Peanuts, written and drawn by Charles M. Schulz, is an American comic strip which ran from October 1950 to February 2000. A staggering 17,897 strips were published in total, and at its peak it had a readership of 355 million people spread across 75 countries and over 2,600 newspapers. Incredibly influential, the four-panel comic strips are still rerun today around the world, and made Schulz a billionare. Peanuts has been described as “the most shining example of the American success story in the comic strip field”; this is ironic, given its theme is “the great American unsuccess story.” The main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous, and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or kick a football.
With something that popular, the leap into other types of media is almost inevitable and Peanuts jumped to television with much success, a series of specials garnering Emmy wins and nominations. A turn in the theatre was likewise regarded, and now in November 2015 on its 65th anniversary the bright lights of tinseltown beckon with a new animated movie simply called Peanuts: The Movie.
While there have been coins released over the last few years depicting Snoopy in particular, including a 3-coin set from PAMP for the 60th anniversary in 2010, and a new coin this year from Pobjoy, the new set featured here is specifically for the new movie. Being a celebration of the movie and the CGI characters distinct look, the coins are different from what has gone before, being very modern in design compared the more traditional look of earlier releases. The potential downside of course is that the movie needs to be a success and thus be accepted into the canon if the coins are to have long-term appeal. Fortunately, early reviews and box-office numbers are looking very positive.
Each of the coins depicts one of the major characters, Snoopy and Charlie Brown of course, along with Lucy and Linus. All are fresh, well coloured and clearly designed to sit well as a set. Issued for Niue, the obverse carries the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The packaging looks to be equally well designed and the collection box is a nice touch. It’s fair to say that Peanuts fans will certainly want to take a closer look. At the time of writing we’ve only seen these at APMEX, but they don’t seem to be an exclusive so will likely appear elsewhere shortly. At $99.99 USD each or $359.99 USD for the set of four, they’re priced on a par with similar coins from the Perth and NZ Mints, for example. Available to order now.