The Philadelphia Phillies have unveiled a new look Philly Phanatic, as the team’s beloved mascot gets some design changes ahead of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
With the redesign, the Phillies have changed some details about the Phanatic, but have managed to ensure that the mascot stays close to its familiar look. The redesign includes longer wings, along with bushier eyebrows, a larger backside, and power-blue tail feathers. Changes were even made to the Phanatic’s uniform, as the mascot now sports red shoes with a Liberty Bell emblem and blue socks with a red stripe.
The newly design Phanatic made its debut Sunday, part of the Phillies spring training home opener at Clearwater’s Spectrum Field. What the Phillies emphasize is that, while the mascot might sport a new look, its antics will remain familiar with tradition. More from the Philadelphia Enquirer:
Phillies players who received a sneak peek during a commercial shoot this week gave the 6-foot-6 hometown hero a “thumbs up,” [Tom] Burgoyne said.
Departing from his formerly green, fur-covered stubby arms, the Phanatic’s new, longer wings are inspired by the extremities of the flightless Galapagos penguin, Burgoyne said. The powder-blue tail recognizes a “very important color in Phillies history,” while the mascot’s new socks — blue with a red stripe — pay homage to the 1948 uniform famously worn by Phillies Hall of Fame outfielder Richie Ashburn. His new, red shoes featuring a Liberty Bell design pay tribute to the Philadelphia landmark. (No word on whether they were designed by well-known Phanatic pal and sneaker aficionado Bryce Harper.)…
Warring lawsuits have been filed in New York federal court ahead of the June 15 expiration of a nearly 36-year-old copyright agreement between the mascot’s creators and the Phillies. The team claims that designers Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison, who are seeking to renegotiate the copyright agreement that they sold to the Phillies for $250,000 in 1984, have threatened to make the Phanatic a “free agent,” while the couple has said the team is “allergic to the real facts” over who made the mascot. Federal law stipulates that copyrights can be redrawn after 35 years.
The litigation, Burgoyne said, “kind of kick-started” the Phanatic’s transformation. But he said the changes are more about seizing a “great opportunity to have some fun, be creative, and make a teaching moment for kids.”
The Phanatic originally debuted in 1978. Even with the redesign, the mascot should be up to its familiar antics, as was apparent prior to Sunday’s game:
He has evolved, but clearly hasn’t matured. pic.twitter.com/Tmo5jHNQOB
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 23, 2020