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2 July 2014updated 24 Jun 2021 12:59pm

A Hackney toyshop wants to dress the Boris bikes in animal print

“Boris beasts”, anyone?

By Barbara Speed

With their grey/blue palette and bulky frames, London’s hire bikes are not known for their style.

Luckily for the discerning Londoner, toyshop TellTails has come up with a plan. Based in Hackney (where else?), it’s making a redesign the cornerstone of its unlikely campaign to be the bike hire system’s next sponsor.

According to their page on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo, TellTails would attach their own tailor-made tails to the bikes and give them an animal print paint job in order to turn London into a (no, really) “style Serengeti”. The manifesto continues:

We believe in a London bike sponsored by the people, for the people. A bike that represents the natural irreverence, exuberance and rebellious nature of the British people. A wild, wondrous bicycle that one might mount to feel like a Saxon king rather then a banal banker.”

TellTails claims that the redesign would simultaneously serve as a political statement, an “act of style” and a tourist attraction. Oh, and the tails would act as “superior mud guards”, too. But it’s sadly silent on whether all bikes will be cheetah-themed as in the campaign’s photo, or whether monkey, tiger and dinosaur tails would also be available.

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Barclays announced last December that it would not renew its sponsorship deal with TfL once it expired in 2015. But we suspect TellTails’ bark is worse than their bite: at time of writing, they’re on £792 out of a £37.5m goal.

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