The Royal Mint has unveiled a new collection of £5 coins featuring Little Miss and Mr Men, marking 50 years since the iconic illustrated characters were created.
The government-owned company has created three limited edition coins in collaboration with current illustrator Adam Hargreaves, whose father Roger first designed the characters in 1971. More than a million copies of his books were sold within the first three years, with Mr Tickle the first character he invented.
A long line of characters have since featured in TV series, newspaper comic strips, memorabilia and even pop songs.
Three new coins have been designed, featuring Mr Happy, Little Miss Sunshine, and Little Miss Giggles with Mr Strong. A limited number of coins will go on sale via the Royal Mint's website, rather than going into general circulation. Banks and businesses are "unlikely to accept them," according to the mint.
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The first coin to be unveiled features the yellow face of Mr Happy, using new colour printing techniques at the Royal Mint.
Prices start at £13 for the £5 coins, with colour versions for £22.50 and a single gold £100 coin on sale for £2,370.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coins at the Royal Mint, said: “Each year we celebrate British icons, anniversaries and moments from history on commemorative coins, and this is a fun new addition to the collection.
“With this year marking the 50th anniversary since the Mr Men Little Miss characters were introduced to the world, it felt right to celebrate the loveable characters on their own commemorative coins.”
Hargreaves added: “It is an absolute honour to not only have the Mr Men Little Miss characters feature on official UK commemorative coins but to have the opportunity to create the designs that feature on the coins too.”
He added: “I am delighted to be celebrating 50 years of fun with the Royal Mint and I hope fans of the Mr Men Little Miss series will be just as thrilled with this commemorative coin collection as I am.”
The Royal Mail had issued its own series of Mr Men and Little Miss stamps in 2016, marking the 45th anniversary of the characters.
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