Royal Doulton bulldogs fly off shelves after James Bond role
ORNAMENTAL British bulldogs have been flying off the shelves since the premiere of the latest James Bond film.
The red, blue and white collectables, made by Royal Doulton, are being snapped up for as much as £150 following an appearance in blockbuster movie Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig.
The Barlaston-based pottery firm has sold out of the iconic figurine, named 'Jack' after the Union Jack flag.
They expect it to be available again no sooner than February 2013.
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The figure, which dates back to the 1940s, features in the 23rd installment of the James Bond saga and can be seen in several of the film's MI6-based shots.
The dog, which sits on M's desk, survives an explosion and plays a poignant role in the film's final scenes.
Longton historian Angie Stevenson has welcomed the news, claiming the film has had a positive impact on Stoke-on-Trent.
She said: "It's fantastic and quite unbelievable really.
"Anything that puts the Potteries on the map for the right reason is excellent.
"I heard people talking about the fact the bulldog was made by Royal Doulton when the film first came out but I wasn't quite sure how big of a thing it would be. It's marvellous for the city.
"James Bond films always go down in history and if Stoke-on-Trent can play a part in that, however small that part may be, then that is fantastic. I hope other films follow in its footsteps."
Sixty eight-year-old James Green, of Baldwins Gate, has worked for pottery companies including Royal Doulton, Crown Staffs China and Staffordshire Potteries.
He said: "The British bulldog is not a figure I particularly recognise but I am not surprised it has done so well in terms of sales because it plays quite a poignant part in the film and I have no doubt that this would have helped to raise the profile of Royal Doulton.
"By the end of the film, the figure is in the hands of James Bond, which is great advertising really.
"It is a classic British piece which incorporates a British Bulldog and the Union Jack.
"Credit must be given to Royal Doulton for doing such a great job with it."
Jack is based on an iconic bulldog, originally modelled by Royal Doulton's art director Charles Noke.
After the company was commissioned by James Bond filmmakers to reproduce the item it has proved a popular purchase for members of the public.
A spokesman for Royal Doulton said: "Since the 19th Century the Bulldog has symbolised the steely determination of the British character and, given wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill's uncanny facial resemblance to the dog, it was inevitable that the 1940s saw a plethora of bulldog-linked propaganda and imagery.
"Seventy years on, and in harmony with a momentous year for Great Britain, the Royal Doulton bulldog takes centre stage once again."
Jack has been produced alongside two other bulldogs, Alfie, who sports a trendy London motif, and Patch, who models a map of Great Britain on its coat.
For more information visit: www.royal-doulton.com.