With Disney and Thunderbirds in full flow at the New Zealand Mint, with Star Trek just starting an epic multi-year mission from the Perth Mint, and with Batman, Superman and the Godfather putting in appearances over the past year, there’s never been a better time for the collector of numismatic television and movie memorabilia. The latest to throw their hat into the arena is the Royal Canadian Mints new Looney Tunes coins. While the Mint of Poland has dabbled with the franchise in the recent past, it’s fair to say the wave of coins that have debuted today are one of the biggest of any license to date.

The Royal Canadian Mint are no strangers to fictional character coins, so they clearly have an idea of what people want to see. They’ve decided they want to see a lot of coins and are taking an approach similar to the New Zealand Mint with a wide range of formats and series, with prices ranging from under fifty dollars, right up to $69,000.  We love them all, and think the mints designers are to be congratulated on a fine tribute to what is a brilliant set of characters.

UPDATED: Like an idiot it seems I didn’t notice that the four-coin 1oz subscription designs were not showing. Fixed now so you can see the whole range.

WHAT IS LOONEY TUNES?

Looney Tunes was Warner Bros answer to Disney’s success. A series of funny, animated short films released between 1930 and 1969, they really came into their own when the directors Chuck Jones and Tex Avery came on board, along with the man who voiced so many of the iconic characters, Mel Blanc.

More popular even than Disney, in their heyday from 1942 to 1964 the characters of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, the Tasmanian Devil and many others, became loved by millions, even to this day.

Bugs Bunny has appeared in more animated movies than any other character and Looney Tunes movies have won five Oscars, with a further thirteen nominations. Still hugely popular in comic books and television, they show no sign of losing popularity after 85 years on screen.

THE NEW COIN RANGES

First up are the two-ounce coloured, silver coins depicting scenes from classic Looney Tunes movies. Each is beautifully realised, with the Roadrunner coin being the absolute star for us. Next up are the four one-ounce coloured silver coins that make up a set. Each depicts one of the famous head-to-heads that characterised many of the best features. Daffy and Elmer Fudd, Bugs and Elmer Fudd, and a pair of Sylvester and Tweety coins are the chosen duos, and there’s a nice watch for those that subscribe to collect them all.

The most extensive range is comprised of silver clean-struck ½oz coins, eight in total, that are also available by subscription. Those that collect all of them will get a collector case to hold them. These feature the characters themselves and are again, superbly done. Rounding it out are a pair of kilo coins including an incredibly rare gold lump that’s limited to just ten pieces, both featuring the same character medley design, with Bugs Bunny front and centre. A small coloured one-ounce silver medley coin with a different design will be more affordable for most.

CLASSIC SCENES 2oz SERIES

MINTS DESCRIPTION

They’ve become a pop culture reference: an antagonist that tries repeatedly to capture the protagonist, but fails spectacularly. In the minds of generations of fans, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are forever locked in an endless chase—one in which the luckless Wile E. creates elaborate schemes to capture the speeding bird as it zooms by without much sense of the danger it could have been in. It all started with the Looney Tunes cartoon titled Fast and Furry-ous, which is depicted on the coin’s reverse.

Released on September 17, 1949, Fast and Furry-ous marked the first ever appearance of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. The animated short began as a parody of the “cat-and-mouse” chase capers that were so predominant at the time, but it quickly evolved into one of the most renowned chases of all time. Yet all the classic gags are featured from the start; except for the famous dropped anvil, Fast and Furry-ous featured a fall off a cliff, a misfiring rocket, a painted tunnel that miraculously allows the prey to pass through but stops the pursuer cold, and even a scene where one character runs into an obstacle head-on—as was about to occur in the image featured on the coin’s reverse.

In all Coyote/Road Runner cartoons, the storylines generally stick to these concepts: there is no dialogue, save for the expression of pain and Road Runner’s iconic “beep, beep” vocalization; Coyote could only be harmed by his own failings or that of the various ACME products he’d resort to, and his humiliation was always greater than the pain. Although there were a few exceptions, Road Runner always travelled along a road.

DESIGN: The reverse image, provided by Warner Brothers, showcases the antagonistic pairing of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner in a scene from their first Looney Tunes short, Fast and Furry-ous (1949). The use of selective colour brings the engraved Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote to life. Staring at the viewer with an incredulous look on his face, Wile E. Coyote has held out a lid in front of Road Runner in hopes that it will slow the bird. Seen in side-profile, Road Runner smiles knowingly as he stops just short of the lid, seizing quickly that his pursuer might not be as clever as he thinks he is.

