2021 Mr. Happy 1oz Silver Proof : 50th Anniversary of Mr. Men
'What does a tickle look like?' asked eight-year-old Adam to his father Roger Hargreaves over breakfast. A simple question that launched a 1971 book 'Mr. Tickle', which would soon become the Mr. Men book series. A series treasured by generations of children across more than 24 countries worldwide. The book series also has a popular sister collection, Little Miss, with a range of female characters, which was first developed in 1981.
With a mintage of just 6,500 coins in the limited presentation, this Mr. Happy 1oz Silver Proof coin is one of a three-coin set celebrating the 50th anniversary of the much-loved Mr. Men books by Mr. Hargreaves, with special reverse designs by his son Adam Hargreaves.
Meet the Authors
Born in West Yorkshire, from an early age Roger Hargreaves was a keen drawer and cartoonist, who later became a copywriter in the advertising world. On creating his first character and book of the same name in the Mr. Men series, 'Mr. Tickle', Roger Hargreaves could never have expected to realise his dream as a children's author and illustrator. Over 1 million copies of 'Mr Tickle' were sold in the first three years.
The beloved children's author had four children with his wife Christine; Adam, Giles, and twins Sophie and Amelia. On the death of Roger Hargreaves in 1988, son Adam, who inspired 'Mr. Tickle', took over the writing and illustrating of the Mr. Men Little Miss collection at just twenty-five years old. Adam Hargreaves also designed the reverse for this special 50th anniversary 'Mr. Happy' coin.
About Mr. Men Little Miss
For 50 years, generations of children have enjoyed the Mr. Men Little Miss books, which have sold more than 100 million copies across the globe. Today, there are over 85 characters from 'Misterland' across the series. Each character has a defining personality trait forming its namesake and the story concludes with a moral lesson for children.
This three-coin Royal Mint collection in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first Mr. Men book, 'Mr. Tickle', consists of characters: Mr. Happy, Mr. Strong & Little Miss Giggles, and Little Miss Sunshine.
Beyond the Books
In 1974, the series was brought to life by the BBC in a television series narrated by Dad's Army actor Arthur Lowe, better known as Captain Mainwaring. By 1977, the Mr. Men characters featured in comic strips for The Mirror and The Daily Mail newspapers, and also hit the BBC record charts. Numerous Mr. Men merchandise has also been released over the decades from plush toys to art prints. The widely-recognisable characters even played their part in a London Underground 'Mind The Gap' campaign. The 45th anniversary of the successful book series led to the issue of commemorative stamps from The Royal Mail.
Creating a Mr. Happy coin
This Mr. Men 50th anniversary three-coin series from The Royal Mint makes use of flowers, clouds and rolling hills acting as a motif, alongside an inscription of 'Mr. Men 50 Years' and Roger Hargreaves' signature. Each of these elements together connect the reverses of the 50th anniversary coin series. Accompanying the motif is an illustrated depiction of a Mr. Men character by Adam Hargreaves, son of Roger Hargreaves. Adam Hargreaves admits that Mr. Happy, the character on this coin, was rather surprisingly, the hardest character to recreate from his father's drawings. Alongside the special reverse, the obverse of coin hosts the 5th Portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark, first issued in 2015.
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