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How Miffy is marvellous at 65

Classic brand has an “exciting” year ahead with raft of activity and new products planned.

Miffy also began life as a sketch of a bunny scampering around Dick Bruna’s holiday home, for his son, Sierk some 65 years ago.

Mark Teunissen, special projects manager at Mercis, explains that success took a while to build: “Both drawings based on geometric form and the use of a restricted colour palette were somewhat difficult to understand for grown-ups, but not small children.” And as Miffy evolved, she became a design icon, allowing Mercis to reach sectors beyond publishing.

These diverse audiences will see an exciting year ahead. Alicia Davenport, licensing director at DRi Licensing, which manages the UK rights on behalf of Mercis, explains: “TATE Modern will run a series of children’s colouring and storytelling events in the month leading up to the anniversary [June 21] – and on the day itself, they’ll have a major birthday party. TATE’s other galleries will also be running their own events.”

Maggie and Rose family members clubs will also host a two-week Miffy take-over of their eight locations.

Globally a fashion design project across five countries will invite students to create a Miffy plush with winning designs being produced as limited editions.

On the UK licensed product side, Thames & Hudson will publish a new volume of The Illustrators on the life and works of Dick Bruna. There will also be a Treasury collection of five children’s Miffy books. Magpie will offer bamboo feeding products; Strathberry has 16 handbag designs; Papier will add to its personalised stationery and print ranges, while Rainbow Designs has plush baby gifts and a white plush collection and the first Miffy costume from Smiffys will arrive in time for World Book Day.

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2020 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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