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Have you ever wondered what is used to create those team mascots that jump around acting crazy and exciting the fans with their antics? Well, depending on the inspiring creature they are modeled after, there can be many different materials used on the exterior of the mascot, but the initial form is usually made of polyethylene, a type of plastic known for its durability and flexibility. In the past, mascots were usually made of fiberglass which is a heavier and less flexible material, making it impractical upon the invention of polyethylene. Today polyethylene is the most widely used plastic on the planet, thanks to its wide range of uses including building a sturdy and long lasting mascot!

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In addition to sports team mascots, there are corporate mascots, school mascots, international mascots, organizational mascots and even municipal mascots for cities and towns! Since there are so many different types of mascots, they can be made of many different materials. Sometimes papier mache or cardboard are used in creating mascots on a limited budget. These mascots may have to be replaced intermittently due to their more fragile construction. The head on these mascots are especially prone to damage and consequently may have their appearance subtly altered each time they are replaced. Other mascots use only a fabric shell, such as wool, double knit, plush or spandex in their construction and can either be covered with added materials or serve the purpose alone. Once in a while, the mascot consists merely of the human form wearing a costume of some type, like a pirate or a gladiator.

Some large mascot costumes incorporate a harness system that straps the shell onto the performer and holds it away from the body. Heads on these types of mascot costumes may consist of a hockey-type mask with a chin strap to keep them in place and are covered with a suitable material that matches the rest of the costume.

Since mascots come in many shapes and forms, the shell is covered with a wide array of suitable and appropriate materials including faux fur, paint, feathers or fabric. Of course, most mascots have eyes which come in many shapes and sizes and depend upon the species of mascot. The feet of a mascot are very important, as it spends a lot of time running and jumping around and even performing various acrobatic tricks. Often, the feet of a polyethylene mascot will be made of the same material since it can really take a beating. Sometimes, the feet of a mascot, as well as a beak or snout or similar protrusion, will be made of Styrofoam or an equally suitable plastic. Whatever the material, the feet must have some type of skid resistance built in to accommodate the constant movement.

Above all, since the mascot is such an active part of any team, the costume construction should be durable, flexible and last through an inordinate amount of wear and tear. This will assure the effectiveness of a mascot through many a season.

There is any number of reasons for a business to have a mascot in this day and age. Even if a company doesn't do television advertising or a whole lot of public appearances, a mascot could be the one thing that sets them apart from the competition and thereby increases the potential for creating new sources of revenue by bringing in new customers.

Why Go Custom

Some companies choose the same old tired, ordinary, run of the mill representations that have already been done to death, and then they wonder why the additional investment of adding a mascot into their forms of advertising doesn't pay very many dividends.

What they are failing to realize, is that using the same exact type of mascot that every other business in their industries uses won't set their business apart at all. So by choosing the same type of mascot that everyone else has chosen, you run the risk of not getting noticed at all or, worse yet, having your business getting confused with one of your competitors.

To attract both the most and the right kind of attention you need a cleverly thought out and completely original mascot to represent your company - something that offers a perfect illustration of the product or service that you provide, but that has never been done before.

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How to go about it

You don't need to be a professional artist or design major to put the perfect plan of attack for developing your mascot together, but you will need to have a very clear idea of what you are looking for and you'll need to be able to clearly express your vision to someone that can put it together.

You'll need to know "what" your mascot is; is it an animal, vegetable, mineral or some strange combination of the three. You'll have to know what size, shape and color he or she will be, as well as how you are going to connect the new creation to the particular product or service that your company provides.

Remember that once you have your cleverly developed and completely original custom Loonie Times mascot in a position of representing your company to the public, that your business will be permanently associated with the created character, so this is certainly not a decision that should be entered into too lightly. Quite the contrary, in fact, - a great deal of thought, planning and preparation should go into the development of your custom mascot.

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Developing and implementing a custom mascot into your company's advertising campaign could very well pay dividends far beyond the work and monetary investment that it took to create it.

With potentially hundreds and hundreds of businesses out there competing for the exact same customers, a mascot painted brilliantly on the side of your building, emblazoned across a twenty foot billboard, or jumping from the pages of the phone book could very well be taweez the reason that your company gets picked over a competitors.

Companies spend millions and millions of dollars a year on advertising campaigns that may or may not work to get them noticed, but the creation of your custom mascot would be a one time investment that could pay dividends for as long as your company's doors are open. It could get your company noticed by new customers, and if you've got the quality service to go along with it, a good custom mascot will make it easier for your company to get recognized and remembered.

When considering how many potential customers are out there and how much your competitors are paying for nearly futile types of advertising - it should seem like the creation of a custom mascot could be the greatest investment that your company could make.