Australian kangaroo mascots for Olympics-themed commemorative collection fire up furry attention

As the Tokyo Summer Olympics approaches, Australian supermarket chain Woolworths is in for a surprise. Their Aussie Heroes‘ mascot characters had became a hot furry fandom tourist hotspot.

The Hockey and Surfing Kangaroos, as well as Sydney Paralympics 2000 mascot Lizzie, adorned the designs front and centre. It came in the forms of stickers, comic strips or commemorative coins from Australia’s national mint. Many furries have expressed their strong admirations towards it.

In a statement, Woolworths says their Aussie Heroes collection aims to ‘celebrate some of Australia’s greatest athletes and future champions, as well inspire younger generations to live active and healthy lifestyles.’

Within the crowd, many cited the characters’ debut as the work of a furry artist. But instead, South Australian anime artist Landeg is in fact an anime artist; they are not a furry.

Landeg says they did not expect to be drawing anthro characters in the first place. They added, the fandom’s reception outperformed their expectations.

“I submitted my portfolio and truly was not expecting to be contacted back. I had no idea I was going to be drawing anthropomorphic animal characters until I was brought on and we started working out the details; until that point I had assumed I’d be drawing people since I had almost zero animals in my portfolio, anthro or otherwise.”

Landeg

The artist also indicated their concern that parents may see the mascots and the furry fandom’s reception to it as something ‘deviant’. They state that they just wanted to make the sports look fun through the mascots.

At the end, the character debut was warmly received by people both inside and outside the fandom.
Many users online then echoed the phrase ‘government-commissioned fursonas’. That refers to the Australian national mint’s involvement in the process.

Furries made made artworks of the mascots afterwards. But so far, it looks like they paid more attention, let alone some attraction towards the Hockey Kangaroo than the others.

Local media reported that 90% of the coin collection was sold within the first three days, according to a spokesperson at Australia’s national mint. The campaign started on July 7 and will end Aug 3; redemptions in-store only.

Editor’s note 3/9/21 4:11pm SGT: Language use has been simplified for greater brevity.


奥运毛兽潮: 澳大利亚的奥运会主题袋鼠吉祥物激起兽迷热切关注

东京奥运会预热期间,澳大利亚连锁超市品牌Woolworths并没有预料到,它的奥运会主题吉祥物纪念品组合“Aussie Heroes” 即将成为兽圈热点。

曲棍球袋鼠、冲浪袋鼠以及2000年悉尼残奥会的吉祥物丽兹——这些拟人形象遍布各种周边,如贴纸,漫画甚至澳大利亚铸币厂的纪念币,令很多兽友爱不释手。

在一次声明中,Woolworths 表示,他们推出“Aussie Heroes”纪念品组合,是想要“为一些澳大利亚最杰出的运动员,甚至是未来的冠军,为他们庆贺。同时也激励当代年轻一辈活出动力,活出健康。”

我们制作这个收藏品的目的是为了庆祝澳大利亚一些最伟大的运动员和未来的冠军,并激励年轻一代采取积极和健康的生活方式。

Woolworths

在热烈讨论中,许多人称,这些形象的首秀明显得益于一位毛兽艺术家。但是呢,背后的艺术家说这些形象并不是furry。这位住在南澳洲的艺术家Landeg,实际上是动画师。

Landeg说到,他一开始并没有朝着拟人形象去画。后来又补充道:尽管他们预料到兽圈对此会有回应,但是回应规模之大远超他的意料。

“我(向Woolworths)提交了我的代表作品集之后本已认为石沉大海。直到我被叫去讨论细节的时候,我都不认为我要去画拟人动物角色。毕竟我的设计里面几乎没有任何动物,拟人成分。”

Landeg

这位艺术家也表达了他的的忧虑:家长们可能会认为这些吉祥物和兽圈的反应一并认为是“异类”。实际上呢,他只是想用这些吉祥物让体育运动看起来更有趣。

幸运的是,最终这些吉祥物的首秀得到了圈内外一致的热烈欢迎。

因为其中有着澳大利亚铸币厂的参与,许多网民都对这些“政府委托的兽设”倍感兴趣。各种回应袋鼠形象的艺术作品接踵而至。不过就目前来看,尽管百花齐放,大家关注的热点还是在“曲棍球袋鼠”的身上。

当地媒体报道称,澳洲铸币厂发言人表示九成的纪念币在首发的三天内就被抢购一空。这次活动从7月7日开始,到8月3日结束,只能在线下购买。

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