FAQ & Tips
All your custom mascot questions answered.
1: What is the process of ordering a mascot?
- First, fill out our online survey here so we can fully understand your needs
- Next, our talented design studio will prepare an illustration with human proportions ensuring that all design goals are met
- You approve/suggest changes to illustration for your custom mascot
- A detailed quote is prepared outlining the cost for your special custom mascot costume
- Upon approval of the quote, we send you the deposit invoice – 50% of the cost
- Once deposit is received, our team of artists start to construct the mascot costume. Fabric sample pictures are sent to you for approval
- Throughout the process, you stay involved with your custom mascot production process with pictures and updates. To insure your complete satisfaction
- When the custom mascot costume is completed, it is fitted for a glamorous photo shoot, packed into a custom carrying bag and shipped.
- The final step is the most exciting, you get to finally meet your new friend and have fun using the mascot in unique ways to drum up excitement and goodwill from your brand or school!
2: How are the mascots made and what materials do you use?
All our costumes are made with premium materials to ensure that your custom mascot lives on for as long as possible. Included with your character illustration, we provide samples of all the fabrics that we will use so you can see and feel for yourself.
The head and feet are made from Polyurethane, an ultra-light foam that ensures durability For complete performer comfort, an adjustable helmet and an exhaust fan are included and fitted in each head. These features insure control of the head so it doesn’t wobble and the exhaust fan keeps the hot, spent air out.
The mascot is covered with high quality materials like faux fur, fleece or flexible polyester. All pieces are attached with industrial stitching so your mascot can handle an array of physical manoeuvres.
Depending on your character, an inner body will be created using a breathable 20 PPI LP foam to give your character their unique shape. There is a lot of magic put into each mascot costume and when it’s finished, you won’t believe your eyes!
3: How comfortable are our mascot costumes to wear for long periods of time?
We focus on building comfort into the design of each costume and tailor it to the performer or group who will play the important role. A built-in fan pulls fresh, cooler air in through the vision ports, which then sweeps across the performer’s face to cool and calm them. The fan then blows that hot air out the top of the head to significantly improve ventilation.
4: How do I receive the costume?
Loonie Times handles all shipping needs, all you need to do is wait in excitement for your character to arrive. We ship to Canada, US and abroad. By using Loonie Times, you’ll benefit from our special shipping rates to save you money.
5: How do I maintain the costume?
Mascots are a special asset to your company and they deserve the care and attention to make sure it stays in tiptop shape. Costumes need to be washed on a regular basis to keep it them sanitary; no one wants a smelly mascot! We provide a Mascot Spa service to ensure that people won’t be afraid to give your mascot a big hug.
Before the professional cleaning, the costume is thoroughly inspected for any damages. A small rip can get out of control fast and should be dealt with right away. We can also offer a safe home for your mascot at our shop/facility. Ensure that your character stays healthy, start today by making one call to ask about our Mascot Spa service, mascot management, and our storage facilities.
6: How long does it take to create a mascot costume?
There are factors that can affect the time it takes to make a mascot costume, such as the number of requests at any given time or if special materials need to be ordered. Most mascots should be ready within 10-12 weeks. We also provide a rush service if you require your character in a flash.
7: How much will a custom mascot cost?
All our costumes are unique, making the cost difference for each character. Factors that can affect the cost include accessories, complexity, size, material etc. The first step is to fill out our quick survey here or call us today to discuss your particular mascot requirements with one of our professional service representatives so you can start benefiting from cost-effective promotions with a mascot. We will provide you with a conceptual drawing to illustrate how your mascot will appear in public and a detailed quote clearly outlining all the associated costs before you order.
PHONE US AT: 855.325.0921
8: Can I purchase a duplicate of a character that already exists?
Every character is special to each brand that they represent. To ensure that every character stays unique, all our clients receive exclusive copyright to each character created. Famous characters have their own licenses and cannot be reproduced unless you can provide written consent. We can, however, use the different character ideas as a guide and design a brand-new mascot costume from the ground up. If you are with one of our managed brand’s, your mascot will be ready to promote your next event, you can start securing your delivery date by logging in here.
9: We already have a mascot; can we still use Loonie Times services?
Every mascot character is welcome at Loonie Times and can benefit from our full range of services. We receive a wide range of custom mascots made elsewhere who have switched to Loonie Times to care for their mascot costume because of our quality service. Is your mascot character taking up too much room or getting lost? Are people starting to notice funky smells? Is the mascot sitting around and not reaching its full potential? Let Loonie Times fix these problems before they get out of control by calling us and asking about our professional mascot character services.
