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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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Another one bites the dust of Lok! Huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter yesterdays Star Wars Day celebration competition! Amazing efforts all round and we loved seeing you get stuck into all the different options. Top work!

So what’s it all been for?

As huge fans of the Star Wars empire ourselves, we couldn’t resist getting together a collection of some of our favourite Star Wars merchandise from the far reaches of the galaxy for you guys to snap up and enjoy. Doing just that we put together a goodie bundle worth over £100 including… Star Wars The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, Star Wars Set Of Four Coasters, Boxed Han Solo And Princess Leia I Love You Mug, Lightsaber Torch, Men’s Black Darth Vader Socks With Cape and a funky BB-8 Ice Mould!

How are our lucky winners 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!

The Winner!!

We can now reveal that the lucky winner of ALLL these amazing goodies IS…

Lorraine Broll

Congratulations!

We will be contacting you shortly to arrange delivery of your winnings.

Huge thanks again to everyone who entered but weren’t so lucky this time. Stay tuned for plenty more competitions to come either on our blog, Facebook Page, Twitter or Instagram.

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Happy May the 4th everyone!

Never one to miss out on a good old competition opportunity, we’ve firing up the Ion Drives and launching ourselves into May the Fourth like a wookie on a spacehopper! With fans celebrating this unofficial day all over the world and lots of weird and wonderful ways, we thought what better time for another TruffleShuffletastic competition… and.. well… here it is!

The Prizes

To really get you guys and gals into the spirit of the day, we’ve picked out some amazing goodies from our own out of this world range of Star Wars gifts AND a little something extra which we juuuust think you might enjoy.

So what’s it all for?? Our big bundle of prizes worth over £100 includes…

Star Wars The Complete Saga on Blu-ray! Buckle up and blast yourself off into the Star Wars worlds with this amazing 9 disc box set which includes; The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, deleted scenes, documentaries and so much more!
Surely the perfect addition to any Star Wars lover’s home! This four pack of coasters featuring some classic movie imagery is sure to raise a smile each time you raise a glass.
One of the greatest sci-fi romances ever… that between Han Solo and Princess Leia. Who can forget that scene when Han is dragged off into the freezing chamber while Princess Leia proclaims, ‘I Love You’, to which he replies ‘I Know’ (cool, calm, collected). What a lad!
Become a real life Star Wars action hero with your very own lightsaber! This wicked implement looks just like a lightsaber but is actually a torch with a dazzling blue light!
If you like your socks on the dark side, you will appreciate this pair of black Darth Vader socks! Complete with cape, these sci-fi wonders are a real statement!
Keep cool with the help of the super cute astromech droid BB-8, the pint sized hero of Star Wars Episode VII. In the form of the hugely popular Star Wars character, this BB-8 Ice Mould is a quirky way to liven up your drinks.

How To Enter

To keep things as easy, fair and as accessible as possible, we’re running our competition through a nifty 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 – think of it like tickets in a hat. Simple!

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

Star Wars May The Fourth Competition

How Long Do I Have?

You have until midnight tonight when the competition will turn back into a pumpkin… we mean May the Fourth will be officially over for another year and so will the competition. After this time you will be unable to enter using the Gleam system. *11:59:59 04/05/2017

How Will The Winner Be Chosen?

Well… as pretty much usual now… totally at random! The nifty Gleam system will take a hop, skip and jump into all your entries and pick out just one lucky winner at random. Remember folks! The more ways you enter, the more chance the mystical GLEAM bots will pick you.

T+C’s
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

GOOD LUCK everyone and May The Fourth Be With You!

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You have thirteen hours in which to solve the labyrinth, before your baby brother becomes one of us… forever…….

Well ‘Ello Labyrinth fans! Listen up as we’ve got a serious treat for you.

As you may well know – the awesome folk at RiverHorse released an EPIC Labyrinth Board Game back in 2016. Unsurprisingly, demand completely outstripped supply and only a very, very lucky few managed to get their hands on a copy before they promptly sold out.

Well we’ve got two bits of awesome news for you. First off, we have another delivery of the game winging it’s way across to Truffle Towers as we speak which will be available to buy in the next week or so. Make sure you’re on our waiting list here and that  way – we can drop you an email as soon as they’re available to buy.

PLUS to celebrate the fact their return is imminent, we have 5 copies of the a-maze-ing game to giveaway so you can get stuck into your own Goblin King adventure before the rest of us!

The Prizes

For those who missed our previous blog post running you through all the details of the game, it’s for up to four players who will be take on the role of either Sarah, Hoggle, Ludo, or Didymus.

