April 23 - London toy store Hamleys puts the first William and Kate dolls on sale ahead of the royal couple's first wedding anniversary on April 29th. Hayley Platt reports.
It's a year since the wedding of the decade and London toy store Hamleys is celebrating. It's taken delivery of a set of William & Kate dolls. They're made by Mattel - the world's biggest toy maker - and have already sold out in America and on some online websites. Head buyer at Hamleys, Laura Olver, says they're expecting a lot of interest. SOUNDBITE: Laura Olver, Head of Buying and Planning, Hamleys toy store, saying (English): "Straight after the engagement another manufacturer bought out a Catherine doll in the blue engagement dress which took us by surprise. We sold about 30 times more than we originally forecast we would sell of that doll. And that was no question it was Hamleys' customers who are both tourists and obviously toy shop customers and that combination of the doll and the tourist element meant that we saw fantastic sales of that doll so we're really excited about the potential of this one." British retailer Tesco was quick to copy Kate's designer engagement dress. Other high street shops favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge have also seen sales soar. And retail analyst Isabel Cavell says she sees no sign of her popularity waning. SOUNDBITE: Isabel Cavell, senior retail analyst, Planet Retail, saying (English): "We're seeing the likes of Reiss perform very well over the year, we're seeing LK Bennet and we're seeing new fashion designers really spring up which she semi endorses like Issa, which are now big names in fashion, so she really does have a major impact. She looks good in what she wears and shoppers want to buy in to that." At £99 the dolls don't come cheap. But Mattel says they're more of a collector's item than a toy. SOUNDBITE: Rachel, tourist from Perth, Australia, saying (English): "They're just beautiful, they're a young couple and I think they represent like a modern marriage today and I just love the both of them, they're gorgeous." SOUNDBITE: Unidentified British shopper, saying (English): "It should have been out last year it wouldn't been great but now it's Jubilee and Olympics, it's not them two any more is it." SOUNDBITE: Unidentified British shopper, saying (English): "They're ghastly an absolute travesty no." So not everyone likes the dolls but one year after their wedding the royal couple are still hugely popular around the globe. And that can only be good news for Britain and the brands they favour. Hayley Platt, Reuters.