On the outside, custom mascot costumes are bright, easy to spot, and larger than life. But, what’s it like inside of a mascot? You can clearly see a mascot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a mascot can see you. Depending on the mascot design, there are three different types of mascot vision available. Mascot vision can be through the eyes, mouth, or a specially designed foam shape.
When buying a mascot head, performer visibility is an important aspect that you should consider. For a performer to be their best, they must be able to see. Active mascot performers, like racing mascots, require more visibility and a clearer line of sight. A more sedentary or display mascot performer may only need to have enough vision to know where they are going.
The line of sight inside of a mascot head should be adjustable, especially if you will be having performers of different heights inside the mascot costume. Whether you’re buying an entire mascot costume, or just buying a mascot head, consider where you expect your performer’s eyeline to be, and whether the harness or headgear inside the mascot costume will allow for adjustability. Generally, adjustability is not a feature of many cheap mascot heads, and could lead to vision and adaptability problems in the future.
Unsurprisingly, the eyes of a mascot costume can be used by your performer as a way to see. This is usually achieved via durable screen fabric laid over the mascot head’s eye sockets. The big advantage of this form of vision is the more natural head movements that usually accompany it. If your performer’s eyes line up with that of the mascot costume, it is much more natural head motion when directing the mascot’s line of sight. For example, if a child approaches the mascot and hugs its leg, the performer is more likely to tilt the mascot head to make direct eye contact with the child.
Most mascot costumes have eyes built into the character’s design, but only part of the time are they what the performer utilizes for vision. If the eyes of a mascot are not being used as the primary source of sight for the performer, they should ideally not be made from screen material. Instead, fabric, foam, and plastic should be used, as it makes a costume’s eyes appear three dimensional and realistic.
Vision being provided through the mascot’s mouth is one of the most common ways mascots are designed. Vision through the mouth often gives a wider and lower field of view. This is ideal for navigating your way through crowds and interacting with children. If a mouth is being used as the sight source for a mascot costume, an open mouth design is recommended. An open mouth provides optimal vision for a mascot performer due to the length and width of a mascot’s smile. We also found that mascot vision through the mouth is easy to blend into the costume’s overall design, and often looks better and more natural then other areas.
Due to the mouth of a mascot being lower than its eyes, a possible concern of vision through the mouth may be that a performer could be seen inside of the mascot costume. After all, there is nothing scarier than seeing a pair of eyes inside a mascot’s mouth! Rest assured though, quality design and concealment properties can ensure that a mascot performer can see their audience, but their audience can not see them.
Typically, mascot vision is blended into the eyes or mouth of a mascot’s head. However, depending on the costume design and how it will fit a performer, this is not always possible or the best design option. In those cases, vision can be specially built into the neck, nose, or body of a mascot suit. If vision is put into the nostrils of a costume, reticulated foam can be used to conceal it. The line of sight through the nose can be narrow, so a hole is sometimes placed on the bottom or underside of the chin to add downward vision. Below are some examples of vision holes being placed in different spots on the mascot’s body.
No matter if your character is a human, animal, or an object, it’s important to consider the best place for your costume’s line of sight. In an ideal world, a mascot costume could have vision holes all around its head, but in reality this usually doesn’t end up looking very good. Finding a nice balance between your performer seeing and limiting vision cutouts is ideal. Having a designer that knows how to work with this delicate balance is key.
Hopefully now you have a good idea of what to expect when it comes to a mascot’s vision, and the ways it can be provided in order to give your performer the best chance of success. If you want a designer who knows all about balancing mascot vision and aesthetics, why not get a custom mascot quote from us? It’s completely free and there is no obligation whatsoever.