Arizona State University hopes to turn a PR disaster around this week as a select group starts voting to determine a new look for Sparky the Sun Devil’s mascot costume. Members of this ASU community can vote through May 5 at sparky.asu.edu.
The results, which no doubt will be hated by everyone, will be announced May 7 via the magic of “social media.”
This Tempe tempest began March 1 when ASU announced that Disney would work with design students to update the mascot’s look.
Much was made of the fact that the original Sparky character was designed by a former Disney artist, Berk Anthony, who may or may not have been fired by Walt Disney and may or may not have patterned the devilish icon after his former boss in retaliation. Even though the sacred original Sparky would remain on official ASU merchandise and clothing, the new design that was rolled out (pictured) for the live mascot suit and children’s products was met with maroon and gold outrage. The result was a huddle with student leadership, advisers and dignitaries to select four finalists for a face-saving vote.
And here are the finalists, in all their … similar glory:
The difference seems to boil down to those demonic eyes — Option C most closely resembles the widely panned version revealed last month (those demonic eyes… not unlike Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s nefarious Judge Doom). Option A has his mouth wide open (the better to devour your soul, or at least pose for pictures). Options B and D remind me most of the “classic” Sparky. We all know that Option C is what you’re supposed to pick when you don’t know the answer on a quiz, so the placement of the new design there is … interesting.
Who can vote? According to the voting page, “ASU students, faculty, staff, alumni, season ticket holders, Sun Devil Club members and donors.” Don’t screw it up!