Five new 50 pence piece designs celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the classic children’s character, Mr Benn, have been authorised for release by Guernsey Treasury with the full approval of Her Majesty the Queen.
Marking the fifth decade of the popular cartoon, each coin in the collection features an illustration of Mr Benn embarking on sme of his best-known adventures, including The Red Knight, The Cook, The Clown, and The Spaceman, alongside the official Mr Benn ’50’ 50 pence piece.
Originally created by award-winning writer and illustrator David McKee, Mr Benn began life as a children’s picture book in 1967 which followed an ordinary man who had extraordinary adventures when he visited a magical costume shop. The book went on to be transformed into an animated television series transmitted by the BBC in 1971.
A ratings hit, the series went on to be repeated regularly on the BBC for almost 30 years, until Nickelodeon UK aired the series for a further nine years until 2010.
It’s been 50 years since the postman first arrived at No 52 Festive Road with Mr Benn’s invitation to a fancy dress party… and so started his first adventure. Since then, Mr Benn has fascinated millions of children with his adventures as he walked through that magical changing room doorway.
Available in a range of finishes exclusively from The Westminster Collection, the commemorative coins include a single base metal Mr Benn anniversary logo design 50 pence and a set of five designs featuring Mr Benn in an array of costumes including The Spaceman, The Clown, The Red Knight and The Cook.
There is also a silver 50 pence coin version available with stunning coloured enamel and a silver set of five 50 pence coins.
The 50 pence coins start at £6.25 for a ‘mint condition’ Brilliant Uncirculated finish coin whilst the limited edition Silver Proof coin set captures the vivid colours of the designs in incredible detail.
Mr Benn, creator and illustrator, David McKee, said: “Mr Benn endures, I think, because people like the idea of being able to escape to another life, and at their heart they’re old fashioned stories which last – the elements that make up the films, the voice, the music, the story, all simple elements that endure – good old fashioned stories, with a good rhythm.
“I often say your characters are like your children, you potty train them and look after them and point them in a good direction, but they go off do things you don’t expect – Mr Benn is living his own life and I’m excited to see what people make of the new products that are coming – and hope a new generation of children enjoy them as much as me.”
In 2017, the UK-based animation studio Factory acquired the rights to David McKee’s Mr Benn, in a move which has allowed the company to grow this classic brand even bigger and release a series of 50th Anniversary products including the brand new 50 pence coins to mark the occasion.