This detail distinguishes the new character mugs from the old ones – The history of Moomin mugs by Arabia, part 19

#74 Our Coast 2016

The mug Our coast was the second Moomin mug produced exclusively for the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation (Håll Sverige rent), as a continuation of the campaign launched in 2015.

Back in the 1970’s Tove and her brother Lars Jansson drew several Moomin posters exclusively for the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation and their ‘’Save the Baltic Sea’’ campaign. The illustration on the mug Our coast is originally from one of these posters, although it has been modified by designer Tove Slotte to fit beautifully on the Moomin mug.

The Keep Sweden Tidy Moomin mugs are also known as the HSR mugs, the abbreviation HSR used in reference to Håll Sverige Rent. The Keep Sweden Clean mug is known as HSR1 and Our coast has accordingly been called the HSR2 mug.

The blue Our Coast mug was sold for a limited time only in Sweden, the Moomin Shops in Helsinki and Each purchase of a campaign product, ranging from mugs to safety reflectors, contributed to helping the Keep Sweden Clean Foundation educate school students and their parents about the harm littering causes to nature.

#75 Too-ticky violet 2016-

After the blue Too-ticky mug was taken out of production, Arabia launched a violet Too-ticky mug. For this mug, designer Tove Slotte used illustrations from the book Moominland Midwinter (1957).

Too-ticky and the Ancestor were the first characters whose names were imprinted on the bottom of their character mugs. Since the renewal in 2016, also the other character mugs have the characters’ names mentioned on the mug. If you own a character mug without the character’s name on it, it has been produced before 2016.

#76 Ancestor black 2016- 

For many years, collectors wished for a character mug with the Moomin family’s Ancestor. The ancestors living behind tiled stoves were already introduced in Tove Jansson’s first Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood (1945), but Tove Slotte chose the illustrations for the mug from Moominland Midwinter (1957).

Like the violet Too-ticky mug, the Ancestor black mug also has its name imprinted on it. There has been a mug, a bowl and a plate made with the Ancestor motif, all of which are very popular.

In the autumn of 2016, the collection was expanded with a limited-edition pitcher and jar.

#77 Midsummer 2016

The summer mug’s original drawings are from Tove Jansson’s novel Moominsummer Madness (1954) and comic strip #5 Moomin’s Winter Follies (1955).

The product family with summer products has been launched every spring since 2006. In 2016, a seasonal summer plate replaced the bowls from earlier years. Under the direction of Tove Slotte, Arabia also renewed the design of the products by using red instead of black lines to lighten up the imprint. Here’s what Tove Slotte said when the products were published:

‘’Together with Arabia we decided to use a different kind of outline. The goal was to create a completely new look in order to illustrate the delicate story and nightless night. We chose red, which acts as fresh contrast to the green tones of the meadow.’’

As Tove Jansson was very careful about how she used black contours, Arabia wanted to maintain the authenticity and atmosphere created by her by allowing certain lines to remain black.

The Midsummer mug is the last Moomin mug that was produced in Finland at Arabia’s factory, which is part of the reason why the resale value for the mug is higher than for many older seasonal mugs.

Featured image and the original illustrations: Moomin Characters
Mugs: Fiskars