PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillie Phanatic debuted a new look Sunday amid a copyright battle with its creators, but the makeover isn’t too extreme. The Phanatic now has a blue tail and new shoes and socks.
The Phanatic took the field Sunday during the Phillies’ spring-training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
During the lineup announcements, the green fluffy mascot gave the world the first glimpse of his new look.
He has evolved, but clearly hasn't matured. pic.twitter.com/Tmo5jHNQOB
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) February 23, 2020
“He looks festive,” fan Adrianna Anastasio said. “He looks so festive now.”
Phillies fans watched from inside South Philadelphia’s Chickie’s & Pete’s.
“I love it. I love the blue and green,” fan Joe Botto said. “It’s colorful. It’s festive. The eyes, it really popped. It’s nice.”
Many changes are subtle — like a shorter snout, a light blue color around the eyes, a pair of red shoes and blue socks and scales under the arms.
The longer, blue tail was a bit more obvious.
“I don’t know how I feel about the green and blue though,” said Anastasio, who added the color scheme isn’t too coordinated.
The changes come as the Phillies continue to negotiate through a lawsuit with the original designers of the Phanatic costume.
In 2018, the creators threatened to make the mascot a free agent who could root for other teams if they couldn’t reach a new licensing deal.
“I think it looks the same,” fan Yvonne Nichols said.
“He wears different costumes throughout the year for different occasions so I just thought maybe it was something he was doing different for spring training,” fan Tom Nichols said.
Some who could tell the difference like it.
“I love the Phanatic so I think he’s adorable regardless,” Anastasio said. “No matter what, no matter what he looks like, he’s still cute to me.”
But not everyone is sold.
“I’ll get used to the new one, but I like the old one better,” fan Kaliegh McKeaney said.
“I’m not a huge fan of the changes. The scales under the arms are kind of creepy,” Jim McKeaney said.
The now popular Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty received the same type of disapproval in the beginning.
“He wasn’t a fan at first either. Now he’s a national sensation so there’s definitely going to be good things in the future for the Phanatic,” McKeaney said.
“I’m just excited. Go Phillies. I want them to win,” Botto said. “I don’t care what he looks like.”
The Phillies beat the Pirates, 4-3, on Sunday.