1: Can you use my drawings/illustration to make my custom plush toy?
Absolutely! Much like our custom mascot production process, Loonie Times can create your custom plush toys using your own unique ideas. Whether you have professional graphics, photographs, logos or even just a sketch we can use those concepts to help design your character. Our design team takes all the details that you would like to incorporate into your custom plush character and whips up some original artwork to send to you! Once you approve the artwork we can begin to create your physical plush prototype. Once the physical prototype is approved your mass order can be placed!
2: Can you make my custom plush look exactly like my custom mascot?
Yes! For years Loonie Times Custom Mascot & Plush has been creating plushies for our mascot clients. We are always so thrilled to hear how happy they are when they receive such an exact miniature version of their beloved mascot! You don’t have to have a custom Loonie Times mascot for us to successfully replicate your mascot either! If you send in a photograph of the front, back and sides of your mascot our design, our team can design artwork for you to approve before creating your prototype.
3: If I don't have an original design, can I choose to customize a teddy bear or stuffed animal with my logo?
Of course! If you don’t have an original design, character or mascot you can use one of the many stuffed animal or shape designs in our database. Once you have chosen a design we can incorporate your logo and colors of choice to it! Just a warning, it is an extremely fun process and you may even catch the design bug and want to create your very own custom character next!
4: Can I see a sample of my plush toy, before I place an order?
We wouldn’t have it any other way! After you approve the artwork and quote Loonie Times gets to work on creating your prototype. It is so important to us that you are able to see the 3D version of your 2D concept as well as touch and feel the quality! We will work with you every step of the way and make any revisions necessary until you are 100% satisfied of the overall design, shape, colours and logos before mass producing your custom plush toy order.
5: What's your minimum order?
The minimum quantity to order is 3,000 pieces with price breaks beginning at quantities of 20,000+. We are also able to do TRIAL quantities of a minimum of 1,200 if larger orders are followed up after the TRIAL run.
6: How long does the entire process take?
On average the turnaround time is approx. 3 months to complete the entire production and finally delivery after approval of sample. Each step in the process is carefully monitored to ensure the highest level of detail and quality is met. It is important to us that you are kept in the loop during the process and that every major step, such as artwork, quote and prototype, is approved before going to production
7: Are your custom plush toys safe?
Toy safety is at the absolute top of our list here at Loonie Times! As a leading custom mascot and plush toy manufacturer for over 22 years we have been able to source out the most reputable factories to build strong working relationships with. We go every step of the way to ensure that our custom plush toys are safe for children, adults … pets, it happens… of all ages. Strict quality control ensures that no hazardous parts, paints or glues are used in the production of our plushies. We also ensure that all sewing is tight, and all accessories are fastened securely so not to pose a choking hazard. Loonie Times adheres to all Canadian and USA Toy Regulations for Dolls, Plush Toys and Soft Toys. We make sure your custom plush toys meet all toy safety standards including CCPSA (Canada) and CPSIA (USA). Upon completion of your custom plushies, each toy is passed through a metal detector before packaging and delivering it to your door.
1: How can I store the mascot?
After each event, it is important to let the mascot air out. When airing out the costume it should be hung in a warm, dry and secure area overnight. The head should also be wiped with a disinfectant wipe and left out to air and the shoes should have their insoles removed. Once your mascot is dry of all dampness it can be carefully folded and placed back in its storage bag. When repacking your mascot remember to place all protective facial masks for eyes and screens back on your mascot and double check the checklist to ensure you have all articles. Ship back your mascot to us for a spa treatment
2: Where can I store the mascot?
You can store the mascot at a secure location provided to you by Loonie Times in its premises with each mascot having its only personal allocated space for storage
3: Why storing the mascot properly is so important?
Failure to properly store your costume can lead to an array of unwanted scenarios. From bad odors, harsh/dangerous mold to loss and damage. It is important that your mascot is stored in a dry, clean facility where it can be accounted for at all times and safe from any harm. If a mascot is improperly stored the chances of it getting misplaced or have irreversible damage are quite high which can be devastating to the owners.
4: Why choose loonie time to store the mascot?
By properly storing your mascot at Loonie Times it is guaranteed to be clean, in great working order and ready when you are! When we schedule your mascot to be picked up after your event it comes directly (overnight) back to our facility where it is immediately inspected, cleaned, air dried, brushed and carefully repacked following a precise checklist of all its articles. Each packed mascot has its own, spacious, secure, dry spot on a shelf here at Loonie Times and waits with us until its next event.
