The only predictable thing about what will become collectable from the world of children’s literature is that it will forever be unpredictable.
Sometimes the work of a gifted writer or artist can creep under the radar undetected.
A recent example of this hit me when I noticed in my local store, a tin of Yorkshire Tea tin decorated with the images of The Gruffalo.
Tea tins are themselves popular among collectologists but I wondered why The Gruffalo, which became a children’s best seller in the late 1990s, had been used to help market a famous tea brand.
Can The Gruffalo rival The Snowman in the collecting world?
The Gruffalo was a bedtime story I read to my own children twenty years ago. A few minutes of online research revealed that it is now on an accelerating journey destined to become the “new” Snowman in terms of value and collectability.
The Gruffalo story, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated so beautifully by the brilliant German born-artist Axel Scheffler has become a phenomenon.
The Gruffalo was published in 1999, and it quickly became a best seller. In just two decades it has sold a remarkable 13 million copies worldwide. It has been and translated into about 40 languages.
Ten million viewers watched an animation produced in 2009 and became available to fans worldwide!
The Gruffalo 50p causes collecting frenzy!
The Royal Mint released a brand new commemorative 50p featuring The Gruffalo – officially licensed, it’s a charming tribute to such a phenominal fictional character and it’s already been extremely popular.
When The Royal Mint announced a few weeks’ ago that the Gruffalo 50p was coming, it really caused a stir in the coin collecting world and collectors across the country have been waiting in high anticipation for its release and it hasn’t disappointed.
In fact, collectors have been going crazy for the new 50p – it’s already sold out in Gold and Silver Proof and the superior quality base metal version is selling extremely fast.
So, it got me thinking, what else is creating interest in The Gruffalo collectables market? Top of the tree are rarest first editions and translations of the books but there are also some top-quality figurines of characters lifted from the stories now available online and they will definitely become bankable.
Here’s a few I’ve picked out that are particularly notable:
1. Gruffalo cloth edition could sell for £800
A cloth-bound edition of the Gruffalo story was posted on line for £800. It was signed by both the creators Julia and Axel and includes a letter of authentication. Only 500 are known to have been made available.
2. Twelve-piece jigsaw book marked up at £500
Jigsaw books of the Gruffalo story have been really popular historically.One version is a double-signed twelve-piece jigsaw book in French and it is special because it was the first edition produced for the French market. This too is authenticated and signed by the author and illustrator and it was flagged-up recently for £500.
3. A £395 tribute to the Chinese inspired story
The Gruffalo story is believed to be inspired by a Chinese Tale about a young girl lost in the jungle fending off the threat of attack by a tiger. A rare Mandarin translation is significant in that it is a first edition aimed at the Chinese children’s book market. It is again authenticated and signed by Julia and Axel. It is was on sale recently for £395.
4. John Beswick porcelain 7.3cm figurines at a bargain £25 – but not for long
Tiny figures from the Gruffalo story made under the finest porcelain quality brand name of John Beswick are selling for £25+. But they are made with such an eye for detail and so beautifully crafted and hand-painted that their value can only soar substantially.
If you’re interested…