Franchise: Miffy

Miffy in her trademark short dress
Miffy (or in the original Dutch Nijntje, shortened from "konijntje" which literally means "little rabbit") is a long running series of young children's books drawn by Dick Bruna starring the title character. First published in 1955, Miffy has sold over 85 million books worldwide in over 40 languages. Bruna has stated, much like Charles M. Shulz of Peanuts fame, that the series will come to an end with his death. There have been two television adaptations: a traditionally animated one in 1992 and a stop motion series between 2003 and 2007.

Extremely popular in its home country, with dedicated shops and part of the Centraal Museum in Amsterdam permanently dedicated to the franchise.

This series provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: Very gradual: the character design from 1955 is nearly the same as the one used today. See here.
  • Follow the Leader: Hello Kitty is often accused of this, being drawn in a similar style. There have been various legal clashes, but Bruna and Sanrio ended these after the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster and donated the money they would have spent on legal fees to disaster relief.
  • Long Runner: Miffy celebrated her 50th birthday in 2005.
  • The Merch: Miffy branded merchandise is very popular with both children and adults.
  • No Export for You: For some bizarre reason the 2006 book Hangoor (Flopear) is only available in the original Dutch.
  • The Perfectionist: Even though each book contains only 16 illustrations in a simple line style and 64 lines of text, it takes Bruna months to write and illustrate each one, and there have been less than 30 overall.
  • Status Quo Is God: Gradually subverted: new characters have occasionally been introduced and in 1996 the series had a permanent change when the death of Miffy's grandmother was the subject of a book.