5: What different storage packages does loonie times have to offer?
Here at Loonie Times, we store a large variety of mascots! Depending on the size of your mascot you would require either a small, medium or large storage space. Whether your mascot likes to hibernate during its off-season or if it works around the clock we have a space for it! Ask us about a mascot storage and mascot management program quote today.
Mascot Marketing Tips
1: Why companies invest in a custom mascot costume?
- Your custom mascot is a social media darling. In today’s world, everyone takes pictures and post it on social media thus making your investment in custom mascot a very cost-effective publicity tool.
- Unlike radio, TV or print media, mascots have limited cost once they are made. You only invest in performer cost (that is if you want a professional performer) otherwise someone from your company or a high school student can perform. So repeat cost is few hundred dollars versus 1,000 of dollars in print or TV or radio renewals
- Mascots capture the attention of everyone with no age bar, no religion, political or any limitations.
- Mascot characters are crowd pullers. They rally teams, fans and convert pure passion into a life long bond with the brand or company, school or team.
2: How do I use my custom mascot character to get my brand stand out?
You can use your custom mascot in the following ways to ensure exposure and brand association
Name your mascot: create a buzz even for naming your mascot. Be it company, school or sports team, get your employees, students or fans to submit ideas and vote on them. That way you have already created a buzz internally and external for the launch of the mascot
Create a Web page: Give your custom mascot a character. What does it like, what is the favorite food? What social cause is dear to it? What is its favorite color, etc. That way you build a personality of your mascot which will relate to your target audience.
Participate in community events: Once your custom mascot is created select a yearly list of community events that it will make an appearance every year. Being regularly there builds familiarity and exposure
Create a game night: How about a scavenger hunt at the park or local store or in the school? Get families and children involved. And distribute free samples of your product.
Associate with charity: Take part in the annual function for the charity and help raise funds for them. Get kids involved and make it a big event.
Create Plushie: create a soft plush toy to extend your mascot brand presence and selling the cute small version of your mascot as a soft plush toy. They can also be given as give away or used to raise funds for a cause, be it to buy sports equipment raise funds for a local hospital or just pure profits
Create coloring book: Create a color book to give out to schools free thus making it meaningful and same time to promote your mascot
Create an online game with a mascot: Creating games with the mascot as the centerpiece will help more visitors to your site and create a fun way to explore your brand
Make your custom mascot brand-centric: All communication, marketing materials, social media assets, product packaging need to have the mascot included for maximum exposure
1 Why do I need to get my mascots cleaned?
By having your custom mascot regularly cleaned after events you can prolong its lifespan and keep it looking great for years to come. Having your mascot cleaned after an event allows for small damages to be found and taken care of before turning into major problems. Too much moisture in your costume can lead to mould and odour build up, which maybe be irreversible or require major repairs/replacement.
2: How do I know I need to clean my mascot?
To extend the longevity and condition of your custom mascot we recommend having it cleaned and properly stored after each event. By having your mascot properly cleaned and stored it allows for minor damages to be addressed immediately and not given time to develop into larger issues. Cleaning after each use is also important for health and safety reasons. Performers come into direct contact with the inside of the mascot, for this reason cleaning and disinfecting these areas is a must!
3: Can we clean the mascot ourselves?
Certain pieces of the mascot can be cleaned at home in a standard washing machine but, other pieces (head, feet) require specialized equipment such a wet-vac for cleaning. When cleaning your mascot at home it is highly recommended to turn pieces inside out, wash on a gentle cycle, in cold water with like colours. When the cycle is done the pieces can be hung to dry and brushed lightly with a pet brush. Here at Loonie Times we encourage mascot owners and keepers to disinfect the inside of the heads using a disinfectant wipe and left to air out overnight. These steps will keep your mascot fresh and your performer happy!
4: How do you clean the head of the mascot?
The foam head, body and feet must be cleaned by hand or with a wet-vac and a soft scrub brush. Wet- Vacs are a fantastic investment for all mascot owners! It can get deep dirt and odors out better then any other method. If you are at an event and do not have access to the recommended cleaning supplies, you can clean stains on the mascot using portable stain removers, such as shout wipes, which are handy for small stain emergencies.
5: How do I clean the suit of the mascot?
In most cases the outer, inner body and gloves can all be machine washed. We recommend washing the pieces in COLD water with mild laundry detergent on a gentle cycle with like colours. Remember, certain fabrics and colours (RED) can bleed onto lighter colours if they are washed in hot or warm water. After washing it is best to hang the pieces to air-dry as the dryer will damage most materials.
