Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/22/11

What you see above is the future subject of children throughout South Florida's nightmares, what appears to be the love child of Bugs Bunny, Dumbo the Elephant and one of the demon monkeys from the Wizard of Oz with watercolor palette spilled on top of it.

Only it's supposed to be a friendly Marlin. Billy the Marlin to be precise. At least the image on the left is according to the team's official website, although it hasn't been confirmed by the team just yet.

Yes, this is supposedly the modified mascot of the newly rebranded Miami Marlins. The first image of the mascot came from the Marlins' official site although again, the team hasn't issued a release announcing the unveiling of the new mascot nor have they set a timeline for when they plan on doing so. The second image was leaked by a Marlins fan on Twitter earlier today so it's entirely possible that this is all a test balloon to determine how fans are going to react.

Let's take a look at the old Billy the Marlin for comparison's sake, shall we?

Still kind of looks like a demon with a wing but then again it does look a bit more like a fish, doesn't it? The color scheme appears to be right, the mascot is...well it's not intimidating to small children, it is exactly what a mascot should be -- a fun exaggeration on something that exists in real life.

Let's take a look at what an ACTUAL marlin looks like for comparison's sake:

That is one majestic fish. Strong, silver, a sharp beak and a pronounced fin that doesn't look like a demon wing. Again, compare that to the image we got from the team's official website:

I'm not seeing any resemblance between the two. If I'm looking at the mascot above, I'm assuming it's for a team nicknamed the Miami Demon Elephants, not the Miami Marlins. Again, having been a professional mascot (for the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Rush), I'm well aware of the fact that mascots are caricatures of real objects. That being said, the Mariners moose is brown and not teal, the racing sausages in Milwaukee aren't blue and gold.

From a branding perspective, Billy admittedly fits in well with the rest of the team's color scheme. Whoever designed the logo did a great job incorporating the blue, orange and yellow that will be so pervasive throughout next season into the mascot. That being said, that thing is an aesthetic nightmare. You've got Bugs Bunny's crazy eyes, an elephant's trunk, and a giant demon wing on the outside. If I'm a five year old and I see that thing coming at me, I'm screaming like my mother just refused to buy me a candy bar at the grocery store. Straight up nightmare sauce. But then again, I'm a 29-year-old blogger who frightens easily, so I digress.

It's going to be even more interesting to see how the team adapts that color scheme into the actual physical mascot. Again, for a frame of reference, here's the old Billy:

That is one A-OK looking mascot. Billy looks about as close to an actual marlin as you're going to get in mascot form. He's got fishy colors, a big, non-threatening smile, and a bill that looks similar to the one you see in the photo above. While fitting in with team colors, the rainbow scheme isn't going to work from an aesthetic perspective unless they hire some artist the likes of whose talents we have yet to see.

It's important to mention that while we did take two of the above images from the team's official website, no announcement has been made regarding what Billy the Marlin will actually look like. That being said, when you do a Google Image search for Billy the Marlin in real life form like you see above, you get a message from the team's website hinting that there may be some validity to the 2D imagery:

We are sorry, but you have reached this page in error.

Please try the action again and if the problem continues contact Customer Service.

404 Error - Document not found

As per usual, we'll have the latest on the new Miami Marlins mascot developments as soon as the team releases an official announcement. But for now, based on images we've gotten from the team's official website, it appears that the new Billy the Marlin will look like the rainbow-colored nightmare you see above.

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

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