From all of us at Hogtown Mascots, we wish you health, happiness, peace and prosperity for 2015 and beyond!
Thursday, December 18, 2014
No matter where, how or with whom you are celebrating this season, make it count. Take some time to be with the ones you love. Maybe share a meal, grab a coffee or just pick up the phone and call someone to say hi. Even great distances can't keep people apart during the holidays. And it's a good reminder about what - and who - should be important at any time of the year!
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Advertising whizzes acknowledge that mascots can be a highly effective tool when it comes to promoting your business. With continuing exposure, mascots naturally remind customers of a company or team, and leave a lasting impression - which is the ultimate goal of having a mascot. Mascot design and construction vary, and during the design process, you will have to make some important decisions that will impact the appearance of your character. Following are some helpful tips on what you should know about the mascot design process before you buy a mascot costume.
Mascot design begins with your vision. Many mascots are inspired by a toy, cartoon, food, animal, person, or, even an object. When making this decision, you must first consider how the mascot will be used, whether it will be standing still, handing out literature, or waving, jumping, and running or all of the above. The communication process is important at this stage as professional mascot designers begin to sketch your character and help you choose colors, body shapes, and facial expressions. The designers at Hogtown Mascots, for example, use digital software that allows them to make rapid changes to the design while communicating with you.
Performer comfort needs to be a priority in the design of a mascot outfit. The material used must be strong enough to endure the mascot’s movements, while not causing the performer to be uncomfortable during the show/appearance. The best mascot designers are actual performers who have experience wearing mascot apparel for extended periods of time. All mascot costumes can be hot, but using lightweight and breathable materials can make a huge difference.
Hogtown Mascots uses different types of lightweight, breathable foam with varying degrees of density, rigidity, and flexibility. If you are considering buying a mascot costume, you should avoid any designer who uses fiberglass, upholstery foam, or compressed paper products. These materials result in substandard costumes that will either not last or will be too heavy to wear. Fiberglass is heavy, inflexible and likely to crack. Upholstery foam is elastic and will droop after use. Upholstery foam is also not very breathable and loves to hold moisture and bacteria.
Mascots may have different types of helmets used inside the head. For comfort, support, and flexibility, the best helmets are custom-fitted and adjustable. Padding should be included and removable for adaptability and cleaning. Chin straps may be integrated with the helmet for particularly energetic, or gymnastic mascot maneuverers. The designers at Hogtown Mascots focus first on every mascot’s comfort and safety during their performances. For this reason, more often than not, the mascot’s head is not fastened to the body by fasteners or straps that prohibit its hasty removal. This head independence also allows the performer a much greater range of movement.
The structure and shape of the mascot body define its character. Avoid designers who use wire, paper maché, or other material that does not retain its shape after being hugged by children and adults. The finest mascot designers utilize lightweight foam between layers of breathable sports mesh to construct a mascot inner body that allows heat and moisture to escape. Strong metal rings can then be attached to the inner body to hold flexible tubing which allows the mascot to be repeatedly hugged without losing its shape. The inner body design provides a space around the performer’s body which increases the airflow.
Mascot design is serious business at Hogtown Mascots. If you are looking for a professional mascot to represent your business or school, call the mascot professionals at Hogtown today.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Mascots can be made of many different materials; it really depends on the costume and the manufacturer. Different materials are used for different looks, different levels of wear and tear, different weather environments, etc. Most of our mascots are made from a combination of fabric and foam. While different detail components of the mascot like eyes, tongues, etc. are usually made from a special type of plastic or rubber.
The foam we use for our mascots ranges from very rigid (usually used for feet and heads) to very flexible (used for things like the bodysuit). All of our foams are breathable and lightweight while not trapping moisture—discouraging the growth of bacteria and mould.
The most common varieties of foams that we used are EVA, Etha, Esther and Reticulated. EVA foam is generally used for the heads and feet of our mascots. This foam is very dense and durable and doesn’t absorb moisture, which means it can easily be wiped clean after use. Etha foam is dense but more porous, and is used for creating intricate details on mascots—usually on their heads. Esther foam is used in areas that require a softness, like cheeks. We make them squishable! Reticulated foam is used when we have to “build out” our mascots, like a big belly or chest. We sandwich this lightweight foam between layers of sports mesh to ensure the costume is still breathable for the wearer. This foam does not absorb moisture to allow for comfort, but it can be put in the washing machine and dries very quickly since water passes right through it!
When it comes to fabrics, we also try to use lightweight breathable materials, keeping in mind the comfort of the person wearing the costume. The different types of fabrics we use range from faux fur/fleece, antron (muppet) fleece, Bur-fab (Veltrex), poly/cotton twills and heavy-duty spandex. We’ll use any type of fabric that will give us the look you want—but we’ll never sacrifice on the quality.
Are there materials that shouldn’t be used on mascots?
At Hogtown, we never use upholstery foam, fibreglass or any compressed paper product when making our mascots. These materials are either too heavy, too flimsy, too toxic, or they are not moisture resistant, therefore making them excellent breeding grounds for bacteria. These materials are also not built to withstand the wear and tear of mascots.