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I loved the Mr Men series of books as a child and have very fond memories of reading about the adventures of the various strangely shaped characters all with names befitting their personal qualities. Created in 1971 by Roger Hargreaves the charming and often moralised stories of the Mr Men and Little Miss characters have been delighting children for decades. By far my favourite character/story was that of Mr Bump - a blue oval-shaped chap with white bandages around his head and torso (I use the words head and torso loosely here).
I obviously loved Mr Bump so much that I have subconsciously acquired many of his personal qualities. I am what many would (and do) call accident-prone, and whilst I don't go around wrapped in bandages and falling down holes, I do have a natural tendency to walk into things, trip over objects and generally injure myself on a fairly regular basis. Obviously I was doing such a good impression of my beloved childhood character because last Christmas I received this Mr Bump mug, alongside some other less character-scathing presents.
Once the laughter at my expense had subsided I was actually quite pleased with my gift because I needed a new mug (I had recently broken one or two) and as I have already made clear, I am very fond of Mr Bump - "I'll just pretend it was chosen for me for these reasons", I told myself consolingly.
The mug is porcelain, as most mugs have a tendency to be, and is a slightly off-white colour which looks very nice in my opinion; much better than the plain and cheap-looking white mugs I have. On the front (with the handle on the right hand side) is a large colourful picture of Mr Bump walking with a smile on his face. His name, and that of his creator - Roger Hargreaves, is printed above him in black text. The quality of the image is very good. Mr Bump's blue body is nice and bright and the black text is nice and clear, with the whole mug having an expensive-looking glossy finish. A lot of novelty mugs often have poor-quality transfers printed onto them so I was very pleased that a more professional job had been done here.
That's not all though, turning the mug round reveals another image and some text. Here is a smaller image of Mr Bump standing next to a broken green vase and the resulting puddle of water. His buoyant smile has been replaced by a startled expression of 'oops'. Above this tragic scene of apparent butterfingers reads the text:
"The trouble was, Mr Bump just couldn't help having little accidents..."
It's just as well the broken vase is there to accompany the puddle of water, otherwise I might have misinterpreted the meaning of the words "little accidents" and probably taken offence at my gift. After all, that was years ago.
I think both the designs printed on the mug are excellent. Not only are they amusing and charming, they are high quality too. I have used and washed this mug at least once a day since (for almost a year) and the designs haven't faded in the slightest.
Another thing I like about the mug is the size. It claims to hold 300ml and whilst I haven't measured this claim I would say that it is a fairly standard sized mug. I know a small cup of coffee when I drink one and this mug doesn't short-change me on that front. Nor is it too big to warrant having to add any more than my usual two spoonfuls of Kenco. The mug is a little shorter than the rest of the mugs in my cupboard and is wider as a result. It measures approx. 8.5cm tall and is 9cm wide at the rim; the mug also tapers inwards slightly towards the base. This extra wide rim makes it ideal for dunking biscuits. The often troublesome chocolate digestive will fit in no problem at all and without the need to bite the end off first. It's the little things in life...
Another plus point is the handle, which being nice and wide I find easy to grasp comfortably and firmly in one hand. I dislike mugs with small handles because I sometimes end up getting my fingers stuck which can lead to me slopping tea all over the table. It's slightly ironic that this isn't the case with the Mr Bump mug.
How about the durability? One would assume that a Mr Bump mug would be used by people who tend to be a little on the clumsy side, so it should be built to withstand moderate mistreatment. My area of expertise lies in personal injury so I don't tend to drop things quite as much as Mr Bump (the odd mug notwithstanding) and I have so far managed to refrain from episodes of butterfingers with this mug. The mug has however survived being bashed around in the washing up bowl and clunked against other mugs in the cupboard. The handle is also still firmly attached and so far doesn't show any of those ominous hairline cracks around the joins.
The mug is also dishwasher safe for those lucky enough to own one but doesn't specify whether or not it is also microwave or freezer safe. I have erred on the side of caution and haven't subjected Mr Bump to either appliance.
Overall I am very happy with this mug and despite the obvious intended slander it is my favourite mug in the cupboard and the first one I reach for when it isn't already in the washing-up pile. The happy smiling face of Mr Bump always cheers me up and reminds me of simpler times, when dropping a vase was considered as 'having a bad day'.
You can buy the Mr Bump mug from www.amazon.co.uk for £5.56 which I think is great value for a mug that has lasted me almost a year without any signs of physical wear. I think it would also make a great gift for Christmases or birthdays - the mug comes is a nice cardboard presentation box with a colourful Mr Men design which is a nice touch. The price is also low enough for it to fall into (or slightly over) the price bracket for the ever-popular annual 'Secret Santa'.
There are also many other characters available in the range of mugs by the 'Wild and Wolf' brand including Mr Tickle, Mr Happy, Mr Messy, Mr Grumpy and Mr Lazy so there is plenty of choice to insult a loved one this Christmas. My dad received a Mr Grumpy mug from myself for his Birthday and he has been very chuffed with the quality of it (or at least as chuffed as you can expect someone to be with a Mr Grumpy mug). For female recipients, there are also several 'Little Miss' characters available - for example, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Princess, Little Miss Naughty and - for the slightly braver gift giver - Little Miss Scatterbrain and Little Miss Chatterbox.
I would whole-heartedly recommend the Mr Bump mug. It makes a great light-hearted addition to any cupboard and you need not necessarily be a clumsy oaf to enjoy it.
Thanks for reading :-)