Noddy Car






















Noddy Car

Noddy Car


Although Noddy, in his red and yellow car with its delightful 'parp-parp', has been a favourite of children since 1949, the 21st century deemed his books politically incorrect. The result was the substitution of gollies, which some found offensive, with elves and the rewriting of some of the story lines.



Now Noddy and his chums have regained their popularity. Of course for collectors this has made the original Noddy books all the more covetable. But the wealth and variety of merchandise throughout his life, means that Noddy memorabilia is affordable for those who simply love the good hearted fellow. Within a decade of his invention, there were more than fifty licensees of Noddy merchandising in the UK and it is these products of the fifties which are worth most.




These include Wade figures, toys and games, toothbrushes, breakfast cereals, cake tins and nursery china. The last decade has seen the introduction of watches, picture frames, badges and new ceramics.



The Enid Blyton Dossier, written by Tony Summerfield from the Enid Blyton Society, and Brian Stewart, tells the story of how Noddy was born.


Enid Blyton was asked by publisher Sampson Low, to invent a character for young children and chose the Dutch artist Harmsen van der Beek as her illustrator. Between them they devised the words and pictures for Noddy Goes to Toyland which featured Noddy, Big Ears and Mr and Mrs Tubby and other characters. The books were an immediate success, and others followed as well as a strip in the Evening Standard.




Soon a team of artists were helping Beek including Robert Tyndall who took over after ill health forced Beek to retire.



Noddy first stepped onto the stage in 1954 in a pantomime written by Enid which remained popular for the next six years. The following year he made his television debut in a puppet series for Independent Television. The current BBC TV series, although not using puppets, has a feel of that first TV programme, but in the United States, Noddy appears with puppets and real children.




Noddy Car
For the past two years, Sotheby's has held a sale of original illustrations from the many Noddy books and annuals released by the Enid Blyton Company. Both were successful with prices exceeding estimates.


It was obvious from the sales that it is important for Noddy to appear in the illustration. Even better if Noddy and Big Ears both appear. Illustrations which included Noddy's car or a Golly, also did well.

The really big sellers were Harmsen van der Beek's illustrations from the 1950s, even if there were signs of age or damage. £3,220 was paid for a signed ink and watercolour of Big Ears carrying Noddy from the sea from the 1953 'Noddy At The Seaside book.' £2,185 was paid for nine vignettes from the same book.







Whilst others from that and other early Beek books, fetched between £1- 2,000.
However £300 would have bought smaller (around two inches by four inches) Beek illustrations from the same period. Later fifties work by other illustrators, fetched between £450-£550 and those from the sixties generally sold for between £170 and £230.



The sale also included original Noddy greetings cards. Sets of four sold for £322 but of three Noddy and Gollywog cards sold for £460. Hawk Books produce a modern set of ten Noddy cards based on Beek illustrations for £12.

Noddy Car

Much more affordable and most popular amongst fans of the Noddy stories are the books. Prices have been kept down because of the huge amount and variety which were published here and abroad and because of the difficulty of dating them. Many do not have a reprint date, only a first printed date and some of the oldest, have no date at all.



Within ten years over 20 million books had been sold here and in Australia. They came in a variety of shapes and sizes.



Those in the style of the first Noddy book featuring the train filled with Toyland characters running along the bottom, can be bought for less than £30. There were also annuals, picture books, strip books and tall books as well as educational books for learning numbers, the alphabet or even to identify birds.



Ceramics are also popular with collectors. Wade figures from the fifties and sixties are now worth £250.


A Staffordshire tea set from the same period is valued at about £200. Royal Staffordshire nursery china, contemporary but now discontinued, fetches between £10 and £35 on the secondary market.



UKI ceramics Noddy collection is selling well. Of interest to Noddy lovers of all ages would be the hand painted resin range of figures.






Miniatures are pocket money prices and even the limited edition series are a reasonable £30 maximum. Also available by mail order is the Enid Blyton Dossier from Hawk Books which includes the Noddy story and good illustrations of books and collectibles. 


Collectibles Coach


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