8:41 am - 03/09/2011

kate middleton doll?

Franklin Mint announces release of Kate Middleton Doll, priced at $195


London, England (CNN) -- She's got the glossy, chestnut hair, the blue silk dress, the jewels -- and she could be yours, for a princely $195.

The pint-sized Kate Middleton Doll, by the Franklin Mint, is no cheap date. But she's the latest in royal wedding memorabilia.

One of a two-doll Kate set (the bridal version will be released after Britain's Royal Wedding takes place), the 16-inch doll's release is announced this week, in anticipation of the royal couple's big day.

The global excitement around the British royal wedding, combined with the opportunities offered for internet businesses -- there was no eBay when Charles and Diana married in 1981 -- means this wedding could break all previous official and unofficial merchandise sales. And companies including the Franklin Mint are hoping to cash in.

Gwynne Gorr, a longtime collector and chief marketing officer for the Franklin Mint says, "The memorabilia will be much more available in the world market just because you can buy things on the internet ... It will have a positive impact on the merchandising of this event."

Some, like the Franklin Mint, see it as a golden opportunity to widen their reach and bring new -- potentially younger -- collectors on board.

"Our Princess Diana collection is probably the largest audience we've ever had," says Gorr. "The doll collectors for that are embracing Kate Middleton with the same zeal they had for her. But Kate Middleton is a breath of fresh air."

Others, such as designer Jan Constantine, are hoping the wedding will boost the profile of up-and-coming British talent.

Constantine, whose hand-embroidered textiles are inspired by the Union Jack and other bastions of Britishness, has designed a cushion celebrating the wedding.

"It's so exciting it's happening in our country," she said. "To be a part of it is so amazing."

"It's an opportunity for British designers," she continued. "The British can home in on the whole wedding and the paraphernalia associated with it."

The memorabilia will be much more available in the world market just because you can buy things on the internet.
--Gwynne Gorre, chief marketing officer, Franklin Mint

While Buckingham Palace accepts that it cannot control all merchandise associated with the wedding, the Queen and Co. have shown a strong preference for classic souvenirs of the occasion, such as porcelain pillboxes and commemorative cups.

In a memorandum to staff in December, the Lord Chamberlain, Earl Peel said, "We want items that are permanent and significant."

Initially, the Palace even shied away from that staple British souvenir, the trusty tea towel. They relented in January this year, though the official towel will feature William and Kate's initials, rather than their faces.

Others have no such concerns. Irreverent royal items this time around include KK Outlet's plates emblazoned with "Thanks for the free day off," Butter London's "No More Waity, Katie" nail polish and even Crown Jewels condoms -- promising a "better class of lovemaking."

It's an opportunity for British designers.
--Jan Constantine, designer

British designer Lydia Leith, 24, whose royal wedding-branded sick bags ("Keep this handy on April 29th") have shocked some and amused others, said that the times when unofficial merchandise was confined to cheap knock offs is long gone -- thanks to the internet.

"It's good fun and people have embraced it well," she said. "It's a bit funnier than a plate or a mug, which we've all seen before."

Leith, who has a Charles and Diana pencil case and drinks hot chocolate from a George V coronation mug, said she was excited about the wedding, but that the media hype was "a bit much."

Back at the Franklin Mint, Gorr has no such qualms.

"I would say that there's been more excitement about this wedding based on all the press coverage, all the feedback from collectors, all the other people making products," she said. "There's been nothing this big since Princess Diana got married.

"You can't help but have an interest in how this magnificent day works out."



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glambbydoll 9th-Mar-2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
Lol and a replica of the ring
nicky_nacker 9th-Mar-2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
ew this royal wedding, i can't

i can't believe people are actually excited to throw street parties about it. they're funding their wedding with our tax paying asses.

idgi. seriously.
whatthecurtains 9th-Mar-2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
It's vomit inducing. Those cheap womans weekly-esque mags are the worst at royal wedding overkill.
nicky_nacker 9th-Mar-2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
im not like massively anti royalist but it puzzles me how we're technically paying for their wedding and people are happy with that, AND celebrating on top of it.
vickileekx 9th-Mar-2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
ikr. the only thing I like about it is that we get a day off
04nbod 9th-Mar-2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
They are not funding it with tax money. We are only paying for the security because there will be large groups of people congregating around London
oatess 9th-Mar-2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
my parents and there friends are celebrating with the men going for golf, and the women watching the wedding with strawberries and cream and champagne. nauseating.
devochkazhenya 9th-Mar-2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
patentpending 9th-Mar-2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
how_we_fade 9th-Mar-2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
thats one expensive doll, and she doesn't even come with a corvette!
peace_criminal 9th-Mar-2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
Imagine being someone who'd look at this and go, 'I want it.'
awkwardmumbles 9th-Mar-2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
lol irl

vagabonden 9th-Mar-2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
A++++++++++ I think I love you

Now I have to find the part where Kip drives over the plastic bowl, it breaks and he just drives away. LMFAO
affliction 9th-Mar-2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
octopussgardenn 9th-Mar-2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
wow, this is too much.
whatthecurtains It'll go well along side the Queen Elizabeth tea cups.9th-Mar-2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
wentwarth Re: It'll go well along side the Queen Elizabeth tea cups.9th-Mar-2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
I want a Queen Elizabeth tea cup.
wentwarth Re: It'll go well along side the Queen Elizabeth tea cups.9th-Mar-2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
But this doll is just fucking ugly. I bet my amateur ass could sculpt a better likeness of Kate's face, even if I couldn't put the whole doll together.
angi_is_altered 9th-Mar-2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
a_way_of_sin 9th-Mar-2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
how fug jfc
missjersey 9th-Mar-2011 01:55 pm (UTC)

Belle could run circles around this girl PUH-LEASE.
how_we_fade 9th-Mar-2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
btw...i'll buy the royal condoms plz.
vickileekx 9th-Mar-2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
what. it doesn't even look like her
jfc I can't believe people are actually getting excited over this
kiwitanga 9th-Mar-2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
Doll is fug, the princess is not.
fil0li 9th-Mar-2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
Nothing against Kate Middleton - I'm sure she's a lovely person (actually I have no idea, but idgaf either way) - but anyone who pays $195 for a Kate Middleton doll needs to look at their life, look at their choices.
affliction 9th-Mar-2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
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