Discontinued Collectibles Guide

Rupurt Bear Annuals & Books

Anyone who proposes to become a book collector or bibliophile might be forgiven for feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the vast multitude of collectable books available. For most novice collectors the first step is usually to choose the theme for their collection. Let’s say that Annuals are the chosen genre.

Remember annuals? Those books produced each year based on a weekly or monthly publication, usually ones produced for children of various ages such as comics. Some are based, not on a comic book but on a newspaper cartoon character, Teddy Tail, Rupert Bear etc.

In fact, Rupert Bear has probably had the most prolific output of annuals dedicated to him by his publishers, in his case the Daily Express. Rupert annuals make an excellent choice for a collector to specialise in. Being so popular with children down through the years has made the Rupert books popular with parents and Father Christmas too as an easy choice for presents for quite a wide age range.

The daily Express published the first annual Rupert Book in time for Christmas 1936. Parents approved, Father Christmas added it to his sack and children everywhere loved it. An original example of this book is currently advertised on-line at £2800.00 though other copies are out there for sale at more mundane prices. As with all books of course, condition is everything.

Encouraged by the success of that first offering the Express repeated the exercise with a new edition for 1937 and the Rupert book became a Christmas favourite. Children looked forward each Christmas to finding the latest Rupert book in their stockings. World War II failed to stop Rupert’s adventures although paper rationing meant smaller volumes with paper covers instead of board and no doubt reduced production runs.

The rarest edition of annual Rupert book is the 1942 edition and all collectors want one! The rarity is probably a direct result of the wartime restrictions. When peace broke out in 1945 Rupert was still there to entertain the nation’s youngsters and Nutwood had escaped war damage completely thank goodness!

In post-war Britain the Rupert annuals continued with renewed vigour, board covers came back, paper quality returned to pre-war standards and Alfred Bestall continued to write and illustrate the stories, as he had since 1936, right up to 1973. That year, the Chairman of the company decided, without consulting Mr Bestall, that Rupert should henceforth appear with a white face instead of the teddy-bear-brown face he’d always had. Bestall refused to have anything more to do with the books. However public protest soon had the decision reversed. Rupert annuals continue to be published to this day and Rupert still has his brown face.

The following is a list of live auctions for "Books (Bibliophilia) Rupert Bear Annuals" currently listed on eBay. Hover the mouse cursor over the current price for details of postage and packaging. If you would like to see more information on a particular piece and maybe even bid on it, simply click on the item description to be magically whisked away to the wonderful world that is eBay. Alternatively you may use the search box to look for a specific piece for your collection.

Please also check out the Books (Bibliophilia) Rupert Bear Annuals Books, Related Dealers and Useful Resources listed at the end of this page.

Useful Resources

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