Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beijing Olympic Replicas

A long line of people snaked along the building and one eager customer said he had waited all night in anticipation. Within an hour after the shop opened, the items were sold out. Was it the much-anticipated new iPhone people were clamoring to get their hands on? Perhaps tickets to a hot concert? Oh, no…they awaited the sale of a souvenir building! The large-sized golden metal stadium replicas of the "Bird's Nest," or National Stadium for upcoming summer 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, sold out in November of last year within two months of their release. With a limited issue of 20,000, the large gold models sold for $530 and prices of the other sizes began at $120. The stadium replicas came in 3 different sizes and where gold or tin-plated. The replicas included not just the structure, but entrances, stairways and surrounding landscape all mounted on a base. It seems there was a limited issue for all sizes of 99,999 total stadium replicas and they may be completely sold out because I could not find any available. On the official Beijing Olympic website, another souvenir building from the games is the Temple of Heaven, where Chinese emperors used to pray for a good harvest, is still available for sale at $1149. Yikes, I know the value of the U.S. dollar has been falling, but is this replica made of solid gold for that price? In related news, some other amazing architecture being constructed for the games this summer includes the National Aquatics Center, dubbed the "Water Cube" which has an exterior which looks like bubbles.

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