'Royal' romper suit adds £10 to price of doll

Dream Toys Exhibition - London

German toy maker Zapf Creations is launching a 'Baby George' doll - that costs £10 more than an identical toy that lacks the royal name.

Costing £47.99, the doll was showcased at the Toy Retailers Association 'Dream Toys' exhibition last week and is shortly to go on sale.

"The royal doll features a beautiful regal-themed outfit and he comes housed in a specially designed box," says the company in a press release. "When your little prince or princess looks after him, Baby Annabell Brother Baby George will respond by making realistic sounds and facial expressions."

However, the doll appears to be identical to the Baby Annabell Brother doll, apart from its Union Jack romper suit, hat, dummy and bottle - and an extra £10 on the price tag. Like the other dolls in the range, it cries, moves its eyes and mouth and reacts to sounds.

Zapf denies, though, that the doll is based on the latest addition to the Royal Family, and says it's simply a 'refresh' of the existing product line.

"This isn't specifically 'Royal Baby George' doll, rather an addition to the Baby Annabell Brother range, named George," a company spokesman told the Daily Mirror. "This is a reflection of George no doubt becoming a popular boy's name. The royal doll features a beautiful regal-themed outfit."

Zapf, like other manufacturers, has to tread very carefully indeed when it comes to royal-themed products. The Lord Chamberlain's Office has strict guidelines on the use of royal names and images, prohibiting manufacturers from falsely implying that a product has official endorsement.

"In October 2012 the ASA upheld a complaint against an ad for a Prince William Royal Bridegroom Porcelain Doll because the image in the ad was found not to be an accurate representation of the product and therefore breached the code," says the Committee of Advertising Practice.

"There is no minimum number of complaints required to spark an investigation, however it's worth noting that the popularity of such products can result in a higher level of complaints if something goes wrong."

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