Three discoveries from the ‘bible’ of Moomin objects

By Billie Miro Breskin

Photo: Tove Jansson /

A new coffee table book documents the products to emerge from the beloved stories: everything from dolls to whisky. Read on to learn more about what makes the Moomin universe and its treasures so special

Whether you grew up reading the original books, watching the 1990s animated television series, or have simply seen depictions of the characters out and about, there’s a good chance that the Moomins have made you smile. Published between the 1940s and 1970s by Swedish-speaking Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson, the Moomin stories have become classics, appealing to children and adults alike for their relatable characters and charming setting of Moominvalley. As a result of this attention, the novels have been expanded into TV shows, video games, and a myriad of products.


It is those products that inspired Anders Landén to create his new book, Treasures From Moomin Valley: The Collector’s Guide to Tove Jansson’s Moomins, released last May (and since dubbed the ‘bible’ of Moomin products). Working for an auction site, Landén realised that visitors to the website loved nothing more than reading about Moomin mugs, and when he discovered that no index of Moomin products existed, he jumped at the chance to create one himself. The resulting book is a holistic look at Moomin products and features 1,200 images over 500 pages. Thanks to Landén’s tireless research, Treasures From Moomin Valley is also fit-to-burst with whimsical facts and fascinating findings.

Below, three of Vogue Scandinavia's favourite discoveries from Landén's 'bible'.

Photo: Moomin


There are over 150 official Moomin mug designs

Photo: Courtesy of Moomin

The Moomin mugs were overwhelmingly popular on the auction site Landén worked for, and for good reason. First sold in 1990 by the historical ceramic manufacturer Arabia, Moomin mugs quickly became must-have items. Their colourful backgrounds and sweet line-drawing illustrations (taken directly from Jansson’s work) add a touch of playfulness and mirth to the everyday. Today, Arabia has released over 150 mug designs, with each bearing a different moment from the stories.


Tove Jansson herself was an astute businesswoman

Photo: Courtesy of Moomin

When writing Treasures From Moomin Valley, Landén was surprised to learn that Jansson had a knack for the business element of the Moomin universe. While she did not enjoy the commercial elements of her work, preferring to keep to her writing and drawing, she was still an excellent businesswoman.

In an interview for the official Moomin website, Landén shared, “She was extremely meticulous, and although many testify that she didn’t particularly care about money, that doesn’t mean she didn’t keep track… She was very, very productive.”


There are over 400 Moomin first editions across different languages

Spanish edition of Finn Family Moomintroll. Photo: Courtesy of Moomin

Polish edition of Finn Family Moomintroll. Photo: Courtesy of Moomin

German edition of Finn Family Moomintroll. Photo: Courtesy of Moomin

As part of the project, Landén went about scanning every first edition book cover he could find - a tall order, as it turns out. With 12 original Moomin books and many different translations (The Moomin books are truly a universally-beloved series), Landén discovered 408 covers. These bright variations on Jansson’s themes speak to the enduring power of the stories, inspiring generations across borders and languages.

Anders Landén

Treasures From Moominvalley: The Collector's Guide to Tove Jansson's Moomin