The mascots for London's 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games met the public for the first time yesterday and they're more science fiction than cute and cuddly. Wenlock and Mandeville—named after two small English towns—each have a single eye and the light from a London taxi mounted on their heads. The mascots were formed from the last two drops of steel spilled while building London's Olympic stadium, according to their "back story."
Early reactions suggest the mascots may be as controversial as London much-criticized logo for the Games, but organizers stress that focus groups of kids were heavily involved in their creation. "The children told us a number of things. They weren't that sold on furry animals and they actually wanted a story," Olympic committee chairman Sebastian Coe told the BBC. "Youngsters will be able to make a case for the mascots coming to their school if they've done something that is inspired by the Games. It's a way of engaging in a fun way." (Read more London stories.)