Given Moomin’s global popularity, it’s not surprising that there’s been a lot of merchandise produced over the years, some of which is now quite valuable. Top of the list is the 2004 Fazer mug – only 400 were made and one sold in auction for over 8000 Euros. but what other treasures lurk out there?

To answer this, I had a scour of some of the Kirppis shops in Finland. These are essentially indoor car boot sales, with a large number of stalls – usually over a hundred – selling a variety of goods. Individual stall holders set their own prices and you can find anything from watches and toys to guitars and horse saddles. Really.

But there’s not as much Moominalia as you might expect. This might be partly due to the collectibility of the mugs – aside from the aforementioned Fazer mug, Arabia release short-lived Summer and Winter specials, and other limited editions appear from time to time. They also usually retire a couple of lines each year, pushing up the value.

That said, I did see some vastly optimistic pricing. The Tove Jubilee mug with glasses appeared in one shop for €95 – high, but in keeping with its online value – and the pink and blue Håll Sverige Rent mugs hovered around the €28 mark, which is fairly realistic.

But some of the asking prices were just silly – €70 and over for out-of-production mugs that can be found online for half the price. Sillier yet was the shop that had a second-hand Little My mug from the current line for €30, with the record going to the asking price of €50 for they turquoise Moomin character mug that is not only still in production, but discounted to €10 in the Arabia stores. That said, I did pick up an older Snufkin mug for €9 on another stall.

Better bargains can be had if you look away from the Arabia products. There were DVDs and magazines aplenty, and there were a lot of the older Fazer biscuit tins for around €5 – they’re likely to become quite collectable, particularly if you have a full set.

I hit gold in the Tampere Flea Market. The first thing that I spotted was a boxed Muurla Moominpappa candle for €9 – perhaps not quite valuable, but still a nice item. Better yet was the Snorkmaiden piggy bank for one Euro more. These were mass-produced with the four main characters being featured, but whilst the Moomin banks turn up fairly often, the Snorkmaiden items are a bit rarer.

But the find of the day was a Finnish first-edition of Moominsummer Madness for €24. It’s not mint and there are some scribbles on the front cover, but it would comfortably fetch over €100 in an auction. Not that I have any intention of parting with it…

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