Gifts and Greetings Review got a hand on the actual Olympic torch earlier this week when the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) launched its extensive merchandise range in time for back-to-school and Christmas 2011.
The merchandise comprises designs inspired by the vibrant colours of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and also features a range inspired by posters and images from the Olympic Museum Collection created by official poster licensee Pyramid International (right). Pyramid’s sister company, The Art Group has also released a set of greetings cards and postcards of the stylish retro images (below right), along with a number of designs in patriotic red, white and blue featuring the official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville.
The wide selection of products from over 50 licensees includes adidas clothing, Royal Doulton tableware, Merrythought teddy bears, Links of London Jewellery; books and guides from publishing partners such as Carlton Books and many more fun and iconic accessories. We loved the collectable items such as pins, stamps and coins, sure to be hot property as Olympic memorabilia buffs get to work on the 2012 edition of the Games. (Our money is on the collectable pin brooches made in the shape of crowns and named after various kings of England, pictured below left).
For the younger audience, the range of Wenlock and Mandeville toys will continue to expand in the run up to Christmas 2011, including a dancing Wenlock that sings the mascot’s song. The song will also feature on a Universal Music album due in September. And, for the first time ever, Scalextric is presenting its classic track styled on the London 2012 Velodrome. Children and adults alike will be able to race their friends to see who can claim gold at the London 2012 Velodrome!
For the home there is a collection of fresh and colourful product, including hand embroidered cushions by Jan Constantine, ceramics by Wedgwood, Notebooks from Charles Letts and Filofax (just seen right) as well as tea towels, bedding and bath towels emblazoned with the union jack to bring national pride into every kitchen, lounge and bedroom. We also thought the themed Monopoly set (bottom left) would be great for Christmas.
LOCOG Commercial Director Chris Townsend commented: “With just over a year to go until the start of the Games it’s fantastic to see UK retailers embracing the once in a lifetime opportunity and joining in with the excitement of the Games. The wide variety of products on offer from fun and functional to historical and collectable will ensure that both the British public and visitors to the UK will all be able to show their support for the athletes and own a piece of the Games.”
By Games time, an estimated 10,000 London 2012 merchandise items will be on sale in the UK. It is anticipated that the London 2012 merchandise programme will generate more than £1billion worth of sales, contributing more than £80m to the staging of the Games.
The new London 2012 merchandise range will be available to purchase from 15 August 2011 at: www.london2012.com/shop. Official London 2012 Shops can also be found at St Pancras International, Paddington station, Heathrow Terminal 5 and John Lewis, Oxford Street and John Lewis Stratford Westfield (opening 13 September 2011) and from 1 September 2011 at other good high street retailers.