Friday, August 16, 2013

Makers cash in on popularity of Downton Abbey with branded boardgames, lip balm, claret and Christmas baubles

PUBLISHED: 05:38 EST, 16 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:25 EST, 16 August 20

Want lips as soft as Lady Mary's? Marks and Spencer are unveiling a Downton Abbey make-up range which includes gloss and balm

Downton fans were sent into a frenzy of anticipation this week, as more details about the new series were released. The forth run of the drama -  sold to over 220 territories around the world and believed to have been seen by approximately 120 million people - will begin next month.

And the millions seduced by the strait-laced but stylish world of the British historical drama will soon be able to take some of that style home.

If you want lips as soft as Lady Mary's, wine inspired by Lord Grantham's favorite tipple - or even walls the exact shade of grey as as Mrs. Patmore's kitchen, you're in luck as there is a new wave of merchandise set to hit stores.

 The programme's makers have arguably been slow to exploit the commercial potential of the show's popularity through merchandising, selling little more than DVD sets, wall calendars and desk diaries. But that is all about to change. A huge range of merchandise is being rolled out to accompany the fourth season, including a board game, homewares, clothes, beauty products, and even Downton wine - all in the best possible taste, naturally.

'We haven't rushed into it,' executive producer Gareth Neame told The Associated Press this week.
'We don't want to carpet bomb the retail sector.'

On October 12, British retail chain Marks & Spencer will launch its Downton Abbey beauty line in 250 stores and online. The range includes soap, nail polish, lip gloss, lotion and scented candles.

The items are whimsically packaged and inscribed with quotations from the series, including the advice offered by Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess of Grantham in the first episode: 'No one wants to kiss a girl in black.'

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