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Friday, 24 December, 1999, 15:49 GMT
Bagpuss top cat for Christmas

Bagpuss: Cream of the toy market this Christmas


A Liverpool toy company is struggling to keep up with demand as nostalgic fans flock to buy cuddly toys of 1970s children's character Bagpuss.

The saggy old cat has been revived by toy-maker Monica Keating, who started making cuddly toy Bagpusses two years ago - and her company, Thinking Cap, has been working flat-out in the run-up to Christmas to satisfy fans.

She explained: "I was a huge fan. He's just a lovely gentle cat with big blue eyes. I asked the creator, Peter Firmin, if I could make him under licence and he said yes."



He's more an adult toy - many of the customers are males aged between 30 and 40
Toy company boss Monica Keating
The company's sub-contractors made 300 toys each week in the run-up to Christmas, but could not keep up with demand.

Ms Keating said: "People are not bothered if they have to wait until after Christmas. Most people have to wait for three years, for a hand-made toy, but ours come in six to eight weeks."

Bagpuss featured in the BBC's Future Generations promotional film in 1998, and was voted the favourite BBC children's television character in a poll 12 months ago.

Ms Keating said of the survey: "That helped a lot - I knew he would be popular after that. It's in a completely different market from other Christmas presents.

"He's more an adult toy - many of the customers are males aged between 30 and 40, who were around when the show was on TV in the early 1970s.

"There's also a lot of mothers who are buying them for their daughters, and daughters for their mothers."

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Bagpuss cream of television

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