Artists: Ernest Aris

Ernest A. Aris was an artist and author of children's stories, in particular, he was responsible for all the Tasseltip Tales, series 474, co-illustrating some with Roy Smith. He was perhaps better known as the designer of "Cococubs". Aris was a commercial artist born in 1882 and died 1963. He began his career as a portrait artist and an art teacher, subsequently writing and illustrating childrens books. He sometimes wrote under the pseudonym 'Robin A Hood'. He also illustrated seaside postcards using signature 'EARIS'.

In the 1930's lead figures of domestic and zoo animals were given away with tins of Cadburys Cocoa. The range was gradually extended from an initial release of 15 models to a total of 32, and today, as in the years from 1934 to 1939 they are highly collectable. These brightly clad, hand made and hand painted characters soon captured the imagination of children young and old and as a sales promotion exercise it was a huge success for Cadbury Ltd. It was just as successful for the toy manufacturers William Britain Ltd whose production lines were maintained at full capacity.

tasseltip from "MR Mole"a 1934 Cococub cartoonAs part of the sales promotion cartoon characters featuring the cococubs adventures appeared in numerous national newspapers, as well as children's and family magazines. The Cococubs were launched quietly onto the unsuspecting world on 26 September 1934 in a small advertisement.

The interesting part form a collectors point of view is that one of the Cococub characters turns out to be none other than our old friend Tasseltip!

I am indebted to Dudley Chignall for his Cococubs information -
contact him for details of his superb book on the subject!