It’s been 60 years since Mr Squiggle first captivated Aussie kids with his drawing ability, and to commemorate the iconic and artistic puppet, Woolworths has partnered with the Australian Mint to release a limited edition line of $2 coins.
Puppeteer and Mr Squiggle creator Norman Hetherington left the famous character, as well as Blackboard, Bill Steamshovel and Gus the Snail to his wife and daughter before his death in 2010.
And his daughter Rebecca Hetherington was there to see the limited edition coins launched today.
“lt’s such an honour to have the Royal Australian Mint and Woolworths immortalise my father’s work in this unique way,” Ms Hetherington said.
“The coins perfectly represent Mr Squiggle’s fun and imaginative view of the world – attributes he shared with my father.
“I’m excited to share this opportunity with Australians who have grown up with him and remember him fondly and also to introduce Mr Squiggle to a new generation.”
The Royal Australian Mint came up with four different designs to circulate out of Woolworths, with one $2 coin released each week.
“Since first appearing on TV screens across Australia in 1959, Mr Squiggle has entertained millions, including me when I was growing up, with his impressive drawings and inquisitive nature,” Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance and Minister for the Royal Australian Mint Zed Seselja said.
“I am thrilled Australians will be able to celebrate Mr Squiggle through this collector coin series, a tribute to a character well-loved in Australian culture.
“The vibrant colours and intricate illustrations on the coins capture the fun and wonder that Mr Squiggle brought to Australian households for decades.”
There will be a staggered release of the commemorative coins over the coming weeks, with the first $2 design released in Woolworths registers nationwide from today.
The colourful coins aren’t the first time the supermarket giant has circulated special, colourful currency in partnership with the Royal Australian Mint.
In April last year, the Australian mint found itself embroiled in a legal scandal after the Royal Canadian Mint filed a lawsuit over the colour technique in a collection of coins commemorating the work of beloved children’s author Mem Fox and her book Possum Magic.
The Royal Canadian Mint, the official maker of the country’s money, said last year the commemorative Australian series ripped off its unique process of painting colour onto metal.
That legal action added to an earlier lawsuit the Canadian mint filed in the Australian Federal Court in December 2017 over a series of Remembrance Day $2 coins that featured red poppies.
The Possum Magic series was launched in August 2017 through Woolworths and featured three colourful $2 coins designed with “magic dust” rings.
The Canadians demanded the Australian mint either destroy the hundreds of thousands of coins now in circulation, surrender its profits or pay damages.
However, the Australian Government, which owns the mint, filed a countersuit claiming the Canadian patent wasn’t “novelty” enough to be granted in the first place.
The court – with the permission of both parties – dismissed the claims after the mints consented to a “collaborative” cross-licensing agreement.