Cartoons

This is the TruffleShuffle blog, quiet, peaceful, serene… that is until our new The Raccoons TShirts and COMPETITION wakes up! Yaaaahoooooo!

Luckily, we have a good friend to help us out in the form of The Raccoons creator Kevin Gillis!

Like busy little Raccoons ourselves, we’ve been hard at work with Kevin to create some all new and exclusive Raccoons T-Shirts which are now on the site! We have one new design which has been lovingly screen printed onto four styles and colours including grey & white tees, blue vest and a grey baseball raglan TShirt!

To celebrate our latest arrivals in style and give you guys a little glimpse into the world behind The Raccoons, we stole Kevin away and threw some questions at him (don’t worry we were gentle). Take a look below to see what we found out from the man himself….

Hi Kevin, thanks for taking to time to chat with us! So… we hear you’re currently working on a reboot of The Raccoons which we’re very excited about! What made you decide to do this and how will it differ to the classic 1980s series?

A lot of the Raccoons fans are now having kids of their own. Many of them were reaching out and suggesting that we should think about doing a re-launch and aim it towards them and their new families – sort of a co-viewing opportunity. It was a very difficult process trying to decide which direction to go. Do you keep the ‘classic’ animation style – updating it from the original, or do you create a brand new modern approach to the characters’ style? Further, do you stay 2D as the original was – or do you go CGI – which many of the pre-school shows are produced in? We have opted to update the original designs but kept much of the traditional classic tone and look that The Raccoons were known for.
Stay tuned – as the jury is still out!

Not that we’re biased, but the 80s and 90s produced some of the best cartoons ever, of course including The Raccoons. What do you think made this such a special and iconic time for the entertainment biz?

Up to this time, most of the animation we had known came from large US animation studios who had created their own iconic styles: Hanna-Barbera; Disney; Warner Bros; etc. Suddenly there was an appetite – mostly driven by broadcasters and young upstart studios and producers, to reach beyond the US fare and create new characters and styles of their own. It was a time when promoting independent creativity was cultivated. It was before the accountants ran the broadcasting systems – and original untested ideas from young writers, producers and directors had an opportunity to reach an audience.

Although we’re sure there are many, if there was just one lesson you would like us 80s kids to have taken away from the years growing up with The Raccoons, what would it be?

Hah! Well, seeding an interest in our fragile environment would have to be near the top of my list. That — and enjoying the characters and their stories.

Which other classic cartoon show would you most have liked to have been a part of and why?

I’ve always been a fan of The Simpsons. I guess I like dysfunctional family comedies. They seem so real!  And The Simpsons was ground-breaking, giving rise to a burgeoning field of adult animation. And let’s not forget some of the great pioneer shows of animated comedy: The Flintstones, The Bugs Bunny Hour!

Who were your favourite characters from the series and why?

Writing for a villain is always fun. Cyril Sneer was no cookie-cutter villain. He was much more grey than black-hearted. He had a very soft spot for his son Cedric and was vulnerable to early childhood emotional scars – his obsessive need to constantly prove himself to Mr. Knox and Mr. Mammoth come to mind, as does his all-encompassing distaste for anything that the Raccoons were up to – especially Bert!
I think Cyril’s complexity made him a favourite of mine. Can’t decide between the Pigs or Bert after that. They were both fun. Interestingly, the actor who played both Bert and Pig #2 (the “sycophantic, slow” one) brought both characters to life and made my job worth getting up for every single day. He was Bert Raccoon incarnate! Sadly, Len Carlson has moved on to the Evergreen Forest in the sky, where I am sure he is dreaming up new-fangled adventures just as Bert Raccoon would!

If you could go back and do it all over again, what one thing would you most like to change about The Raccoons? Perhaps a character trait? Storyline? Or maybe something about how it was made?

That’s easy: in hindsight, I would not have had Cyril with a cigar. We of course wanted to make Cyril the anti-hero and gave him character traits that you would not aspire to emulate as a child: how he treated his underlings (employees), his rants, his paranoia, his unending quest for wealth over anything else, his destruction of the environment, even his control over his son’s friends. We thought a cigar would just add to the persona. Regrettably, it has become a bit of an albatross as today’s broadcasters are concerned that it is politically incorrect and are reluctant to broadcast the series.

We’ve always imagined working on one of our childhood favourite shows to be an absolute dream job (apart from creating amazing tees with them on that is!). Were there any funny stories or goings on in the making of The Raccoons you can share?

I’m afraid if I did my life would be in danger.

