It’s fascinating to get a glimpse into Doctor Who merchandise outside the Western sphere – and so we’ve loved seeing new memorabilia from this weekend’s Taobao Maker Festival in Hangzhou, China.
This is the first time Doctor Who has been exhibited at the four-day festival, which is a celebration of China’s young entrepreneurs. Visitors to Hangzhou’s West Lake, the UNESCO World Heritage site, were met with a TARDIS and could walk away with limited edition Doctor Who postcards. The BBC has collaborated with four local Taobao merchants to make four items of Doctor Who merchandise: a pair of spacey trainers, traditional Chinese dough figurines depicting the Thirteenth Doctor and the TARDIS, a Twelfth Doctor smartphone case, and a Doctor Who book cover.
Zheng Zhong, Taobao Marketing Director and Taobao Maker Festival Project Director, said:
“Science fiction is a well-loved genre in China, and Doctor Who is an iconic brand that is popular among our young audiences. We are very pleased to feature Doctor Who in our Taobao Maker Festival, which is designed to draw inspiration from Hangzhou’s rich heritage and put a spin on Chinese culture. We hope that by combining elements from ancient Chinese history and modern pop culture, we will inspire creativity in our young festival-goers. Having an iconic global brand such as Doctor Who making an appearance in West Lake shows cross-culture collaboration at its finest, where east meets west, and where past meets present.”
Kelvin Yau, General Manager, Greater China, of BBC Studios, adds:
“Doctor Who is a global phenomenon, and we are honoured to work with Alibaba Group to bring the Doctor Who experience to more fans and families in China. West Lake is instrumental in Chinese culture, having influenced the poets and painters throughout Chinese history. We hope having the TARDIS land in West Lake signifies the start of a new era for Doctor Who, and we are excited for the possibilities of this iconic brand.”
The Taobao Maker Festival took place between 13th and 16th September 2018.
We don’t know whether these products will make their way over to the rest of the world, but it’s great seeing talented designers get their hands on this international franchise.
Head over to the official Doctor Who site to see all the products.