When your mascot is not in use, it is likely being transported to your next event, or sitting in storage. This stagnant time will make up a large portion of your mascot costume’s existence, and how your mascot spends this time can affect your mascot costumes performance when in use. That is why is it so important for us to cover the proper methods of transporting and storing your mascot.

NOTE: Before transporting or storing your mascot, it is HIGHLY recommended you wipe down the insides of the mascot head with a disinfectant at a minimum. With extra attention given to internal structural components. See our mascot head cleaning blog for tips on how to do this.

Transportation

How easy it will be to transport your suit will vary greatly depending on your mascot. Most of the mascots produced take 1 of 2 main forms:

A Head + Body Suit/Pod, where the head piece contains internal structure, and the body is a usually a flexible softshell suit or a padded shoulder system.
7Eleven Slurpee Wave
A Foam mascot, which has internal structure throughout the suit. Most mascots made to be a 3D shape are of this type.

When it comes to these Head + Body Suit/Pod mascots, oftentimes the body is a softshell fabric, which can be folded or stuffed like any regular clothing garment would. The mascot head however, is usually a solid plastic piece. You do not want to crush this down in any way, while at the same time not leaving it loose enough to fly around. The inside of the mascot head usually contains a fitted helmet with integral structure all around it. While the structure may be built to hold a several-pound head mold, it is not impervious to being crushed.

The same is true with the foam mascot, it too is bulky and has lots of integral structure on the inside. Trying to stuff it into a large suitcase, undersized box, or a cramped car is asking for disaster. Trying to squeeze a foam mascot into a tight space is detrimental to the mascot’s shape, as foam can be permanently dented by prolonged pressure.

NOTE: If you’re using a car to transport your mascot, be sure the car is big enough! Nothing is more awkward than showing up to pickup a mascot and not having the head fit in the trunk of the car!

Smaller organizations with 1-5 costumes usually bring their mascots places via car or truck. Oftentimes an employee or a performer will fold the seats down in a Minivan or a SUV and transport their costume(s) that way. This oftentimes provides more than enough space for a bulky mascot’s head, while also being a cheap and efficient way to move the mascot costume from location to location.

However, many larger organizations with multiple mascot costumes and/or multiple locations may opt to ship their costumes to their destinations instead. This is more complicated than driving the costume around yourself, but can end up saving you a lot of time and hassle when done right.

In our experience, we find that shipping a mascot can cost anywhere between $250 – $500+ depending on several factors including the location, size, weight, and whether your mascot is shipping via ground, freight, or air. Shipping companies use dimensional weight when calculating how much to charge you for your shipment. Dimension weight (DIM) is calculated by multiplying the height x length x width, then dividing by the company’s DIM factor. For example, a box may weigh 10 lbs, but the DIM weight may come out to 15 lbs due to its size. You will then be charged for a 15 lbs package.

This is why the box you choose to ship your mascot in should be as small as possible without squishing your mascot costume too much. Ask your mascot vendor if they provide a custom carrying case or travel bag, it’s worth investing in if you’re consistently shipping mascot costumes back and forth.

When packing your box, don’t crush anything, but still attempt to have as little of empty space as possible. If applicable, pack the suit in such a way that it protects the mascot head’s vision screens. If you have a plastic bag big enough to surround your mascot, we recommend using it. Avoid using Styrofoam and/or packing peanuts, they are unnecessary, and may leave behind pieces that stick to your mascot’s fur. Packing paper is a fantastic alternative!

Storage

Having an adequate place to store your mascot costume when not in use is crucial to extending its lifespan. This is where your mascot will likely spend the majority of its time, so having ideal conditions in your storage area is worth investing in. Here are the main things to watch out for when considering a storage area:

-Moisture/Humidity

-Temperature

-Pets & Kids

-Harsh Light

-Cleanliness

Humidity

Humidity can be real gross, and it also can be one of the worst things for your mascot costume. If you don’t pick the right place to store your costume, you could run into some very icky situations. Moisture can cause your mascot to have mated fur, get dirtier quicker, and in real bad cases develop mildew. Make sure you have a cool, dry place to store your mascot.

Temperature

Most mascot costumes use glue and plastic throughout the design. Keeping the mascot in temperatures between 50F and 90F is ideal, usually this condition can be met easily in any air-conditioned building.

NOTE: Don’t forget, cars get hot when in the sun, avoid leaving your mascot costume in a hot car too long!

Pets & Kids

Most mascots are kept in a school or professional setting, but if you ever bring your mascot home with you, consider your roommates. Pets and kids are naturally curious, having a new ball of fluff and fabric around them will pique their curiosity. To keep them from scratching it, pulling on it, teething it, slobbering on it, or if you have a very rambunctious dog… marking their territory on it. Keep your mascot costume out of their reach. This will also help you keep your mascot clean, as hair from shedding won’t be coming to rest on your mascot.

Harsh Light

UV rays fade colors. We’ve all seen it before, posters that have faded into a blue hue, dressers that have had their wooden brown turned into more of a bleached brown, you get the point. Fabrics from mascot costumes are no different. Running around outside all day in your costume is totally fine, but we recommend not storing the costume next to a window.

Cleanliness

The most important thing to mention is the importance of wiping your mascot down immediately after you finish using it. This is a HUGE help in maintaining the life and cleanliness of your mascot. When it comes to storage areas, find a place that is dirt, dust, and bug free. Ideally keep your costume off the floor if possible. If you can find a way to hang your suit and head, we recommend doing so. Try to avoid folding any part of the suit and keeping that way for an extended period of time, it will help you avoid creases in the suit.

In most cases, a simple closet on a building’s main floor will meet all of these suggestions. We recommend using wide-set hangers for your suit if possible, otherwise using a storage tote is another great option if the suit is dry and clean before storing. Remember to watch out for creases if you fold the costume!

NOTE: Remember to never squish any part of your costume in order to make it fit inside a car, suitcase, storage tote, etc.
NOTE: Putting a dryer sheet in your storage tote or bag can be a great way of keeping it smelling nice!

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