Did you ever slip any ‘Easter eggs’ or hidden gems into any of the episodes? We’d love to look out for them if so!

We did our best to seek them out and destroy them. The animators, being the “paragons of virtue” that they are, would occasionally try to create, shall we say, visual “double-entendres”. I will leave it to your imagination what we were able to find. I’m sure we didn’t get them all – so if you find one, keep it to yourself. Check the Pigs scenes – they were notoriously risqué. Also the backgrounds in Cyril’s mansion – you never know what you are going to find in those dark recesses.

With huge changes in how shows are made these days, how do you feel kid’s cartoons have changed since The Raccoons first came out? Are there any new series that you’ve seen and are a fan of?

I am fortunate to have worked on a number of animated shows since The Raccoons with many talented young writers, animators, directors, actors, designers, etc. I have always been a fan of original designs and unique story-telling that pushes the accepted boundaries. I think what we did on Atomic Betty set game rules.  Computer assisted animation has made a huge difference. In many cases you don’t even have to know how to draw to work as an animator on a series. Creating and colouring fabulous backgrounds has become quicker and easier. The time to deliver a series is much faster – so the relevancy of subject matter can be a very powerful tool in the hands of writers.

I think the biggest change for young demos is the ubiquitous focus on 2 eleven minute episodes instead of a 22 minute “half-hour”. The format change has created quicker pacing, gag-oriented stories as opposed to more character based animated drama. Granted, we still have 22 minute stories for prime-time (The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, etc.), but I think we have created an audience that demands instant-plotlines with a preference for gags over depth of character.

Animating back in the 80s and 90s was such an intensive and manual process, do you think modern methods can still offer the same magic?

Absolutely! If anything, the ability to instantaneously see your work as opposed to waiting for the film “dailies” to come back from the lab gives the creative team a multitude of options to pivot, polish, re-work, fine-tune — and still deliver on time. Control over your work has improved immeasurably. The digitization of the creative realm has offered all of the creative team the ability to react, reflect and make choices in real time.

What do you think the animation industry will look like in ten years’ time? Do you think we’re likely to see more retro classics make a comeback?

I think that low cost animation tools will be ubiquitous – anyone that wants to create a professional product will have the technical ability to do so. We will still be interested in great stories and characters that we care for but the distribution channels will be full of UGC – User Generated Content. Having a network determine whether your creativity is seen or not will no longer be relevant – if it is today. Retro versions of today’s hits will undoubtedly be part of the creative landscape – it’s the stories and characters that make your memories happy and worth revisiting.   Regardless of method of delivery and/or technological advances, great content will always prevail.

We would like to say a huuuuge thank you to Kevin Gillis for taking the time to talk with us and providing us with some amazing signed goodies which you can now win below. Such an honour.

WIN! WIN! WIN!

That’s right folks! Celebrating the release of our exclusive new The Raccoons Clothing which is now available to buy (go take a look!), we’ve managed to get our hands on some simply amazing The Raccoons goodies which have been signed by creator Kevin Gillis himself! A true treat for any fan of this hit retro show for sure. Let’s take a look…

The Prize

Up for grabs we have have a signed exclusive The Raccoons TShirt, a signed copy of season one and two of the Raccoons on DVD and a handful of The Raccoons badges to sweeten the collection!

How To Enter

To keep things as easy, fair and as accessible as possible, we’re running the comp through our usual little system called Gleam. This will allow you to enter a number of times and in a number of different ways via Twitter, our blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and more. The more ways you enter, the more chances you have of winning. Nice n’ easy!

Just follow the directions below after securely logging in via one of the options to begin completing your entries.

WIN Signed The Racoons Goodies

How Long Do I Have?

The competition will close at 11:59pm on Monday 29th May (29/05/17). Entries made any time before then will be counted. After this time the system will not accept any further entries.

How Will The Winner Be Chosen?

In the interest of fun and fairness… totally at random! The nifty Gleam system will hop, skip and jump into all your entries and pick out our lucky winner at random. Don’t forget! The more ways you enter, the more chance the plucky Gleam bots will pick you.

Good luck!

Ts&Cs
Only one winner will be chosen at random
There will be no cash alternative of prizes offered
If we do not hear back from the winner within one week, another will be chosen at random and contacted
We reserve the right to cancel the competition at any time without warning
Questions? Email competitions@truffleshuffle.co.uk and we’ll get back to you pronto!

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Now unless you’ve been climbing a cold mountain leaving you completely cut off from the world, or perhaps you got your cave’s feng shui juuuust right and you’ve been camped out there for a while, you miiiight have noticed that Unicorns are kind of a big deal and are certainly stylishly galloping their way all over our site in true majestic style!

