Monday, August 1, 2011

Big Heads & Big Hearts

 Sir CC is a really handsome, buff Cavalier - we created the big, handsome guy last year for the Cleveland Cavaliers and have been watching him flourish -  moving about the basketball court and into the community

He's been in a dance-off on the city streets and a middle school's summer basketball camp in Cleveland.

Mascots get out & mix it up with youth and fans.

Sir CC is a sterling example of mascot magnanimity.

Mascot have big heads and big hearts.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mascot Mapping

Before we even make a cut into fuzz or fabric, we make patterns. Worktables are covered with kraft paper, rulers, a tailors curve, pattern weights, markers and tape. 

We look carefully at the mascot design and decide how big the waist will be - how much padding to put on the shoulders  and whether to make a curve in the arm to allow for a big bicep. 

The kraft paper patterns is how we are able to map the body curves of the mascot. Once we know how the body is engineered, we also know how big to make mascot shirts, pants, shorts - how to attach tails.

It all starts with kraft paper, tape & rulers.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Signature Mascots

AvantGarb designs & creates Signature Mascots. Mascots that represent a team, event, product ---even an idea.

We're a tiny company of artists, designers and craft people. Our raison d'etre, our training and our experience is in custom creations. There are companies that make many, many copies of the same mascot, and they do a good, efficient job. That's not us.

We do, however make a few duplicates of the same mascot because...
  • Mascots have a very busy social calendar.
  • The same mascot must be on the east & west coast at the same time.
  • A mascot is making several appearances with multiple performers
  • Each region needs it's own mascot for all of the appearances and fabulous events that mascots get to go to ----this gets back to the busy social calendar
Sometimes we make 3 more or less duplicate mascots.
Racing beer cans - Portland Beavers Baseball

sometimes to 5 of the same

and occasionally to 10.
J.J. Jumper - the official mascot of the NCAA @ mascot training

Our Mascot Mission is to be the physical marketing component for your marketing strategy.  We strive to deliver countless hi-fives, hugs, laughs and “ooohs!” We resolve to be energetic, rambunctious and effervescent!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mascot DNA

We have been riffling through patterns labeled: 
  • Rex/1998 nose - CF   
  • Rex/2003 & 2007 side head  - cut 2 
  • Rex/2003 front leg - really short
  • Rex 1998, 2003, 2007, 2011 eyelid 
This is mascot DNA. 

We have been creating and re-creating and re-imagining Rex, the mascot for the Children's Museum of Indianapolis since the early 1990's. We can trace the evolution of Rex through the patterns. 

What has changed on Rex over the years?  

The size of the head has changed, the size and curve of the tail, the color of the tongue, the placement of the nostrils, Many of the changes have been for the comfort of the performer. Some have just happened.

The 3 toed foot looks the same from year to year, but the inner mechanism of the shoe have changed considerably. 

As in all things - it's not just what you see on the outside. The inner engineering and workings of a mascot are just as important as the outside appearance.

Pattern pieces migrate, and don't always get back to where they belong. So we may have a Dinosaur sleeve from 1998 that looks wrong for a mascot is 2011, yet none of the sleeves after 1998 can be found.

Through all of the changes and manipulations in patterns & engineering, the essence of Rex remains the same. Rex is a big, rainbow bellied & tailed, loving, welcoming Dinosaur with a lovely Dino smile.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

H.K. Nugget - Pretzel Man

 H.K.Nugget had a day touring in D.C. He had a full day.

Gotta love the nugget.
He's handsome, athletic & tasty!

National Pretzel day is April 26th.

Celebrate by munching on some H.K. Anderson Pretzel Nuggets w/ peanutbutter or chocolate filling!

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bud Beer on Ice - Grand Rapids Griffins

Bud Beer can in process @AvantGarb
Beer races on ice - GENIUS!!!!

We made the beer cans for the Grand Rapids Griffins. The success of something like a wearable beer can is in the details. A beer can has a slight indentation on the top and bottom of the can. Without that indentation, its a soup can.

