The two new characters in this year’s Moomin Arabia Classics collection have opposite approaches to life: Excitable Sniff dreams of fame and fortune; the philosophical Muskrat thinks all fuss and excess is useless. Sniff is a familiar face in the collection, The Muskrat appears in Moomin tableware for the first time. The new Classics will come globally available on 5 March.
The long-awaited Muskrat finally in the collection
The solemn philosopher Muskrat is a brand-new character in the Classics collection and in all Moomin Arabia tableware. The Moomin fans have been hoping for items with the moustached rodent-like fellow for a long time.
The Muskrat appears only in Tove Jansson’s novels Finn Family Moomintroll (1948) and Comet in Moominland (1946), never later, and in none of the comics. Instead, the character’s popularity has been boosted by animated TV series. The latest of them, Moominvalley, created by Gutsy Animations (2019–), has given the character a lot of screen time.
In Jansson’s stories, the Muskrat appears as a solemn old fellow who likes to spend his time in peace and quiet, reading books and pondering life’s big questions. He is not easily bothered about anything, and his views come out as somewhat existentialist.
His approach to life is well expressed in his lines in Finn Family Moomintroll:
“How unnecessary it is to run about and chatter, to build a house and cook food and collect possessions!”
However, there’s still something that moves even the philosopher. When he falls to the ground from his favourite spot, a hammock in the garden by the Moominhouse, his dignity takes an embarrassing hit. Already tired of the restlessness in Moominhouse, he retreats to solitude in a beach cave where nothing interrupts his thoughts.
These are the events shown on the Muskrat dishes. His philosophy is tellingly revealed in the title of the book in his lap: “The Uselessness of Everything”.
Sniff dishes with a new story
Sniff is a familiar face in the Classics collection, and this year’s dish set is the third one.
Unlike the Muskrat, Sniff approaches life with endless enthusiasm. He’s one of Moomintroll’s best friends, like a little brother, and eager to participate in everything the Moomins do, although not favourably in anything dangerous.
Where the Muskrat considers almost everything useless, Sniff is a big dreamer who desires anything valuable and all that glitters. He’s always trying to come up with different ways to get rich.
In Jansson’s all-time first comic, Moomin and the Brigands (1954–55), so many relatives and friends arrive at the Moominhouse that Moomintroll can no longer fit under the same roof. Sniff helps his friend Moomintroll get rich to be able to build a house of his own. Sniff invents an elixir of youth that he starts selling in Moominvalley. Surprisingly, anyone who drinks the potion transforms into their opposite – the small become big, old ladies become old gentlemen.
As shown in the new dishes, Sniff is offering the elixir to a turtle who’s destined to turn into a bullet train. The dishes also show Sniff standing on a beach at sunset – dreaming of fame and fortune, of course. Next to Sniff, there’s a little character called Shadow. He is a helpful creature who, as his name suggests, follows Sniff and Moomintroll everywhere.
The last Classics illustrations by Tove Slotte
Both Sniff and the Muskrat illustrations were created by Tove Slotte, who retired in 2022 after a thirty-year career at Moomin Arabia. The two are the last Classics the beloved illustrator designed, but Moomin fans still get to enjoy her work in many Moomin collections yet to be released in the coming years.
Moomin Arabia’s launches their very first glass tableware collection, inspired by Tove Jansson’s novel Finn Family Moomintroll (1948).
Moomin Arabia launches a ‘Love’ collection, including bed linen, towels, a tote bag, and a 0.4l mug with the all-time favourite illustration.
Arabia is launching a collection of Moomin home textiles for adults, with bed linen and towels. The collection will come out in the summer of 2023.