According to Todd Zolecki, we could be seeing the original Phanatic design return to Citizen’s Bank Park in 2022.
The battle for the Phanatic (that’s what we’re going to call it) has been going on for years now. The issue was originally raised by the original creator of the nearly 40-year-old mascot due to copyright issues. The Phils bought rights to the Phanatic in 1984, but federal law allows artists to renegotiate ownership after 35 years. That’s exactly what happened, but instead of giving up the beloved mascot in a lawsuit, they made some minor changes to avoid any kind of legal drama.
In 2020, the Phils debuted a new-look mascot, featuring flightless feathers as opposed to arms, stare behind his eyes, and a powder blue tail. It was essentially a case of copying the homework and changing it just enough so it looks like it’s original.
It appears as though a settlement has now been reached and the Phanatic might have to give up his funky new sneakers and socks, as fans will be able to welcome back the mascot they grew up watching and who entered the Hall of Fame.
Details about the settlement are minimal at this time, but the good news is that the issue seems to have finally been put to bed. The Phillies won’t have to pay millions (or at least as many) and the Phanatic can continue to be everyone’s favorite chaotic dinosaur…bird…frog…thing.
Photo Credit: Alec Kostival