The Aussie authorities have gotten themselves into an extremely hairy situation.
In a bizarre bureaucratic bungle being celebrated in the furry community, the Australian government accidentally commissioned fursonas for its Olympic mascots. The fuzzy figures have already been printed onto a variety of Olympics promotional merch, including coins, booklets and comics.
“So, the Olympics are soon, how is your country trying to drum up national pride? Well here in Australia, supermarket chain Woolworths (Woolies) is having a collectable sticker series for kids to collect of our athletes with 𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙜𝙚𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙡𝙮 𝙛𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙮 𝙢𝙖𝙨𝙘𝙤𝙩𝙨?!” one wide-eyed tweeter noted, along with photos of the collectibles.
The artist who created the characters reportedly even responded to explain how the government’s apparent bizarre endorsement of the sexualized, anthropomorphic animal community came to be.
“G’day! That’s my art and my (re)designs. Had no idea they’d finally gone into use LMAO. Happy to field any questions. Rest assured the people employing me had no idea what furries were. But I did,” commented the 2D artist behind the campaign.
On their own profile, they offered further insight into how the situation came to be.
“hey fellow aussies, the fursonas I was commissioned to draw by the government are now on sale in booklet form for $3 at woolies,” they wrote on Wednesday. “I am no longer jazzed for the olympics theyre attached to due to the global plague we’re all living through but what can you do. Send tweet.”
That the government moved ahead with printing the artist’s comics on the merch came as a surprise. “WHAT THE HELL. DID I GET AN EMAIL (scrolls) nope,” the artist wrote in a follow-up tweet.
An Australian Mint spokesperson said in a statement that they’d intended for the mascots to be manga-style, in tribute to Japan being the host country, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
A spokesperson from Australian supermarket chain Woolworths, a key Olympics sponsor, said that while the Mint may not have fully realized what their commission looked like, it was a hit.
“We’ve already received positive customer feedback, including from customers who are excited by the representation in the Olympic and Paralympic games and the Aussie Heroes collection,” Woolworths said in a statement.
The Mint added that over 90 percent of the coin collection sold within three days of becoming available.