The new Philadelphia Flyer’s mascot is going viral, but how was Gritty created? It all started in Bellefonte with a creation from Brian Allen.
“They wanted a mascot that kind of had an appeal to kids, but was also tough because obviously it’s a hockey mascot,” Allen said.
Allen got to work and created about 25 different ideas.
“We explored tons of things like bulls, bull dogs, dragons, and all kinds of different monsters,” Allen explained. “We were just throwing any idea we could come up with and seeing what would stick.”
Nothing stuck more than Gritty.
After a lot of different versions, he became who he is today.
“We experimented with Gritty having wings, a tail, tons of different mouths and facial expressions,” Allen told us. “He had teeth at one point and then we had to take the teeth out because of the costume.”
With some modifications, the costume design company Character Translations Inc. brought the vibrant character to life. He definitely stands out from other mascots. After all, he’s gone viral with his big personality.
For the haters out there who claim Gritty is creepy, Allen said to give it some time and he just might grow on you.
“It’s a delicate thing,” Allen said. “We’re taking something that they love and they’ve invested decades into and all of a sudden we’re saying this is your new mascot.”
Allen is a Bellefonte-based illustrator and graphic design artist. He started Flyland Designs.