There will be a range of collectibles and events to celebrate the character’s milestone.

License Global

February 12, 2024

4 Min Read
Bagpuss plush.
Bagpuss plush.Coolabi Group

In 2024, “Bagpuss,” the animated series featuring a magical old cloth cat, will celebrate its 50th birthday. International media group and rights owner, Coolabi, has announced a range of collectibles, from commerative stamps to plushes and crafts to mark the moment. 

Thirteen episodes of the iconic Smallfilms animation were created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, which live on in the hearts of the British public, and to this day “Bagpuss” remains a highly popular TV series. The remastered show was re-released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2023 by Fabulous Films, a distributor in the U.K. and the U.S. specializing in classic and cult television, and is available to stream on Britbox and ITVX, plus iTunes, Amazon and others. 

To mark the moment, leading distributor of collectible coins and stamps,The Westminster Collection, will release a collection of five 50p coins in base metal and sterling silver. The reverse of each will feature one of the characters from the show, each with a relevant quote that fans of the show will recall. 

The obverse of the coins will feature the portrait of His Majesty King Charles III by Glyn Davies along with the 2024 date and Bailiwick of Guernsey wording and will have Royal Approval from His Majesty. 

Guernsey Post will issue a set of four commemorative stamps on July 25 for the island of Alderney, which is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown Dependency. The stamps, which are also subject to Royal Approval from His Majesty, will feature Bagpuss and his friends and will carry King Charles III’s Royal Cypher. The range of collectibles will include souvenir sheets, first-day covers and a presentation pack. 

Rainbow Designs, creator of toys inspired by beloved characters from children’s literature, has launched a new range of Bagpuss plush toys, including one that lets out a big yawn when you squeeze his head. 

Bagpuss – The 50th Anniversary Edition, is a special edition Bagpuss exclusive to Danbury Mint. The MBi designers have worked directly with Steiff, inventor of the teddy bear, on the anniversary piece. He’s been airbrushed by hand and has the special Steiff button-in-ear as a guarantee of authenticity. Available to pre-order now, the limited-edition piece ships in April. 

Practical Publishing will release a Bagpuss collection available at CraftStash, featuring cutting dies, printed papers and toppers that will allow card makers and crafters alike to create inspirational projects while capturing the nostalgia and fun of Bagpuss. 

“I can’t believe Bagpuss is 50,” says Emily Firmin, Peter Firmin’s daughter, who is featured in the show.That makes me feel old. It’s funny when I think about it, he wasn't a kitten when he opened our shop. I think he must have been at least a three-year-old cat to own a shop of lost and founds. Many moons ago, Oliver Postgate and my father Peter Firmin, offered me sweets for a funny photo of me and a gorgeous pink and white cat. The sweet dress my mum, Joan, made me and the horrible Victorian style shoes I had to wear seem like a dream. Who would have believed that Bagpuss would still be such a superstar 50 years later. I still adore him. I see him occasionally when I pop into the Beaney museum in Canterbury. He’s in good company in an exhibition of all the puppets made by my father. I’m very proud of the fact that Bagpuss has supported The Hospices of Hope since 2002 and I will be visiting their hospital in Romania this year to paint a mural with some of the children.” 

“Bagpuss is a charming, quintessentially British brand that captures the hearts and minds of people across the world,” says Fran Huxley, licensing consultant, Coolabi Group. “We are delighted to wish Smallfilms’ magical saggy old cloth cat a very happy 50th Anniversary and to have such a wonderful range of collectibles out this year to mark this lovely occasion.” 

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge is hosting The Smallfilms Gallery, renamed in honor of the studio, a family gallery showcasing work by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, who created the children’s programs from the studio near Canterbury. The exhibition, created in close conjunction with the Firmin and Postgate families and Dr Chris Pallant, Canterbury Christ Church University features the original Bagpuss and many of the original film props. 

As he enters his 50th year,Bagpuss continues his role as mascot to Hospices of Hope, the only U.K. charity dedicated to supporting hospice care in South and East Europe. He has held this role since 2002, when Oliver Postgate donated Bagpuss’ “pocket money” to fund a specialist children’s wing at its Romanian partner hospice. Hospices of Hope celebrates Bagpuss’ birthday with a range of events including the Bagpuss Bash, a Bagpuss Bikeathon, family walks and more. 

About the Author(s)

License Global

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