From fashion and decor, to food and drinks (take a peep at the latest Starbucks creation! It’s seen to be believed), Unicorn love has injected a whole wave of colours and fun over the world and we sure can’t get enough!

Never one’s to miss out on the fun, we’ve been working hard to create our very own collection of Unicorn goodies that have already been flying off the Truffle Towers selves. To help get your guys in on the action, here’s our pick of the best unicorn clothing and gifts in our collection…. and there’s no need to travel to a far off magical kingdom to get them too!

Pusheen Glitter Travel Mug

Looking to glam up your hot brew drinking activities? Our suuuuper snazzy Pusheen travel mug is here to do just that! We got cats, unicorns, glitter and rainbows all covered with this one. PURRFECT!!!

Unicorn Slippers

Transform your feet to a far and distant land full of colour, comfort and of course…. magic. Simply slip your tootsies into these majestic creations and they’ll be warm and cosy before you can say ‘I LOVE UNICORNS’.

Unicorn Shower Cap

Getting out the shower with completely bone dry hair? Sounds like some kind of magic to us because…well it is! Ensure your style stays dry in this enchanting unicorn shower cap. Perfect for making sure your ‘do is as beautiful as a unicorn’s mane at all times.

She-Ra TShirts

Where would She-Ra be without her trusty unicorn steed, Swift Wind? Possibly one of the most iconic and retro Unicorns out there, why not rock the trend AND pay homage to this retro legend all at once with our exclusive range of She-Ra designs.

Unicorn Sprinkle Shaker

If you’re a bit of a master in the kitchen and can whip up some of the most amazing cakes, or perhaps your cakes could always do with a sprinkle of magic to really give them a boost, our unicorn sprinkle shaker is here to save the day and take your baking to the next level!

For alllll these amazing goodies and our complete range of unicorn merchandise, fly on over to our site TruffleShuffle.co.uk and take a peep. Any unicorn goodness we’re missing out on? Let us know and we’ll try to find it for you!

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Our fabulous Rainbow Brite themed giveaway is now sadly over which means it’s time to announce the lucky winner of our fabulous bundle of star sprinkled goodies! We love this part.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter – we had a huge response which just goes to show how much love there is for the fabulous Hallmark character whose mission is to use the colours of the Rainbow to bring colour and happiness to people everywhere!

The Prizes

So just a reminder of what was up for grabs – as well as fabulous bundle below kindly donated by the lovely people at Hallmark – the creators of all things Brite and beautiful…………..

Our lucky winner will also receive a £50 voucher to spend on our exclusive Rainbow Brite range at TruffleShuffle.com. Sneak peek of some of our favourite styles below for you…..

How our lucky winners are chosen….
Our competition was run through Gleam who have collected all the various entries and added them into a big competition hat of sorts. Their nifty system then picks out a winner completely at random!

And….. drum roll please! The results are in!
Huuuuge congratulations to…..

Terri Jenner

We’ll be in touch shortly to arrange delivery of your fabulous prizes.

Not a winner? Don’t worry! We still have a simply massive range of official and exclusive Rainbow Brite gifts and goodies so please do come check them out here! 100% official and exclusive to TruffleShuffle.com, they’re the perfect way for all us Rainbow Brite fans to add a little sparkle to our lives!

Big thank you again to everyone who entered. Don’t forget to stay tuned for plenty more exciting competitions to come!

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Dahlicious Discount Inside…

by Iain Matheson on September 13, 2016

Happy Roald Dahl Day everyone! Can you believe it?! 2016 marks a whizzpopping 100 years since the birth of one of our childhood heroes and the world’s number one storyteller, Roald Dahl.

Here at TruffleTowers we’re celebrating this momentous occasion in style with a simply scrumdiddlyumptious 10% off all Roald Dahl goodies using discount code DAHLDAY.

Just simply apply the discount code at the checkout to start saving. It’s that easy!

Roald Dahl Good Thoughts Speckled Rolled Sleeve Cropped T-Shirt – £22.49 with code Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Wonka Golden Ticket Filled Cushion – £17.99 with code
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Lunch Bag – £10.79 with code Roald Dahl The BFG T-Shirt – £17.99 with code
Roald Dahl Matilda T-Shirt – £17.99 with code Roald Dahl Enormous Crocodile Aluminium Water Bottle – £8.09 with code

Be quick to snap up the amazing offer and it will end at midnight tonight (11:59pm 13/09/16).
xoxo

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So it’s official, Pokémon GO is here, and…well… it is absolutely HUGE. Like bigger than the Death Star big! Frankly, if you’re not using your phone to walk around and catch virtual creatures in your area we have no idea why you even have a phone!

