Looking out of the window in my godson’s house I was amazed to see an almost life-sized Muffin the Mule staring back at me from the rear balcony of a London pub. An incongruous sight, but it filled me with joy and reminiscence. Alex was singularly unimpressed. He didn’t even know who Muffin the Mule was, or that he ever played the fool. To my surprise yesterday I read he is to be reinvented for a new generation.
Those of us who do remember probably remember him fondly as being one of the earliest children’s TV ‘characters’ which we grew to love in the black and white days before Wimbledon in COLOUR. Listen with Mother, The Woodentops, Bill and Ben are engraved on my memory. We had no merchandise, no pyjamas or toothbrushes, or DVD’s. Just the occasional treat on a grainy television. I wonder if today’s characters will be remembered with such fondness. Will a plastic Octonaut or an Iggle Piggle have the same resonance with little ones today. I suppose they will…
It made me think about how long it takes for something you remember so vividly from your childhood to come back, revived, renewed or remade? Weren’t Loom Bands just French Skipping in another guise? Pop pom makers demonstrated by Kirsty Alsopp replaced two circles of cardboard with a hole in the middle and dear old Noddy was Computer Generated Imagery-ied to within an inch of his little bumpers for a new age group.
There’s such a trade now in vintage toys and the more perfect the condition the better. I own up to having a few unopened treasures in the loft waiting for them to become collectable, and more Beanie Babies than you can shake a stick at.
I’m not waiting with bated breath for tank tops, loon pants or shiny platform boots no matter how much David Bowie is missed. However, it would be fun to relive the launch of Biba make up, enjoy the sense of freedom from a pair of tights again, and feel decadent drinking a Cinzano and Lemonade. The joy and excitement of the first time you experience something is never to be repeated.