You and up to three other players have just 13 hours’ to navigate Jareth’s labyrinth through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, to rescue little baby Toby.
Designed to be fast-paced, family friendly and a great nostalgia trip, the game consists of two distinct stages, one where the group must adventure through the labyrinth trying to find the goblin city whilst keeping their willpower as high as possible (nobody wants to fall into the oubliette!)…
…and a second action-packed stage where the players must fight their way into Jareth’s castle where Sarah must say the magical words that will release her brother.

So, the Labyrinth is a piece of cake, is it? Well, let’s see how you deal with this little slice…

The set includes….

  • 5 highly collectable figurine renditions of the main characters: Jareth the goblin king; Sarah; Hoggle; Ludo; Sir Didymus and Ambrosius
  • Rules booklet – 16 pages
  • 2’x2′ game board – lavishly illustrated with inspiring new artwork featuring all the legendary places from the movie, including the Obliette, the Bog of eternal stench, the Goblin City and Jareth’s Castle.
  • 32 Labyrinth cards
  • Over 30 game tokens
  • 6 polyhedral dice (D4,D6,D8,D10,D12,D20)
  • 6 Reference cards
  • 4 character sheets, 4 ability cards & 4 weakness cards.
  • 4 card stand ups: Humongous, Goblin Infantry, Goblin Cavalry & Goblin Artillery.
  • Goblin clock & clock hand.

It’s sure to turn your world you precious things!

How To Enter

To keep things as easy, fair and as accessible as possible, we’re running our competition through a nifty little system we’ve used many times 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 – think of it like tickets in a hat. Simple!

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

5 x Labyrinth Board Game Sets Up For Grabs!

*Hint* The more ways you enter, the more chances you have of winning

How Long Do I Have?

This competition will close at 11:59pm 12/03/2017 and the winners will be announced first thing Monday morning on 13th March via our blog. We’ll also contact the winners via their entry methods too.

How Will The Winners Be Chosen?

Totally at random! The nifty Gleam system will dive on into all your entries and pick out 5 lucky winners at random. Remember folks! The more way you enter, the more chance the Gleam bots will pick you.

Good luck all and remember, even if you’re not one of our lucky winners, you can still get your hands on a copy of the game here when they’re restocked next week!

T+C’s

Only five winners will be chosen at random
There will be no cash alternative of prizes offered
If we do not hear back from a 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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For as long as we can remember, we’ve LOVED the iconic Mr. Men Little Miss characters. Grabbing one of the square board books and being whisked off to Dillydale to read about the madcap antics of Mr. Strong, Mr. Bump, Mr Tickle and not forgetting the likes of Little Miss Sunshine and Little Miss Naughty was a real highlight of our childhood (and now parenthood for some of us!) and we’re sure we’re not the only ones right?

We’re lucky enough to get to work with Roger Hargreaves iconic characters on a daily basis – courtesy of our exclusive Mr. Men Little Miss ranges which you can of course check out here – and as Christmas is fast approaching, we figured it was the perfect time of year to spread the love with a cheeky giveaway!

Sure to appeal to little and large fans of the cheeky characters, we’ve got a fabulous prize which would be a brilliant boost to the presents under the tree this Christmas! Check out what’s up for grabs below….

The Prizes

One lucky winner will get their mitts on……

A £50 voucher to spend on your choice of Mr. Men Little Miss goodies at www.TruffleShuffle.com We’ve got everything from quality tees to quirky mugs, gorgeous gifts to beautiful babywear meaning there’s something for EVERY Mr Men and Little Miss fan

PLUS A Mr. Men My Complete Collection Book Set – including an amazing 47 books starring some of the best loved characters including Mr. Greedy, Mr. Bump, Mr. Strong, Mr. Perfect and more. A great find for any fan, collector or budding reader. 

How To Enter

To keep things as easy, fair and accessible as possible, we’re running our competition through a nifty little system we’ve used many times 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 – think of it like tickets in a hat. Simple!

Just follow the directions below after securely logging in (which can be done via Facebook, email, Instagram or Twitter) to begin your entries.

*Hint* The more ways you enter, the more chances you have of winning

Mr. Men Bookset Competition

How long do I have?

The competition will close at midnight on 8/12/2016 and a winner will be chosen and contacted the very next day.

How will the winners be chosen?

As always… totally at random! Once the competition closes, the Gleam system will dive head-first into all the entries and pick out one at random to keep things totally fair. If you have any questions or problems at all, please get in touch with us on competitons@truffleshuffle.co.uk and we will be glad to help.

So what are you waiting for? Get your entries in now and keep your fingers crossed! And while you’re waiting to find out whether you’re our lucky winner, here’s a sneak peek of some of our fave Mr. Men Little Miss goodies available at TruffleShuffle so you can decide what you’d choose!

T+C’s

Only one winner will be chosen at random
Only open to UK entrants
There will be no cash alternative of prizes offered
If we do not hear back from our 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

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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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