PRESENTATION: The coin is encapsulated, and presented in an ACME wood crate with a graphic beauty box.

Appearing together in more than 40 cartoons from the classic series, Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird have created a wealth of memorable scenes as the tuxedo cat typically pays the price for his instinct-driven pursuit of the little yellow canary. Beneath Tweety’s sweet exterior lies a resourceful resilience, which begs the question: who is more tormented, the little canary or the feckless feline?

Premiering on August 10, 1957, Birds Anonymous—as featured on the coin’s reverse—is remarkable for its suspenseful opening scenes that play up contrasts between shadows and light. The story itself begins quite dramatically: in the darkness, Sylvester the Cat appears to be victorious in capturing Tweety by plucking him out of his cage. But in true Looney Tunes fashion, Sylvester is stopped in his tracks when a crimson-coloured cat appears at the window and explains that a cat’s desire to eat a bird is purely an addiction—and one that can be overcome. After attending a meeting with other bird-eating “addicts,” Sylvester sets out to overcome his cravings but a series of events will test his resolve, pushing Sylvester to the breaking point as he tries to repress his hunger for Tweety. The winner of the 1957 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject (Cartoon), Birds Anonymous has long been a favourite among the animated duo’s fans, who can’t help but feel sympathetic to the cat as he battles against his own very nature!

DESIGN: The reverse image, provided by Warner Brothers, depicts a scene from the Looney Tunes cartoon Birds Anonymous (1957). Rendered in finely detailed engraving and selective colour, the scene is one that makes a playful use of shadows and light. Peering out at the viewer as though they have caught him in the act, Sylvester stands frozen with eyes wide open, and one hand wrapped around Tweety. Tweety is also facing the viewer, with an expression of shock on his face after being plucked from his cage by the hungry cat, and yet stunned by the interruption that may have just spared him his life.

PRESENTATION: The coin is encapsulated, and presented in an ACME wood crate with a graphic beauty box.

A hapless hunter that is easily duped, Elmer J. Fudd is the perfect foil to Bugs Bunny’s easy-going demeanour and wily antics. Starting with Bugs Bunny’s first appearance in 1940, the two share a long history of antagonizing one another that plays out to great laughs in many cartoons together—but none quite as beloved and iconic as the animated masterpiece The Rabbit of Seville, which is depicted on this coin’s reverse.

Released in theatres on December 16, 1950, The Rabbit of Seville was the first Looney Tunes short to parody a classic opera—but wouldn’t be the last! The story takes place at the Hollywood Bowl; pursued by Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny tries to elude the hunter by tricking him into venturing on-stage just before a staged production of Rossini’s most famous opera, The Barber of Seville. Through escalating gags and barbershop antics that could only exist in the imagination, Bugs takes control and stages his own version of the opera—at Elmer’s expense, of course.

Remarkably, Rossini’s overture was left fairly intact, with the exception of some light editing to remove repetitive passages and a slightly sped-up tempo that helps the action stay within a six-minute running length. The battle is an animated tour de force, with comedic storytelling timed perfectly to the music of a celebrated opera.

These cartoon capers have made us all laugh, and also introduced classical music and opera to many who would have never known Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, had it not been for one “wascally wabbit” and a hapless hunter.

DESIGN: The reverse image, provided by Warner Bros., brings together selective colouring and expert engraving in this ode to the famous and much-loved Looney Tunes short, The Rabbit of Seville. Seen in side-profile and in colour, Elmer Fudd is seated in a barber chair as he leans forward to peer into a mirror held up by a self-possessed Bugs Bunny; upon seeing his reflection, he is shocked to find Bugs’ barbershop antics have resulted in a flowery “mane” of bright red flowers on the top of his bald head. Enhanced by the use of multiple finishes, the engraved background offers a depiction of the stage setting, as seen in the 1950 animated short.

PRESENTATION: The coin is encapsulated, and presented in an ACME wood crate with a graphic beauty box.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$30 CND 0.9999 SILVER 62.67 g 54.00 mm PROOF 5,000 YES / YES

CLASSIC CHARACTERS 1oz SERIES

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Depicts of a typical scene from Looney Tunes cartoons which featured Tweety. The little yellow canary with the oversized head and the large blue eyes stands in the centre of the image field, clearly alarmed as he bounces up and down while pointing to the right.

