Word broke late last week that the beloved mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, was about to undergo a change.  While the Philadelphia Phillies and the original creator of the Phanatic, Harrison/Erickson, the company who created the Phanatic back in 1978, are embroiled in a legal battle regarding the mascot, the club has unveiled a "new" mascot.  That mascot will debut at Spectrum Field in Clearwater today.  Fans can relax: it has the feel of the old Phanatic.

unveiled images of the mascot on Sunday

The differences may be enough to make a difference.

Among the differences:

  • Different shape behind the eyes
  • Different sneakers and different stirrups
  • Different hands
  • Redefined snout
  • New hair
  • New tail

The changes could be enough for the Phillies to win a lawsuit.

The company who is seeking payment fro the original design, Harrison/Erickson, also sold "different" mascots that were eerily similar.   Consider "Slyly" of the Hiroshima Carp:

What is different than the Phanatic?

  • Different shape behind the eyes
  • Different sneakers and different stirrups
  • Different hands
  • Redefined snout
  • New hair
  • New tail

The following are already proprietary to the Phillies:

  • Name ("Phillie" of course)
  • Personality (Thanks to Phillies employees Dave Raymond and Tom Burgoyne)
  • Hat
  • Jersey

Therefore, if Harrison/Erickson can sell a "different" mascot by changing the same things the Phillies changed today, maybe they have a chance to win.  Then again, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on television.

But this will play out between now and June.  But my hunch is, at Spectrum Field today, the mascot will feel like the old Phanatic.