....and then there is the poptop. That really makes the beer cans lovable.I love the poptops on these cans.

....oh yeah, and get a look at Griff, that handsome, silver-winged mascot w/ a big beak. He makes my heart pitter patter - swoon!

Here's the link to the video:
Bud on ice - Grand Rapids Griffins

Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Defying Gravity in Mascotdom

Many parents have told me that their children beg to go to the museum so that they can wave a flag on the Rex parade.....and be led out of the museum.

The daily Rex Parade is the gentle way to lead children and adults through the Children's Museum and out the door at closing time.

We are the ones who make the big, rainbow bellied Dinosaur.
Rex is a mascot engineering miracle.

The law of gravity is a law that usually wins. Rex's tail defies gravity. It takes a lot of engineering to defy gravity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NCAA Mascot Rankings & Mascots are Big Business

Oh yeah! NCAA March Madness mascot rankings - Check out # 13 the Patriot - Geo Mason U. One of AvantGarb's

Mascotology - Mascots are big business 

It's been a great news day for mascots!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Boys on top - snaps on mascots


In costume shops there is a rule with snaps -
Boys on top  -
It's easy to remember.

Friday, February 25, 2011

WFNY on Location: Making Mascots

Sir CC's hat & gloves - Cleveland Cavaliers
Hey! Check it out!

Rick Grayshock of was here for a day to snoop around and find out how mascots are made. Here's what he found out:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sir CC, Mascot Making and a Sports Writer

Rick Grayshock of spent some time at in MascotLand today. Rick is an ardent Cleveland Cavs fan and writes about them. Recently, he wrote something about Sir CC . That led him to us.

Realizing he could finally satisfy a curiosity about how mascots are made, he made the trek from Columbus, Ohio to Indianapolis. 

He checked out the original patterns for Sir CC's cape and tabard, counted all the foam pieces that go into making mascot shoes, saw mascot eyes before they are painted - and after they are painted and began to understand the importance of center front in the creation of mascots.

We even talked about the similar, quirky passions in the world of sport and the world of art. 

In mascot making those worlds meet and thrive.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy/Sad Mascot Maker

On Mondays through Fridays, I head happily off to AvantGarb to make mascots. 

Today was the 2nd day of an ice storm here in Indianapolis. We are measuring ice on the ground in inches. 

Even though there are mascots that need to be made - AvantGarb was closed. We had a snow day - or rather an ice day. 

Today I was a sad Mascot Maker. Boo-hoo.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hipster Blood Drop

At some point while making  a mascot, I fall in love. 

Slightly deflated Blood Drop
With this mascot it was when the sunglasses were finished & we could put them on the slightly deflated Blood Drop.

There is a marvelous time in the creation of these characters, when the personality is emerging, but the mascot isn't completed - the image doesn't yet have the integrity stand on its own.

The picture on the left is that moment - the moment when the  hipster personality of the mascot is showing itself.

A little later in the day, after we had secured the interior hoops that give the Drop its round, round shape, I donned the mascot - Laura took photos, and behold!  A new character in Mascotdom!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Greenberg & Hammer is where everybody, who does anything with costumes, goes to get notions.

Notions, in the sewing world are things like; thread, needles, bias tape, elastic, buttons, boning, bust pads, cording, piping, elastic, grommets, hooks & eyes, buckles, pins, pin cushions, rhinestones, ribbon, snaps, velcro and zippers.

When I lived was a young performance & costume artist in NYC, I would wander down to Greenberg & Hammer, from my apartment in Hell's Kitchen, to pick up threads, needles, elastic, buttons & zippers.

As a mascot maven for the past bazillion years I've been ordering grosses of super duper whopper poppers (really, really, really big snaps) in silver or black fro 20 years - also curved needles and milliner needles and head forms.

I just went to Greenberg & Hammers website because I need to order a head form for a mascot head. Theire webpage is now just a Wordpress blog. the greenberg & Hammer, that used to be a few doors away from 57th & 5th in NYC is gone.

I'm in mourning.