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The ceramic Moomin mugs made by Arabia have found their way into the homes of Moomin fans since the beginning of the 90s. Today, Moomin mugs are not only useful ceramics but also a popular collector's item both in the Nordic countries and further afield, and they delight collectors especially with their colors and illustrations. Illustrator and graphic artist Tove Slotte has designed, edited and composed Tove Jansson's original illustrations and drawings to fit the Arabia Moomin ceramics. The volume of the classic Moomin mug designed by Kaj Franck is 0.3 l. In 2021, Arabia also started producing Moomin mugs in a larger 0.4 l size.
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Over the years, Moomin mugs have become a popular international collector's item. Older mugs that have been discontinued in particular have gradually increased in value as collectors and demand have grown. The prices of Moomin mugs vary a lot. Mugs that are new and still in production can be bought in many cases for 10-20 euros, while older and rare mugs can cost up to over 10,000 euros. The price of the mug is mainly affected by: The age of the mug The first Moomin mugs from the 90s were produced significantly less, so they are more valuable than newer mugs due to their rarity. Production volume Only two Moomin mugs have an exact production quantity: Fazer (400 pcs) and Moomintroll Daydreaming (2005 pcs). The production quantity is typically also smaller of the special mugs that were on sale for a limited time and the seasonal mugs that appear twice a year. The condition of the mug The condition of the mug has a significant impact on its value. A mug in perfect condition is naturally more valuable than a mug with visible signs of use. You should also always check the mug at the base of the handle, where you may find a hairline crack. This also lowers the value of the mug. With or without a sticker An original sticker or product label in place usually increases the value of the mug. The sticker is usually a sign that the mug is unused. Bottom stamp The bottom stamp can have a big impact on the value of the mug. On mugs produced in the 90s, the year of publication in the stamp, for example, increases the value of the mug. Crown-stamped mugs are often thought to be more valuable than Painting Moomintroll-stamped mugs. These variations occur in mugs that have been in production longer. Production defects Small printing errors that occurred during the production phase usually have a downward effect on the value of the mug. On the other hand, significant misprints, such as the Moominpappa Thinking mug, where Moominpappa is upside down, usually increase the value. The estimated prices of Moomin mugs presented by Mukify are based on the asking prices in various online stores and sites. The prices are indicative current estimated prices, and they change gradually over time. If you have collected Moomin mugs for several years and acquired them at moderate prices new or almost new, you can generally expect to get at least your original purchase price back. In general, classics from the 90s that have been stored for a long time, older out-of-production character mugs and special mugs can be sold at a good profit.
Who designs the illustrations for the Moomin mugs?
Tove Slotte, born in 1957, is a Finnish artist and a graphic designer. She is a professional ceramist. Tove Slotte worked at Arabia from 1985 to 1990, after which she has worked as a freelance designer. She is best known for designing and illustrating the Moomin products for Iittala and Arabia ceramics. Tove Slotte has been a Moomin fan since her childhood. She says her favourite Moomin book is The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My. Tove Slotte has designed the Moomin products for Arabia for more than 30 years.
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Where are Moomin mugs made?
The production of Teema serie Arabia Moomin mugs began in Helsinki at the Arabia factory in 1990. During the first year, the factory produced four different mugs: Mug Green, Mug Blue, Mug Rose and Mug Yellow. As the popularity of Moomin mugs increased in the 21st century, Arabia gradually began moving production to Thailand. The Moomin mugs were produced only in Finland until 2005. In 2005 the production started in Thailand, and was gradually increased until 2016 when the production ended in Finland. After 2016 all mugs have been manufactured in Thailand. The last Moomin mug made in Finland at the Arabia factory is the 2016 summer season mug Midsummer . The 140-year history of the iconic Arabian factory in Helsinki ended on March 18, 2016. How to make the difference between mugs manufactured in Thailand or Finland is a bit unclear. This concerns mugs manufactured between 2005 and 2016. In case the mug still have the label on it, those mugs made in Finland have the text Made in Finland on the label. The traditional ARABIA FINLAND crown stamp, on the other hand, cannot tell the country of the mug's manufacture, because at least in the early 2010s, even mugs made in Thailand still had a crown stamp on the bottom of the mug. In the 2010s, the text Designed in Finland / Made in Thailand started to become common on the labels of Moomin mugs. So the illustrations are still designed in Finland, but the production of the mugs has moved entirely to Thailand.
The beginning for the global Moomin story was seen in the 1950s, when the world's largest newspaper, The Evening News, started to publish Tove Jansson's Moomin cartoons. The first ceramic Moomin mugs also appeared in the 1950s, when the Finnish ceramic manufacturer Arabia started manufacturing Moomin products with children's tableware. However, these went out of production quite soon and the return of the Moomins ceramics by Arabia had to wait until the beginning of the 90s. Designing the illustrations for the first Teema-styled Moomin mugs began in the fall of 1989 by Arabia's graphic designer at the time, Tove Slotte. She was chosen for the task, as she was already familiar with the Moomin stories. Slotte has been the main designer of Moomin mug illustrations until these days. In the summer of 1990, the first Moomin mugs designed by Slotte were presented to Tove Jansson and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä together with Moomin wall plates and children's tableware. Moomin figures designed by Pietilä also appeared with the first collection. The first four Moomin mugs based on the Teema design were initially sold in Sweden in the fall of 1990, and after a successful sale, the mugs also found their way into the Christmas sales of Stockmann Finland. In the 1990s, only 18 Moomin mugs appeared in total, most of which are now valuable items sought after by collectors.