Wenlock and Mandeville, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots, elicited mostly baffled reactions as to just what they were at their unveiling today.
With a metallic finish, a single large eye made out of a camera lens, a London taxi light on their heads and the Olympic rings represented as friendship bracelets on their wrists, they resemble characters dreamed up for a Pixar animation.
But London 2012 organisers, for whom the launch of the mascots marks the start of a crucial period in which the games will become public property, pointed to the delighted reaction of a hall full of primary school children at today's launch as evidence that they would connect with their target audience.
"They remind you of aliens, which is really weird and cool," said 10-year-old Ali.
Comment: Postmodern mascots!