With so much buzz surrounding this groundbreaking AR adventure game (for those who never discovered Ingress at least), it seems Pokémon is right back at the top of the pile and bigger and better than ever. Talk about a comeback! From battling it out on our trusty Game Boy colour back in the day to talking stats and evolutions with friends down the pub, Pokémon has always brought people together and turns out is still as cool as ever.

Now it’s back in our lives in style, we figured we would pop together some really cool and useful tips that we have picked up along the way. Who knows they might just give your game a little boost! For free! Sit back and check out our Top Tips for Pokémon Go!

You can grab Pikachu as your starter Pokémon

Yep believe it! Pretty much THE face of the entire Pokémon empire, Pikachu can be grabbed right from the get go. Perhaps not so useful for all you eager players out there already catching your way through the levels, but as a new player when you’re asked by the Professor to catch you very first Pokémon you will be met with some old faces including Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. However! If you walk away from them (literally walk away), and continue to walk away from them until your phone vibrates the three classic stater Pokémon will appear again. Walk away again, and repeat 3 to 5 times and eventually Pikachu should appear.

When exploring, vary your surroundings

So just like you would fine in the real world, different Pokémon can be found in different areas. So for some examples, Rock types can be found near Quarries, Water types can be found near….you guessed it, Ghost types can be found near cemeteries and Electric types near power stations. We’re not suggesting to climb a mountain or break into a industrial area but instead vary where you hunt a bit.

When you capture a gym, defend it!

So you’re at at least level five and the real fun has begun, setting to work capturing your local gym will earn you some big rewards so well worth doing but hey….nothing good comes easy. Other players will be looking for a taste of of high life so be prepared to defend your gym by leaving good Pokémon there. Good defending will also earn extra bonuses and keep you in a good position.

Master your power

Now we don’t mean Pokémon powers or even superhuman powers, we mean getting the most from your device to keep you playing. It’s no secret that playing Pokémon GO pretty much smashes your battery so be smart. Activate the Pokémon GO battery saver mode in the settings option, dim the screen brightness, close unused background apps you might have running or perhaps invest in a battery charging pack to give you some extra juice on the go.

Throw a Curve ball

Not figuratively, literally! When you’re about to catch a critter, hold down on your Poké Ball and spin it in a circular motion with your finger. This will start it spinning, and if you hit and capture a Pokémon with this move you’ll gain some extra XP. Score!

Get out and play!

Possibly the best tip really and perhaps not one which can be avoided too much. The best way to enjoy the game, earn the good stuff and continue your amazing work is just to get out and explore….safely. Walking distances will help everything along and will help you bump into new characters and places. Again try to vary the locations, location types and even time of day and keep in mind that seeking landmarks in your area will be some great treats along with them too. The more you play, the more XP you will earn and the better everything will get.

So there you have them peeps! Hopefully we’ve passed on some handy hints to help you along you way. Know any other cool tips to help you fellow players? Shout them out below in the comments section!

Naturally, as veteran Pokémon trainers we’ve stocked a whole heap of Pokémon merchandise over the years and it seems that no more than ever is the time to grab a slice of the action and start showing off your love in style! Check out our latest catches including some fab Pokémon jewellery…

xoxo

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We love cartoons, we love cats (oh boy do we love cats!), so…..naturally we’re HUUUUGE fans of the super cute cult sensation Pusheen!

Created by Clare Belton and Andrew Duff as a character in their webcomic “Everyday Cute” back in May 2010 and based on Clare’s super cute childhood cat, Pusheen quickly became the star of the show which resulted in her landing her very own blog to host her amazing animations. As one of the Internet’s favourite characters through the medium of memes (is it meeems or me-mes?), she can be found just about anywhere and never fails to raise a smile on her travels around the cyberwebs with her often lazy ways!

As suuuuuch big fans of the most quirky of accessories, we’re purrrrring away with excitement thanks to our latest collection of Pusheen accessories including bags, purses, mugs, stationery and much more! Take a peep…

Carry your very own Pusheen with you wherever you are with our collection of Pusheen Bags…

Become the cool kid on the block whether at work, uni or school with our super cute new Pusheen stationery

For all these little treats and more, pop on over to our shop at TruffleShuffle.com and pick up your purrrfect Pusheen goodies today!

xoxo

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