Noddy is a character created by British children's author Enid Blyton, originally published between 1949 and 1963. The television show based on the character is the longest running show in British television since 1955, and continues to appear to this day.
The first book explains Noddy's origins. He was carved by a woodsman but ran away after the man began to make a wooden lion, which Noddy was scared of. As he wanders through the woods, with no clothes, money or home, he meets Big Ears, a friendly brownie. Big Ears decides that Noddy is a toy and takes him to live in Toyland. He generously provides Noddy with a set of clothing and buys a build-it-yourself house for him. While Noddy is quite happy to be a toy, the citizens of Toyland are not sure that he is actually one. They put Noddy on trial and examine whether he is a toy or an ornament. Eventually, Noddy is declared a toy, but still has to convince the court that he is a good toy. The judge accepts that Noddy is good after a doll tells the court that he saved her little girl from a lion; and he is allowed to stay in Toyland. Noddy gets his car within a few books. It is given to him after he helps solve a local mystery.
Noddy loves driving his friends around Toyland in his little red and yellow taxi. The other toys can hear him coming by the distinctive "Parp, Parp" sound of his taxi's horn and the jingle of the bell on his blue hat. Often he uses his car to visit all the places in Toyland. When his Taxi business is not doing so well, or when he needs help, he turns to Big Ears. Big Ears will often lend him what he needs. On occasion, Noddy will allow people to make his head nod, in exchange for small items, like his morning milk. Noddy is kind and honest, but he often gets in trouble, either through his own misunderstandings, or because someone (usually the naughty goblins Sly and Gobbo) has played a trick on him. He is very childlike in his understanding of the world and often becomes confused as a result. For example, in the first Noddy book, Noddy and Big Ears are building Noddy's house for one. Noddy suggests that they build the roof first, in case it rains. With no understanding of gravity or of the need for roof supports, this is perfectly logical to him. As the series continues, Noddy becomes wiser but without losing his charm and lovable naivety.
Noddy's best friends are Big Ears, Tessie Bear, Bumpy Dog and the Tubby Bears. Tessie is a gentle hearted, gold bear who often wears a bonnet with flowers and a skirt. She very kind and very loving towards all of her friends and neighbors. Bumpy Dog is Tessie's pet. He loves to run up and 'bump' people over. Noddy frequently gets annoyed with Bumpy but still likes him. Whenever Noddy threatens Bumpy, Tessie gets upset, and sometimes even begins to cry. The Tubby Bears live next door to Noddy. They are gold and chubby teddy bears. Mr. and Mrs. Tubby Bear frequently help Noddy. It is clear that Mr. and Mrs. Tubby Bear are the superiors of Noddy, as if he was a child. Their first names are never mentioned and Noddy always refers to them as Mr. and Mrs. They have one son, also named Tubby, who is occasionally referred to as Master Tubby. Tubby is naughty and is usually in trouble, for breaking rules, being rude, or doing something wrong. Noddy often attempts to scold or punish Tubby, with little result. On one occasion, Tubby gets tired of always being bossed around and being punished and decides to run away to sea. Noddy and Bumpy accidentally join with him. By the end of the journey, Tubby misses his parents and brings them back presents from his trip, as an apology.
Noddy has many run-ins with Mr. Plod, the local policeman. Some are caused by Noddy's lack of understanding of how Toyland works. Other times it is because a case of mistaken identity. While Mr. Plod is generally long-suffering towards Noddy, Noddy likes Mr. Plod and frequently goes out of his way to help him. Mr. Plod often catches the mischief makers on his police bicycle, by blowing his whistle and shouting "Halt, in the name of Plod!!" before locking the culprits up in his jail.
Early Noddy books have become collectibles, along with other Blytons. The total number is hard to count: the Noddy Library (Sampson Low) of two dozen titles, which became the New Noddy Library when revised, was just part of a big production in the 1950s, with Big Noddy Books of larger format, and strip books. There were numerous spin-offs, also. Widely-differing estimates can be found.
Sales of Noddy books are large, with an estimated 600000 annual sales in France alone, and growing popularity in India, a large market for Blyton books. The Noddy character is owned by Chorion.
In the two TV series and a new series of books, Noddy has been updated, with the original Golliwog characters replaced by other sorts of toys. For example, Mr. Golly who ran the Toyland garage was replaced by Mr. Sparks who in the new 2004 version of the series appears to be Scottish, and the addition by the BBC during the 1992–1994 series of Dinah Doll, described as "a black, assertive minority female."
It returned between September 2003 and January 2004 for a new series, which was eventually named Make Way for Noddy. This was created by Chorion, on Five and the episodes were filmed from 2001–2004 externally.
In the autumn of 2004, a set of 100 new 2-minute TV interstitials were created by Chorion. These interstitials, entitled Say it With Noddy, feature Noddy learning words in a variety of foreign languages. They also introduced Noddy's new friend Whizz from Robot Village, who presses a button on his chest to play recordings of native speakers saying the new foreign words Noddy was to learn.
Make Way for Noddy is an animated series for children produced by Chorion of the United Kingdom in conjunction with SD Entertainment in the United States. Based on Enid Blyton's Noddy character, it originally aired in 12-minute segments as part of the Milkshake! program on Britain's Five.
In Alan Moore's series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Toyland is a real nation located in the Arctic Circle. The King and Queen of Toyland are Frankenstein's Monster and Olympia from The Tales of Hoffmann.
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