Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published December 12th 2014
Here They are for One and All, The Moomins are About to Call
Created by the Finnish author and illustrator, Tove Jansson, The Moomins are a series of nine books written between 1945 - 1970; They also appear in picture books and comics. Full of whimsical creatures and magical tales, the characters have a huge fan base in Finland, Sweden and Japan. When an anime television series was made in 1990 and dubbed into English, they grew very popular in the UK too. I remember watching the cartoons as a child, and a year or two ago, my love of The Moomins re-emerged when I discovered the books.
Recently I made another discovery. The Moomin Shop at Covent Garden. Although it is not a round house, it's tall but narrow infrastructure made me feel as if I were walking into a building straight out of Moominvalley.
The entrance hall walls are painted with Jansson's classic illustration and there is even a postbox to send letters to Moominvalley.
The actual shop is on the first floor, which you climb up to on a period staircase that fits the theme so perfectly. The Moomin Shop is small but wondrous. It is one very narrow room cram packed full of fans, yet despite my disliking crowds, I did not feel at all uncomfortable. There was no pushing or shoving, with the island in the middle creating a line of traffic, as if we were all on a sushi train, travelling round and round.
The shop may be small, but the franchise is big. There was all sorts of merchandise that I never would have expected to see, from toiletries to baking moulds.
By the window there was a selection t-shirts and shorts. I would have loved to buy a pair of the shorts, but while the t-shirts were for adults, the shorts were in children's sizes.
Opposite the clothing was a range of food and drink. They had kids' party punch, loose tea, and gummy sweets.
If you're going out on an adventure, then you might want to pour your drink into a Moomin flask to take with you, which you can carry in a Moomin backpack.
These days you won't get very far on an adventure unless you have a travel card, so I bought myself a much needed replacement travel card holder. I also bought a few much less needed soft toys.
I loved the tableware; what was particularly great is that they had two versions to suit different ages or budgets. First there's the collectable ceramic range, and then there is a plastic range, which is much cheaper, great for kids because they won't smash, and are microwavable.
Other fun things include board games, puzzles, Moomin house, action figures, a jewellery bead kit, key rings, tote bags, stationary, prints, badges, etc.
Naturally they had all the books and DVDs available too. There were various editions, so you could choose which front covers you liked best.
Upon my exit I was waved goodbye by Moomin himself.