Mascot in the making

Welcome to JCCC, Jean Claude.

We all have a back story: where we were born, who shaped us in our formative years, our first job and so on.

So, too, does Jean Claude, the newly named mascot of Johnson County Community College.

Meet the folks

His “birth parents” were the technicians at Maydwell Mascots Inc. in Toronto, Ontario, who have made hundreds of mascots for high schools, colleges, universities and businesses.

Conception and birth

He began as just an assemblage of parts, according to Asher Siddiqui, sales and marketing representative at Maydwell. Those materials included:

  • plush fabric
  • foam
  • plastic
  • felt
  • polyester
  • cotton
  • rubber
  • fleece

Jean Claude’s “gestation period” was far shorter than yours, however. While your parts needed nine months to become fully functional, Jean Claude greeted the world in only eight weeks.

“Usually a custom mascot takes four to six weeks [to construct], and the design process can be an extra two weeks, so eight weeks in total,” Siddiqui said.

The extended family

And while you may or may not come from a big family with tons of unique characters, Jean Claude has siblings and cousins that are famous stars, like the My Little Pony gals and the Chips Ahoy! cookie.

He also has some lesser-known relatives like a two-headed cow and a lecherous-looking dragon. (Doesn’t every family need a few “characters” come the holidays?)

Siddiqui said the company creates three to five mascots each week, so asking for an English solider from the 1600s wasn’t that big of a challenge.

“Sailors, Pirates, Crusaders, Mauraders, Pioneers, Cavaliers, whatever,” he said.  “We’ve done them all.”

This one’s for the baby book…

And like a proud parent, Siddiqui is quick to point out how wonderful his progeny really is.

“Every high school, college or university has a mascot, and every sports team needs one. Every corporate business or institution wants one and should have one,” he said.


“It’s the best way to market and brand yourself, your message, your team or your sport,” he said. “And it brings good luck!”

All grown up

Whether Jean Claude brings good luck to the Cavaliers remains to be seen, but on his Twitter and Facebook pages, he’s giving it all he’s got. It is his first job, after all.

Jean Claude received his name as the result of a poll that ran Oct. 8-10 on the college’s official Facebook page.

 “The public has spoken, and Jean Claude it is! After two weeks of being nameless, it is nice to finally have a name,” Jean Claude the Cavalier posted last week. “Thanks to all of you who came out to meet me two weeks ago, and thanks to all that voted! Go Cavs!”