HE's a bit of a prickly character, but that hasn't stopped fans embracing him and taking him to their hearts.

Clyde, the man-shaped thistle who is the mascot of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, is the top-selling item of Games merchandise across Glasgow.

Almost 46,000 cuddly toy versions of the kilted icon have been sold since the beginning of the month, earning the event around £675,000 in revenue.

Merchandising is a key component of the Games budget, with all money earned going towards the cost of staging the international festival of sport.

Making products appealing to the public without crossing the line and churning out tacky souvenirs has been a difficult balancing act, but organisers say they are delighted with the way sports fans have responded to their wares.

As well as snapping up cuddly Clydes, visitors to the Games have also been keen to get their hands on T-shirts, pin badges, key rings and fridge magnets.

Holiday makers will also be taking a little bit of Glasgow 2014 around the world with them, with more than 2,000 beach towels being sold.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014 said yesterday that interest in official merchandise had surpassed expectation and that Clyde had charmed the public and visitors flocking to follow the popular Mascot Trail.

Yesterday the official Glasgow 2014 shop in George Square was doing a roaring trade, with people queuing in their hundreds to get inside and see what was on offer.

Leasa Healy, from Burnside, near Glasgow, had come into the city centre to sample the atmosphere with her daughter Eve, four, and son Rory, two, who cast his eye on a cuddly Clyde for sale.

She joked: "He grabbed it and I had a hard time getting it from him." She added: "It's all quite good quality and worth the price. Some things are a bit overpriced, like the schoolbags and the water bottles but the T-shirts and the toys seemed about right."

Mum Yvonne Rogers, from Glenfarg, Perthshire, had spent the morning watching the athletics at Hampden Park with her son Jake, five, before making the trip into the city centre.

She said that she had been impressed by what was on offer, and that Jake was delighted with his new cuddly friend.

She said: "The merchandise is fantastic. I expected it to be overpriced but it's tasteful and not tat.

"The Clyde doll is a big hit with all the children and Jake just had to have one.

"I've really enjoyed the games so far and the atmosphere has been excellent."

Mary Ndubuisi and daughter Bethany, eight, from Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, also bought some merchandise.

She said: "We bought a Clyde doll and that seems to be the must-have item.

"There are T-shirts at £22 and that seems a bit much but that's what you expect at a big event like this

"It all seems good quality and the shop is doing great business."

Glasgow 2014 has 54 shops open across Glasgow and in Games venues and has created approximately 500 temporary jobs.

Gerry Carey, senior manager licensing and merchandising at Glasgow 2014, said: "All of our ranges are selling well across the stores from our Team Scotland merchandise through to our Scottish specific items.

"It has been brilliant to see crowds of supporters sporting the Glasgow 2014 brand."