His beak is open as though he is saying his catchphrase, “I tawt I taw a puddy tat…” He did! He did see a puddy tat! There, just reaching in on the right side of the image, is Sylvester’s outstretched paw as the persistent alley cat tries once more to ensnare his feathered foe.

Depicts a scene from a Looney Tunes cartoon featuring Sylvester with Tweety. With a rascally expression, Sylvester quietly peers up from the bottom edge of the image field, allowing the viewer a close glimpse of the black and white cat’s facial features such as his red nose.

Sylvester is clearly plotting to capture his favourite target, Tweety, who seems oblivious to the feline’s intent as he happily swings inside his bird cage in the background.

Depicts a scene from the Duck Season/Wabbit Season trilogy of cartoons. In the foreground, rich colouring brings the black-feathered, orange-billed Daffy Duck to life as he fixes a red bowtie.

Expert engraving is enhanced by the use of multiple finishes, bringing to life the forest setting and the sign to the left of Daffy, which reads “Duck Season/Chasse au canard.” But trouble looms as an engraved rendering of Elmer Fudd in his hunting clothes can be seen approaching on the right side of the image.

Depicts a scene inspired by the Duck Season/Wabbit Season trilogy of cartoons. In the foreground, Bugs Bunny emerges from his warren in full colour, with greys, whites and pinks, recreating the iconic character’s colouring.

Expert engraving is enhanced by the use of multiple finishes, bringing to life the forest setting and even Bugs’ mailbox, upon which is written “B. BUNNY”. But trouble looms as an engraved rendering of Elmer Fudd in his hunting clothes can be seen approaching on the left side of the image.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$20 CND 0.9999 SILVER 31.83 g 40.00 mm PROOF 12,500 YES / YES

CHARACTER MEDLEY KILO

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Bugs. Daffy. Tweety. Sylvester. For many Canadians, the mere mention of these names evoke fond childhood memories of spending Saturday mornings in front of a television, transfixed and spellbound as these characters—and many more—outsmarted each other in situations that could only exist in our imaginations.

DESIGN: The coin’s image, provided by Warner Bros., artfully brings together every major character in the Looney Tunes pantheon. The design is rendered in exquisite detail through expert engraving, with selective coloured enamel applied by hand to a coy Bugs Bunny who serves as the central focal point. The iconic rabbit is surrounded by a cast of characters, each one bearing different expressions that infuse the overall design with energy and recapture the zany spirit of fun with which Looney Tunes is synonymous. Look closely to find Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester, Marvin the Martian, Tweety, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd, the Tasmanian Devil, Road Runner, Speedy Gonzales, Yosemite Sam, Pepé Le Pew, and even Michigan J. Frog.

PRESENTATION: The coin is encapsulated, and presented ina premium fire-branded wooden case with a graphic beauty box.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2,500 CND 0.9999 GOLD 1,006.1 g 101.60 mm PROOF 10 YES / YES
$250 CND 0.9999 SILVER 1,006 g 102.10 mm PROOF 750 YES / YES

CHARACTER MEDLEY ONE-OUNCE

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Faithfully rendered in rich detail, the characters are seen emerging from the circular opening towards the viewer. Bugs Bunny stands in the centre in a true entertainer’s pose, while below him sits the Tasmanian Devil. Peering over Bugs’ shoulder is the amorous skunk, Pepé Le Pew and Pussyfoot. Also appearing over Bugs’ shoulder is Daffy Duck and Sylvester, both bearing wide smiles. Last but not least is Tweety.

DESIGN: The coin image, provided by Warner Bros., brings together several main characters from the Looney Tunes pantheon in a design that is reminiscent of the end credits. Faithfully rendered in rich detail with expert engraving and enhanced by the addition of vibrant colour, the characters are seen emerging from the circular opening towards the viewer. Bugs Bunny stands in the centre with his arms outstretched in a true entertainer’s pose, while below him sits the Tasmanian Devil, whose tongue hangs out of his mouth as he flashes his goofy grin. Peering over Bugs’ right shoulder is the amorous skunk, Pepé Le Pew, accompanied by the black cat who is always the object of Pepé’s affections. Appearing over Bugs’ left shoulder is Daffy Duck and Sylvester, both bearing wide smiles. Last but not least is Tweety, whose diminutive size allows him to sit on Bugs’ head as he extends his arms out as well.

