Did you know that the first Moomin products were made in the 1950s? Some of them are still in production today. Let’s take a deep dive into the history of Moomin products!
1945 – The Moomins and the Great Flood, 1946 – Comet in Moominland, 1948 – Finn Family Moomintroll, 1950 – The Exploits of Moominpappa, 1952 – The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My, 1954 – Moomin comic strips in The Evening News newspaper.
The breakthrough of Moomin comics started the Moomin revolution. Already in the mid-1950s, Tove Jansson was overwhelmed by the variety of product suggestions and queries, shortly after the comics had been published in the world’s largest newspaper The Evening News in 1954. Although Tove was knowledgeable in business matters, she experienced it was stressful and she no longer had time for drawing or even the former kind of enthusiasm for creating. Tove’s brother Lars Jansson started to draw the comics in 1960 to help his sister in some way.
Fazer is one of the well-known brands which started cooperating with the Moomins already in the 1950s – and the collaboration still continues today. The first Fazer Moomin candies came to market in 1957.
Fazer is also represented in the first Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood. The book shows a picture where Moomintroll and Sniff eat Fazer chocolate.
In 1951, Fazer’s Christmas ad by Tove was published in Garm magazine. The same illustration was reused in 2004 when Fazer ordered a set of Arabia’s Moomin mugs with that picture.
Figurines and department store collaborations
The Finnish company Atelier Fauni, founded in 1952, produced the first Moomin dolls in 1955 without Tove Jansson’s permission. However, since Tove liked these handmade small dolls, they made a contract, and Fauni Moomins became official Moomin products. The demand for the beautiful dolls grew extremely year after year.
Also already in 1956, the department store Stockmann in Helsinki had an advert with a variety of Moomin products. The most famous of these were the ceramic Moomin figurines made by Tove’s mother Signe “Ham” Hammarsten-Jansson.
In the 1950s, Tove designed a wrapping paper for Stockmann, and it was reintroduced in 2012 when Stockmann celebrated its jubilee year. Tove’s design was used for example in a gift paper as well as in Arabia’s Moomin mug made for Stockmann.
In 1957, a Moomin department was also opened in Stockholm at the NK department store. There were several Moomin products available like handkerchiefs, transfer pictures as well as drawing pads and kitchen towels. Tove Jansson also drew some beautiful posters for the department store. You can find the posters on the Moomin Shop!
Photo: Helsinki City Museum
The first Moomin dishes
The first Moomin dishes by Arabia were also produced in the 1950s. They are nowadays extremely rare and valuable.
The collaboration with Arabia still continues, and the Moomin mugs are some of the most well-known Moomin products around the world. You can see a complete list of all Teema-shaped Moomin mugs here.
Moomin game still in production
One Moomin product from the 1950s which is still in production is this traditional Moomin game.
A number of different versions of the Moomin game have been on the market over the years, and currently, the Moomin game is manufactured by Martinex. The game is of course also available at The Official Moomin Shop.
Which one of these old products is your favourite?