6: Can we dry clean the mascot?
Dry cleaning your mascot costume is not recommended. The heat and the chemicals used in the dry-cleaning process may damage/ melt certain components of the costume. Materials like synthetic furs, spandex and fleece should NEVER come into contact with high heat or harsh chemicals! After a certain heat or chemical damage is done it may be irreversible.
7: Can I put the mascot suit in the dryer?
We always recommend hang-drying your mascot suit after a wash. Certain fabrics such as synthetic furs and spandex can melt, or the fibers can break and become saggy, knotted and rough looking. If you know your mascot is made from a material that can go in the dryer (cotton, jean) without shrinking or getting damaged, you can tumble dry the costume on a NO or LOW HEAT dryer setting only. Again, hanging your mascot costume to dry will prolong its vibrancy in all cases.
9: How can we clean the mascot if we do not have access to the proper equipment?
It is always important to disinfect the places where the performers’ skin or breath has come in contact with the mascot (vision screens, helmet). Natural disinfectant wipes or a vinegar/water solution is a great way to get the areas inside the head and the shoes clean. If there is still an odor after cleaning inside the feet and head a simple bounce dryer sheet can be rubbed along the inside and left in the mascot while storing it. Remember, do not pack your mascot if it is still damp! The best thing you can do to help keep your mascot clean and hygienic is to let it air out after each and every event.
10: How do I clean the feet/ shoes of my custom mascot?
The insoles (booties) of the shoes can be machine washed on a gentle cycle using cold water then hung to dry but, the shoes themselves are too delicate and large for the washing machine and therefore must be hand -washed. Here at Loonie Times we use our handy wet-vac, a soft brush and some gentle detergent to loosen the dirt before spraying it with water and sucking everything up! This is a extremely effective way to get stubborn stains and deep dirt out!
1: How do I keep synthetic fur, fleece and spandex from getting damaged?
The very best way for you to keep the material your mascot is made of is to have it cleaned properly, be patient and never take short-cuts. It can be easy to send your mascot to a dry-cleaner or throw components of it in the dryer if they are damp but, this WILL ruin certain materials and the damage maybe irreversible. Synthetic fur is essentially plastic and will melt when it comes into contact with high heat or harsh chemicals. Likewise, the fibres in spandex (elastic) can melt and break in high heat leaving it saggy and brittle. By following our recommended washing instructions (Gentle cycle, cold water, mild detergent) and allowing your mascot to hang dry over night you can preserve the materials. When your mascot has had time to dry lightly brush any fleece or fur areas using a pet brush or a stiff scrub brush. Be sure to be extremely careful not brush too hard or you can create bald spots!
2: My mascot has a small tare, or the zipper is stuck, what should I do?
Because your mascot is always on the move and interacting with the public a small tear or jammed zipper could develop into something more serious quickly! If the minor damage is left for too long it can become a big problem resulting in it being unwearable or expensive repairs. Every minor repair should be taken care of immediately, Loonie Times has an expert repair team that can stop any minor damages in its tracks and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Don’t risk missing an event, having your performer exposed or your mascot not representing you the best way possible!
3: The fan system in my mascot is not working! What do I do?
Start by removing the battery pack, the pack should be clipped to wires and easy to pop off. Check the batteries, are they dead? Are they leaking or corroded? If the batteries are dead, you can simply change the batteries and re-clip the pack back in and secure it. If the batteries are corroded and have damaged the pack, you will have to discard it. You can purchase a new pack from Loonie Times and we can ship it to you within 24hours.
If the batteries are not dead and everything looks normal you may have an issue with the fan system wiring. This is a more major repair that needs professional attention. In many cases this means the helmet needs to be removed so we can access where the problem is. We highly recommend sending your mascot into Loonie Times so our talented team can make the proper repairs. All our work is done professionally, quickly and guaranteed so you can rest assured it will be done right!
4: Where can we get the repairs done?
Loonie Times has so many wonderful mascot maintenance services available to you including, mascot repairs! To keep your mascot looking as good as the first day you received it is crucial to stay on top of and repair any minor damages immediately. When you send your mascot to us we carefully inspect it for broken or missing pieces and send you an estimate and pictures of all repairs required. Once approved, our team gets to work on getting your mascot back on top of its game!
5: Can I do minor repairs myself?
