7 June 2024

Australia's favourite dog gets her own collectible coin

| James Coleman
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Bluey coin

The collection was available via online ballot for 24 hours on Wednesday. Photo: Royal Australian Mint.

As coins fade more and more into quaint objects to keep in your car’s cupholder, the place that makes them is coming up with ways to “compensate”.

The Royal Australian Mint in Canberra has doubled down on its commemorative coin releases in recent years, and its latest effort is – in part, at least – designed to get the younger generations hooked.

The 2024 Bluey Dollarbucks $1 Coloured Three-Coin Collection was available as three individual coin cards for $20 each or all together in “bespoke presentation envelope, lovingly designed by Ludo Studio, along with a fun sticker sheet” for $55.

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The three $1 coins star colourised reliefs of Bluey, the Heeler family, and Bluey and Bingo dressed up as ‘The Grannies’, alongside reliefs of their Queenslander-style house in the background.

They were available via a 24-hour online ballot from Wednesday morning, and then sold from the temporary Mint coin shop near the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG) in Civic or from participating authorised distributors.

The “limited run” has already sold out, with some sets now going online for up to $500.

The Mint estimates one in four to five Australians collect coins, many of whom have inherited them from their parents and grandparents.


Bluey is based in suburban Brisbane. Photo: Royal Australian Mint.

So while there’s been a long-term decline in the use of cash and coins, CEO Leigh Gordon says the Mint has been able to “successfully grow our collectible coin programs” and “leverage off the systems and capacities that we have”.

The Mint has previously offered special-run kid-themed coin collections featuring the Wiggles, Mr Squiggle and Play School. Mr Gordon hopes the Bluey coin set will continue their success and help “cultivate the coin collector of tomorrow”.

“Bluey is a bit of a phenomenon and this is an opportunity for us to connect with younger potential collectors and get them to think a little bit about cash and coins as part of that interaction.”

Queenslander-style home

The coins include a relief of the Heeler’s iconic Queenslander-style home. Photo: Royal Australian Mint.

Between January and December last year, the Mint also welcomed more than 347,000 visitors, 55,000 of whom were students on excursions.

“Certainly schools are important to us, but we also see a lot of families visiting, particularly in the school holidays and on long weekends,” Mr Gordon says.

The Mint is closed for refurbishments at the moment and, until it reopens around spring, its only touchpoint with the public is located within the CMAG building in Civic Square.

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But visitors have typically been treated to a guided tour of the Mint’s inner workings, including a view over the factory part where robots churn out millions of circulated coins every year, and the ‘proof hall’ where the finer, higher-grade commemorative coins are made.

“And then, of course, the piece de resistance is the chance to mint your own coin, which has always proved very popular,” Mr Gordon adds.

Created by Australian animator Joe Brumm, Bluey is produced by Ludo Studio for ABC Kids, and 100 per cent created, written, animated, and post produced in Brisbane Queensland, with funding from the Queensland Government. It first hit the airwaves in October 2018.

Mint CEO Leigh Gordon inspecting coins in the ‘proof hall’. Photo: James Coleman.

Season 3, released last year, attracted a whopping average total audience of 11 million viewers, which is more than Married At First Sight, LEGO Masters, State of Origin on Nine, and even the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Seven.

Bluey is viewed in more than 60 countries, including the US where it became the second most streamed show on Disney Plus in 2023.

Just like the show, the Mint doesn’t expect the coin collection to be limited to the kids.

“It’s a wholesome show, that tackles some of the more challenging issues in life,” Mr Gordon says.

What other TV character should receive its own coin?

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