MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The marriage didn't last all that long, but for the Elvis Presley faithful, the wedding day is special still. And now, Elvis fans have the official, Graceland-approved Elvis and Priscilla wedding dolls to remind them of that magical time.
"This is just another way he's making history, and we want to be part of it," said Angel Durham, who waited all night outside a Graceland souvenir shop to be the first to hand over $65 for a boxed set of the dolls, the newest additions to Mattel's Barbie series.
Durham, 38, of Whitney, Texas, was at the front of about 150 Elvis fans lined up to witness the official unveiling of the dolls, staged as part of Graceland's annual weeklong fan pilgrimage to mark the anniversary of Presley's death on Aug. 16, 1977.
Brenda Moore of Bentonville, Arkansas, invested less time in getting her dolls but paid out a lot more money for a one-and-only set of dolls signed by Priscilla Presley.
Moore, 59, offered the high bid of $6,800 when the autographed box set was auctioned to the fans as a fundraiser for Presley Place, an apartment building in Memphis for homeless families.
"I was so nervous, I don't know if I saw it really well, but I think it's a good likeness," Moore said. "They showed them yesterday and I looked at them online. I was planning to buy them, but never dreamed we would do this."
Moore, a claims manager at Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters, said she and husband Mitchell believe the money is for a good cause.
"Presley Place, where the money will go, we contribute to them every year," she said. "Also, I want that on display in my living room in a curio cabinet."
The dolls, with faces painted to look like Presley and his bride, were designed from photos of the wedding. The groom sports a black paisley tuxedo while the bride wears a white beaded gown and rhinestone tiara.
The couple married in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967, but had split up by early 1972. They formally separated in July 1972 and were divorced in October 1973.
Durham said she got in place Monday night to await her shot at one of the 190 boxed sets Graceland was offering with special unveiling-day stamps. The 40,000 other sets sent to retailers later this year won't have those stamps.
Fans gathered for the unveiling were treated to slices of wedding cake and orange juice served in champagne glasses.
Mattel also issued an Elvis and Barbie doll set in the late 1990s.