Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Monopoly and Metal Origami in [Pounds Sterling]1bn Olympic Sale

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Monopoly and Metal Origami in [Pounds Sterling]1bn Olympic Sale

Article excerpt

Byline: Dolly Alderton

IT'S not unheard of to commemorate a great British event with a touch of memorabilia -- a royal wedding tea towel, a Take That T-shirt. They mark the memories of a brilliant day. But 10,000 Olympic knick-knacks? From board games to badges, cushions to keyrings, the huge range of Olympics merchandise is set to be divided into three main brands: historic, 2012 and Team GB.

The historic brand is based on the artwork and poster designs of the previous London Olympics -- a range of items including kitchen and homeware has been branded with nostalgic images to create a retro feel. The 2012 brand is the most recognisable -- the designs combine the Games' bright signature colours and Olympic and Paralympic logos. Finally, the Team GB brand is a classic, sporty, red, white and blue theme -- a choice commercial director Chris Townsend hopes will tap into people's patriotism.

He said: "As we move nearer to the Games I think a lot of it's going to be about red, white and blue. When you think of the royal wedding last year, everyone was feeling great about their country. I think next summer that patriotism will return."

Capturing a sense of Britishness across all the products has been important for the merchandise team. Wherever possible, the products have been manufactured in the UK. The range of items also feature traditional favourites such as stamps and Royal Mint coins.

But it's not all collectable items -- as well as traditional pinbadges, mugs and T-shirts, the Olympics merchandise also embraces more quirky items. The Olympic Monopoly board is a global first. The players travel around different venues and collect stands and stadia rather than houses and hotels. Also for sale is a miniature velodrome racing track, designer cushions and beach towels.

But what is the most intriguing item on offer? "I'd say the metal origami," reveals Townsend. "You get a kit of recycled steel and you build miniature steel structures such as the Olympic Stadium. It's a great example of British ingenuity."

As well as showcasing new talent, the Olympics merchandise also has some well-known faces and brands on board. …

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