Character Group signs up Ozzy Osbourne to make Christmas sales rock 'n' roll

Ozzy Osbourne, the star of the Channel 4 reality television show The Osbournes, is being used as the secret Christmas weapon of a UK toy and games company.

Character Group, which specialises in digital cameras and glitter pens, is selling a range of mugs, keyrings and talking dolls based on the former Black Sabbath front man.

The talking dolls use some of the rock singer's trademark utterances from the TV show. They include: "I will not pick up another turd, I'm a rock star" and "Sharon, I can't get the ****ing television to work." The dolls are priced from £9.99 to £29.99.

"They seem a well-balanced lot," joked Character Group's chairman, Richard King, who added that he expected the range to be a "top-seller" over Christmas.

The company has also been seeing strong sales of children's ovens, popcorn makers and ice cream makers from its Ready Steady Cook range, based on the television programme. The range has been so popular that its Christmas allocations have already sold out and it is now supplying retailers with stock that had been scheduled for delivery in 2003. The next product in the Ready Steady Cook range will be a smoothie maker.

The comments came as the group bounced back into the black in the year to August. Profits of £1.5m compared with losses of £4.88m the previous year. The company has been "encouraged by pre-Christmas trading" which it attributes to a stronger products line-up.

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