Although we have all the confidence in the world when it comes to your repair abilities, we highly recommend having your mascot come into Loonie Times for any repairs. By repairing your mascot yourself you may void any warranty on previous work or on the mascot. We back our work fully and use only the very best equipment and materials on your mascot to ensure all repair work is seamless. You can rest assure that when repaired by our talented team all materials and paint will match what was originally there.
6: How does having my custom mascot properly maintained and stored by Loonie Times cut down on future repair costs?
By having your custom mascot properly cleaned and stored at Loonie Times it will extend its lifespan for years! When your mascot is well maintained, minor damages can be quickly addressed before becoming larger problems. Here at Loonie Times we carefully inspect, clean and store mascots after every event! When it comes through the doors it is gone over with a fine-tooth comb to ensure we do not miss a thing. Minor repairs are taken care of immediately while larger repairs are photographed, quoted for and turned into an estimate for you to review. We work hard on your mascot to it can work hard for you for years to come!
7:Any other tips that will help in maintaining the mascot?
With proper care, your mascot last 10 -12 years and look fantastic at each and every event it goes to! By staying on top of repairs and having your mascot kept clean and stored in a safe, dry space your mascot can continue to represent your brand proudly.
Event Management Tips
1: What do I get when I use Loonie Times Event Management program?
When you get Loonie Times to manage your upcoming mascot events you get a personal event coordinator that works with you to ensure that your mascot is being utilized the best way possible to represent your brand successfully! Not only do we ensure your mascot is clean and looks fantastic we help book talented performers, schedule shipping and prepare all shipping documents. We don’t stop there either, we use our resources and years of event experience to source out future events that you may be interested in having your mascot represent you in! It’s important that we get every detail right for you, so our event coordinator is always eager to follow-up after your event and records your feedback!
2: Which events have loonie times managed in past?
Loonie Times helps many top brands organize their mascots in some of Canada’s largest parades and festivals! We organize client’s mascots in hundreds of events across Canada every year. Some large major events we work on are the Santa Claus Parades, Kids Help Phone- Walk So Kids Can Talk, Canada Day Celebrations and Kids Fest.
3: Loonie Times is based in Canada, so what if my event is in the USA? Can you still help me?
Absolutely! Loonie Times has a full roster of performers, spotters and other contacts across Canada and the USA. Whether your mascot is coming to Canada for an event from the USA or vice versa we, can help you with all shipping documents, provide talented performers/ spotters and even have your mascot cleaned and stored safely until its ready to go home to you.
4: Why choose Loonie Times event services?
When you choose our event management services you choose peace of mind! We don’t want you to have to lift a finger or stress over where your costume is currently, if its clean, where to store it afterward or getting it to where it needs to be on time.
Let us take care of all of that! Our job at Loonie Times is to help you with every little detail of your mascot event so you can concentrate on growing your brand and the worth, popularity and recognition of your company’s mascot to new heights.
Performers & Spotters Tips
1 Why do I need a professional mascot performer?
When you hire a professional mascot performer, you are hiring someone that has been trained on how to engage your specific audience. If it is a retirement party or a music festival they will be able to act accordingly. It is also important to hire a professional mascot performer for safety purposes. A professional knows when a child is scared and to back off. Our performers have been trained and know the mascot guidelines like the back of their favorite mascot glove.
2 Why do you need a spotter?
It is extremely important that your mascot has a mascot spotter/handler not only for the safety of the mascot performer but, for the safety of the public! The performer has a very small window of vision in which to look out and often cannot see below or much to the sides. This means it is easy for the performer to trip on a curb or wire but, it also means that the performer is not able to see small children run up to give them a hug. The job of the spotter is not only to help the performer in and out of the mascot but, to protect the performer and the people around them.
3. What can a professional Loonie Times Performer and Spotter do for my event?
Our specially trained performers and spotters bring excitement with them everywhere they go! Loonie Times can bring your mascot to life and our performers and spotters can make your mascot the life of the party! We know from experience that everyone wants a picture of themselves or their kids with a fantastic looking mascot. Our spotters are more then happy to take pictures while our performer poses for hundreds of pictures! Your mascot will be blasted across social media in no time! Our performers and spotters love promoting your brand with give-aways as well! Our performers can draw in a crowd while our spotters are able to hand out promotional goodies to them! Everyone wins when you have the Loonie Times team at your event!
4 How can you hire a performer or spotter?
Hiring a performer and spotter is simple with Loonie Times! Simply click on the link and fill out this form. A member of our team will reach out to you shortly with an estimate and answer any further questions you may have.