Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 13:54 UK

Search on for 2012 Olympic mascot

One of the five Fuwa at the Beijing Games
This year's Beijing Games had five mascots including Jingjing the panda

Organisers of the London 2012 Olympics have urged designers to come up with mascots for the Games which will reflect "the best of British".

The mascots would be visual symbols of the Games and would be instrumental in generating revenue, the 2012 organising committee (LOCOG) said.

There will be separate mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The creations will be made into toys and brought to life through film and animation.

There will be "separate and distinct" mascots for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

The designs need to be 'ambitious, bold and creative', LOCOG said.

Stripy Daschund

The sporting event's first mascot, a Daschund dog with stripes called Waldi, was introduced for the 1972 Munich Games.

This year's Beijing Games had five mascots - Beibei the fish, Jingjing the panda, Huanhuan the Olympic flame, Yingying the Tibetan antelope and Nini the swallow.

London 2012 commercial director Chris Townsend said: "Those of us lucky enough to go to Beijing this summer saw first hand the magic of the mascots - whether it was the soft toy version, entertainment at a venue or simply photo opportunities at the airport.

"They help set the tone for the Games.

"The mascot programme will be a key component of our licensing plan and will be a strong revenue driver as we seek to raise the 2bn required to stage a Games in 2012."

Designers have until 21 November to register their concepts.

The ideas will be shortlisted in December and pitches from the designers will be heard early next year.

The winning agency or designer will be selected by summer 2009 and the mascots will be unveiled in the summer 2010.

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