Once you have a mascot costume, it's time to choose a mascot performer. Your costume can provide some limitations with whom you can choose as your mascot performer, so it is important to be aware of them.
Everything You Need To Know About Mascot Heads
When creating a mascot costume, many details can make a considerable difference for the functionality of the mascot and ease of use for the mascot performer. One of the biggest decisions to make in the mascot design process is the material for your custom mascot head. Three different options are commonly used for mascot heads: traditional sculpted foam, vacuum formed foam, and vacuum formed plastic. Each mascot head material has advantages and disadvantages, and in this article, we will compare each one based on the following criteria:
Ease of Replication
TRADITIONAL SCULPTED FOAM MASCOT HEADS:
The traditional foam custom mascot head is the most common mascot head option available. The biggest advantage of the foam mascot head is that it is relatively lightweight. Foam options including stiff foam, open-celled foam, or a combination of both can be used for traditional foam mascot heads. Pieces are cut from the foam and then cemented together to form the mascot head.
Traditional foam mascot heads are hand-sculped, and because of this, there may be limitations when it comes to appearance for a traditional sculpted foam mascot head and some details may lose impact.
Foam material is difficult to clean due to the porous nature of the material. Foam mascot heads tend to accumulate and hold perspiration odors.
Sculpted foam heads tend to disintegrate over time, especially when used quite often. The breakdown of the foam material causes the heads to become misshapen. In addition, due to the difficulty of cleaning the foam mascot heads, these will wear out much quicker than other options.
The biggest advantage of a foam custom mascot head is that it is lightweight, weighing 2 to 6 pounds on average.
EASE OF REPLICATION:
Creating a duplication for this type of mascot head is difficult and often requires shipping the mascot head back to the manufacturer to make an exact clone. Since the foam heads are hand-sculpted, there is room for error when duplicating.
VACUUM FORMED FOAM MASCOT HEAD:
Vacuum formed foam is the newest mascot head material option available. This material is very flexible and has no brackets, making it safe for active performers. The helmet is cemented in place, so you cannot adjust it for fit or remove it to for cleaning, which can be an issue for some performers.
The biggest drawback of a vacuum-formed foam mascot head is in the appearance – due to the thickness of the material, design limitations such as lack of details in facial features and limited contours for the face exist.
Vacuum formed foam heads are easily cleaned by wiping them down with disinfectant wipe or a solution of water and a mild detergent.
Expect the vacuum formed foam mascot head to last longer than regular foam heads. The foam used in making the molded foam heads is much more durable and less likely to disintegrate over time than the traditional sculpted foam head. While the vacuum formed foam has a longer life expectancy than traditional sculpted foam, it's not as durable as vacuum-formed plastic.
Vacuum formed foam is the most lightweight material available for mascot heads, making it even more ideal for active mascot performers.
EASE OF REPLICATION:
Vacuum formed foam mascot heads are easy to replicate because the same mold is used for each ‘pull’ of the mascot head.
VACUUM FORMED PLASTIC CUSTOM MASCOT HEADS:
The plastic mascot heads are created by vacuum forming over a permanent mold. Though a little heavier than other custom mascot head options, the vacuum formed plastic head offers the most accurate replications, ease of cleaning, longevity, and they are adjustable to different performers.
The vacuum formed plastic head allows for the greatest amount of detail and contour in a head design. Expressions and facial features are much more defined with a molded plastic mascot head.
Plastic mascot heads can be easily cleaned and sanitized by wiping them down with a disinfectant wipe or a solution of water and a mild detergent. Since the helmet with chinstrap is installed on adjustable brackets, the helmet can be removed to be cleaned or replaced.
Due to the durability of the material, a molded plastic mascot head will typically have a longer lifespan than mascot heads made out of foam materials. In addition, because it is easy to clean, it reduces build-up of sweat and odors that occur over time.
The plastic mascot heads can be up to two to three pounds heavier than other types of mascot heads. A helmet with chinstrap is installed on brackets, so it can be moved up and down or on an angle for optimal vision. If the mascot head is very large, it can be installed on a padded shoulder harness for support.
EASE OF REPLICATION:
Because the plastic custom mascot head uses a permanent mold, replication is easy and cost-efficient for the customer. Duplicates of a vacuum formed plastic head are less expensive than a foam option.
Get in Touch
Looking for a custom mascot head? Olympus Mascots has been crafting custom mascot characters for over 40 years and has created over 17,000 mascots during that time. Whether you need a plastic or foam mascot head, our experienced mascot team is ready to help you make your custom mascot dreams a reality. Contact us to get your custom mascot project started!
If you want your mascot to be active and to perform at its best, you will need to balance your design with the functionality of the costume. Consider the following design tips to maximize your costume's performance.