifiable as belonging to your brand. Instead, they are likely to mistake your mascot for that of another company. In order to avoid this mishap, take the time to make sure that your mascot design is completely unique.
For more information about custom mascot design...
To learn more or to get the process for your custom mascot design started today, contact Hogtown Mascots custom mascot design company. We design and create some of the best custom mascots for companies like yours all around the world. The Hogtown Mascots team can be reached via phone at (877) 622-8422 or via our website at

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How To Take Care Of Your Mascot

Just like a piece of clothing, a mascot has to be cleaned every so often. But you can’t just throw everything in the laundry and wash it with your jeans, and we highly recommend against dry cleaning because the chemicals can damage the material.
Mascot care isn’t very complicated, but we do recommend you consult your manufacturer first so you know you’re doing it right. At Hogtown Mascots we offer complete mascot care services, but if you’re a DIY-type person that’s fine too. Here is what you need to know about cleaning your mascot.

The Tools of The Trade
You’ll first need to have a few things on hand.
·        Wet-Dry Vac – This is by far the most useful tool to have when cleaning your mascot. It will allow you to hand wash the head and feet and remove the water and dirt quickly and easily.
·        Wire and soft bristle pet brushes – These are used to brush or re-fluff fur material, and they can also be used to clear any debris from Velcro fasteners.
·        Alcohol wipes – These are used to remove smudges and smears from the plastic pieces on the suit.
·        Two spray bottles – These are used for cleaning the head and feet. Fill one with room temperature or cold water, and the other with cold water and a teaspoon of mild detergent.

Cleaning The Head
First remove any inner padding and the fan, if it's removable. The padding can go into the washing machine, but the rest of the head requires special care.
For the outside of the head, take your spray bottle with soap solution and apply a few sprays to dampen an area that is dirty or stained. Gently brush with your soft bristle brush, and then remove the soapy water with the vacuum. Spray the area with the cold water bottle. Next, use the wet-dry vac to suck up the water until it feels dry. Repeat this process as many times as needed to remove all moisture and soapy residue.
For the inside of the head, spray with soapy water and wipe gently with a clean cloth. We use closed cell foam because it won’t absorb your breath and sweat, but if your mascot head has open cell foam you will need to spray and wipe several times to be thorough.

Cleaning The Feet
Some feet have removable foot covers. If this is the case with your mascot, you might be able to simply put them in the washing machine. However, if the foot covers have any plastic or metal pieces it will be better to wash them by hand. For cleaning the feet, use the same technique that you used with the head.

Cleaning The Body
Remove any clothing pieces and turn the jumpsuit inside out. Then remove any tubing from the inner body. The jumpsuit, clothing and inner body can all go into the washing machine in COLD water. Be sure to wash any colorful pieces separately, in cold water. Once those items have been washed, hang them up to dry. Do not put them in the dryer as the heat and tumbling action will ruin the fabric. Alternatively, these pieces can all be washed by hand, in cold water.

Cleaning The Plastic Pieces
If you mascot has any plastic parts like eyes, teeth, or buttons, use your alcohol wipes to give them a good polish. Avoid any painted areas as the alcohol can remove the paint. If you aren’t sure if it’s safe to use the wipes, just use your soapy water solution applied to a clean cloth instead

Keeping the Fleece Soft
We make some of our mascots with Antron fleece, or “Muppet fleece”. After a while, it can start to lose its fluffiness. A good way to bring back that soft, furry look is to take a piece of male Velcro and gently stick and pull it away from any matted parts to refluff the material. This is an inexpensive and simple trick that all mascot owners should know about. Do not brush this fabric as it will fluff it too much and tear away some of the material.

Keeping The Velcro Sticky
The Velcro fastening in a mascot eventually becomes gummed up with debris. When this happens it won’t stick as well. To clean the male side of the Velcro, brush it with a wire brush to pull out all the stuff caught in the tiny hooks.

Post Cleaning Inspection
When the clothing and inner body are hanging up to dry it’s a good time to take a look at all the seams to check for holes and tears. If there are any open seams it’s important to stitch them back up as soon as possible because it will only get worse over time.

Goo Gone and Spot Remover
It can be a good idea to have a bottle of Goo Gone in case you get any chewing gum stuck on the bottom of your mascot feet. Spot remover can be handy as well to quickly remove any small stains that might appear. Be careful with these chemicals, though. To make sure they are safe to use, test them on the inside of a seam or somewhere else where it will not be visible if it damages the material.

How To Store Your Mascot
After every use, it’s a good idea to give your mascot a quick wipe with a damp cloth to keep it clean in between professional cleanings and make sure it is completely dry before putting it away. When storing your mascot, hang it up somewhere it has ample space to breathe. Don’t keep it stuffed in a small space like the trunk of a car or a small closet as this won’t be good for the smell and shape of your mascot suit.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How to Choose the Right Mascot

Choosing a mascot is one of the most important decisions your company will make because it will become the face of your company. A good one can draw a lot of attention and make your company stand out in people’s minds. A bad one, on the other hand, can leave people confused or make life miserable for the performer inside it. So, here is what to think about when choosing a mascot for your company.

Keep It Practical
Any manufacturer will tell you they use all the best materials and techniques. This is all well and good, but think about how the suit is constructed. The makers should use hand stitching to bind fabrics in place rather than hot glue. Stitching is much stronger, and hot glue will eventually lose its stickiness over time as the effects of weather and heat wear it down.
The suit should be designed for easy cleaning as well. If the mascot becomes dirty and smells like a gym sock, no one is going to like being your performer. At Hogtown Mascots, we put removable padding inserts into the head. The padding absorbs sweat, and you can simply take it out, wash it, and put it back so it doesn’t stink. Sending it away to be cleaned is expensive since you have to ship the suit, and pay for the cleaning as well.
They are meant to be fun and interactive, so when choosing a mascot keep in mind that it should be designed for maneuverability. It won’t be fun if it can’t move around and interact with people. The arms and legs should move freely and allow the performer to walk around and interact easily.

Choose Something People Recognize
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of mascot costumes are animals. That’s because people quickly identify what they are, and it’s easy to make these look cute.
As a starting point, you might want to choose something that is locally recognizable. For example, here in Toronto racoons are everywhere. The little nocturnal critters rummage through garbage bins across the city and can be spotted in just about every neighbourhood. If the City of Toronto were choosing a mascot for itself, a racoon could be a good choice because it would be easy to make a mascot character that people would relate to. After all, they are pretty cute to begin with.
Of course you don’t have to limit yourself to animals. Anything that people will be able to recognize and that suits your company image could potentially make a good choice.

Some Things to Avoid
You will need to employ some creativity in choosing a mascot, and we encourage you to let your imagination run wild. But try to stay away from personal things that the average person might not understand. For example, maybe your company president has a pet Chihuahua and wants it to be the company mascot. This could be confusing for people on the outside who can’t draw a connection between the dog and the company.
Stay away from logos too. While a company logo is essential for your brand image, it is not always suitable for a mascot because it will not be engaging or relatable. Dig down and think of something that you want to be the face of your company, and keep the logos on your business cards and websites.
Mascots bring personality and inject a sense of fun into your company’s image. The perfect one will stand out in people’s minds and make them remember your brand. Choosing a mascot is a significant cash investment, so consider these tips and whatever you choose will be a smash hit.