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It’s A Great Geocoin, Charlie Brown

Happiness is an exclusive, new geocoin depicting lovable cartoon canine Snoopy, especially for its creator Chris Pritchard.

Since the owner of Australian webstore Jockaroo launched his design a month ago, he’s shipped more than 50 of the coins – despite sales being limited to Australia and New Zealand.

“Reaction around the world has been fantastic. The only negative comments we’ve had is about the restricted distribution. Snoopy is a very well liked, wee dog.”

On the front of the officially licensed coin, Charlie Brown’s pet pal is wearing his scout uniform, while round the back he’s relaxing on the comic’s logo.

Understandably, minting 1000 copies wasn’t peanuts – even when split into four batches of 250 – so restricting sales was a financial decision for Pritchard.

“We run our store as a hobby so had to personally fund this project. We did look into international distribution but this was way beyond our reach.”

He says the whole project took about 17 months, beginning in early 2010 with the struggle to coin a suitable design.

“One day my Mum, who is a massive fan, suggested Snoopy. So we contacted Peanuts Worldwide LLC and asked what the licensing cost would be. Although it would cost a wee bit, we decided to go ahead with the idea because everyone loves Snoopy.”

Obtaining permission to use the copyrighted comic-strip character wasn’t quite as simple as Pritchard makes it sound, though.

“Initially, we had some trouble getting a response from Peanuts as the licence was in the process of changing hands. Once the dust settled on this, we tried again and the new licence holder was very helpful. We started talks on the agreement in October 2010 and this was finalised in June 2011.

“The process was in three stages. First, we had to agree on a contract with Peanuts, stating what a geocoin is, how many we planned to make and what they wanted in royalties. Once this was done, we sent them artwork showing what we wanted the coin to look like. All stages had to be approved by both Peanuts representatives in Australia and America.

“When both parties were happy, we moved onto getting samples made. Again, these were sent to both representatives. And finally when they agreed on the sample, we moved to final production with an extra eight coins being made without tracking numbers. These were sent to Peanuts for final approval before we could put the coins on sale.

“It was a long journey, with a lot of emails flying back and forth, but we’re happy with the final product.”

Actually designing the 4cm-coin was a lot easier, he says – with the chosen image referencing the link between geocaching and scouting.

“Peanuts gave us access to their image database, from which we picked the images we wanted to use. We designed the coin to have a red ring around it and the layout of the text. I also need to thank our friends at Landsharkz for all their help. I sent them a pretty poor drawing of what I wanted and they came back with exactly what I wanted.”

In the long term, Pritchard hopes to create a set of geocoins depicting other Peanuts characters – “but we do plan to have other Snoopy designs too”.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s this member of Charles M Schulz’s gang that the Perth resident relates to most.

“I’m pretty laid-back; once I was told I was so laid-back I’m horizontal. So a dog’s life really suits me. I also have a good sense of humour and great imagination. I get along with most people and those I don’t, well I just pee on them.:)”

* To buy your own Snoopy geocoin for A$30, visit Jockaroo. Please note: Sales are limited to Australian and New Zealand customers only.

 

1 comment

  1. Bruce Nelson on Facebook

    Very nice… But being in the US I’ll just have to remember that “Happiness is an Evil GeoCaching Monkey,” or something like that.

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