PRESENTATION: The coin is encapsulated, and presented in a wood crate with graphic beauty box.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$20 CND 0.9999 SILVER 31.39 g 38.00 mm PROOF 12,500 YES / YES

CHARACTER MEDLEY 14KT GOLD

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Dynamic movement created by the characters bring this design to life, much like the end credits after each cartoon and the famous line “That’s all Folks!”. As the star of the ‘show’, Bugs Bunny is the centre focus. The other characters are sometimes portrayed as antagonists: there’s Wile E. Coyote, Tasmanian Devil, Daffy Duck, and Marvin the Martian.

DESIGN: The coin’s image, provided by Warner Bros., brings together some of the principal Looney Tunes characters framed in concentric circles, much like the end credits after each cartoon that were accompanied by the line “That’s all Folks!”. Beautifully detailed engraving and spectacular colour bring this design to life, with dynamic movement created by the characters as they appear to be emerging from the centre opening. As the star of the ‘show’, Bugs Bunny is the centre focus; with one hand leaning on the circle, he confidently smiles his wide, buck-toothed grin as his other gloved hand reaches out toward the viewer. The other characters are sometimes portrayed as antagonists: there’s Wile E. Coyote just over Bugs’ right shoulder, as he looks off the side and waves a closed fist in the air; above him stands Tasmanian Devil with his arms raised and mouth open; next to him is Daffy, who bears an expression of defiant outrage as he also stands with fists clenched; finally, there’s the calmly villainous space character known as Marvin the Martian, who lifts his thumb up as he scrutinizes something in the distance.

PRESENTATION: The coin is encapsulated, and presented in a premium fire-branded wooden case with graphic beauty box.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$20 CND 0.585 GOLD 12.00 g 27.00 mm PROOF 2,000 YES / YES

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EIGHT COIN HALF OUNCE SERIES

MINTS DESCRIPTIONS

Most of us have a favourite Looney Tunes character. These animation icons possess that rare, uncanny ability to put a smile on our face at the mere thought of their outrageous antics. Why else would we find ourselves repeating “What’s up, Doc?” and “I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat!” Looney Tunes has created the kind of memories that compel us to introduce these characters to the next generation.

Tweety Bird
Tweety has a strong sense of self preservation that prevents Sylvester the Cat from making an easy meal out of him. Their endless antics have made them one of animation’s most successful duos.

Sylvester the Cat
A slave to his feline instincts, Sylvester James Pussycat Sr. is relentless in his pursuit of Tweety. Possessing both pride and persistence, he’s seldom undeterred by failure, whether it’s attempting to capture Tweety or Speedy Gonzales.

Marvin the Martian
Originally known as Commander X-23, Marvin the Martian has been intent on taking over or destroying Earth since his debut in the 1948 short Haredevil Hare—largely because we’re blocking his view of Venus. His actions seem all the more villainous since he is fully aware of the destructive impact of his intentions.

Road Runner
Since the Road Runner’s first appearance in the 1949 Looney Tunes cartoon Fast and Furry-ous, the slender flightless bird continues to frustrate Wile E. Coyote by avoiding capture!

Wile E. Coyote
Wile E. will often resort to traps and strategies that leave many in the audience questioning his “Super Genius” moniker. Through it all, his misfortune generates laughter; it doesn’t matter how poorly his last attempt worked out, he will keep trying again and again to capture that elusive, speeding bird.

Daffy Duck
Arrogant, cunning yet sympathetic, Daffy’s misadventures constantly put his patience to the test as he mutters his catchphrase “You’re dethspicable!” Whether they’re friends or showbiz rivals, Daffy is intelligent enough to figure out what Bugs is up to.

Bugs Bunny
The chase is a game in any adventure Bugs encounters or wherever his tunnelling takes him. Flashing his buck-toothed grin, he beats his foes and has audiences laughing with the carrot-chomping delivery of his most famous catchphrase of all: “What’s Up, Doc?”

That’s All Folks
A dynamic group portrait of beloved animated Looney Tunes characters. In the centre of it all is Bugs Bunny who flashes his iconic buck-toothed smile while holding a carrot in his hand.

Packaging:
Each coin is encapsulated, and presented in a graphic paperboard box. Once you have all eight coins, place each box in the collector’s case to reveal an exciting image!

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$10 CND 0.9999 SILVER 15.87 g 34.00 mm MATTE PROOF 30,000 YES / YES
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