15

Some years ago I used to collect Rupert Bear annuals. I had a huge collection going all the way back to the 1940s, with some gaps which I slowly filled in over the years, and every time I got a new book, it meant reading several new Rupert stories. So I was rather disappointed when at some point (some time in the noughties, I think) they published a new Rupert annual in which at least one of the stories was exactly the same as one previously published - the Yeti story from 1990, if memory serves. But now I'm curious about whether this had any precedent.

What is the history of reusing Rupert Bear stories? Was it ever done before? Has it become a regular thing in recent years, or did they do it once and then never again because of fan backlash? For that matter, what was the exact year I remember in which they (?) started reusing stories?

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The first time the Rupert Annuals repeated a story was in 1953. But before the year I remember (2006), there were only seven years in which old stories were repeated (1953, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988), and the only time any story from later than 1940 was repeated was for the 50th anniversary special (1986), which made a point of containing one story from each decade. Since the earliest annual I owned was 1949, this explains why I never noticed repetition until recently.

The year I remember (2006) was when repetition of old stories really became a trend. In fact, since 2010, there has been only one new story each year, the rest being recycled older stories. Apparently Rupert annuals have gone so far downhill that they're mostly surviving on reruns. I'm glad I got out when I did, so that Rupert can remain a treasured childhood memory without being spoiled.


The above conclusions were drawn from examining raw data in the form of all titles of all Rupert stories since the start of modern Rupert in 1936. (I didn't check the earlier Tourtel stories, since the form was so different then that repetition would be impossible: at most, a post-Bestall story might be based on the same idea as a Tourtel story, and inspiration is different from wholesale copy-pasting.)

My data was taken from this site (which has a page for each year, listing that year's story titles and sometimes extra info such as facsimile editions) and this site (which has a page for each decade, listing the story titles from every year in that decade). I've cross-referenced the two against each other to check for consistency; in the data below, brackets in story titles denote small differences between the two sources (usually minor things such as uncertain hyphenation) while entire stories in brackets were listed in one source but not the other (there are only two of these). Since my second source only covers the '30s to '90s, all data from 2000 onwards is taken from the first source alone.

It's perhaps not necessary for me to include all my raw data in this answer. I do so, not only to make my research reproducible, but also because this may now be the only place on the internet with all Rupert story titles gathered on a single page. All my searching hasn't yielded another such page - if there was one, it would have made my data collection far easier and quicker.

RAW DATA FOLLOWS.


  • 1936 The New Adventures of Rupert

    Rupert and the Wonderful Kite
    Rupert, Algy and the Cannibals
    Rupert's Autumn Adventure
    Rupert, Bill and the Pearls
    Rupert's Christmas Adventure

  • 1937 More Adventures of Rupert

    Rupert and the Snow Machine
    Rupert and the Flying Bottle
    Rupert and the Floods
    Rupert and the Little Men
    Rupert, Algy and the Smugglers
    Rupert and the Chinese Crackers
    Rupert and Dog Toby

  • 1938 The New Rupert Book

    Rupert and the (Black) Daffodils
    Rupert, Edward and the Paper Chase
    Rupert in Mysteryland
    Rupert and the Ruby Ring
    Rupert and the Cuckoo Clock
    Rupert and Pong Ping
    Rupert and Peter
    Rupert and Bill in the Treetops

  • 1939 The Adventures of Rupert

    Rupert's Adventures in the Snows
    Rupert and the Jack-in-the-Box
    Rupert's Bonfire
    Rupert and the Strange Airman
    Rupert and the Half Crowns
    Rupert and the Courier Bird
    Rupert and the Goblin Cobbler
    Rupert, Beppo and the Kite

  • 1940 Rupert's Adventure Book

    Rupert and Uncle Bruno
    Rupert, Bill and the Bluebells
    Rupert and the Silver Trowel
    Rupert and the Iceberg
    Rupert and the Air Smugglers
    Rupert's Marvellous Bat
    Rupert and King Frost
    Rupert and the Pedlar

  • 1941 The Rupert Book

    Rupert and the Red Egg
    Rupert and the Baby Badger
    Rupert and the Mystery Pond
    Rupert and the Forest Fire
    Rupert and the Lost Boat
    Rupert and the Little Woodman
    Rupert and the Sugar Bird

  • 1942 More Adventures of Rupert

    Rupert and the Cartwheels
    Rupert and Odmedod
    Rupert and the Wrong Presents
    Rupert and the Old Ruin
    Rupert and the Little Plane
    Rupert and the Sea Serpent
    Rupert and the Fire
    Rupert at Sandy Bay

  • 1943 More Rupert Adventures

    Rupert and the Circus Dog
    Rupert and the Piper
    Rupert and the Banjo
    Rupert's Good Turn
    Rupert and Tiger Lily
    Rupert's Birthday
    Rupert and the Iron Key
    Rupert and Golly
    Rupert and the Black Moth
    Rupert's Big Game Hunt
    Rupert's River Adventure

  • 1944 Rupert in More Adventures

    Rupert and Rollo
    Rupert and the Old Map
    Rupert and the Tiny Flute
    Rupert and the Mystery Voice
    Rupert and the Yellow Cloak
    Rupert and Snuffy
    Rupert and Granny Goat
    Rupert's Rainy Adventure
    Rupert's Strange Party
    Rupert and the Dutch Doll

  • 1945 A New Rupert Book

    Rupert and the Reindeer
    Rupert and the Cuckoo
    Rupert and the Turnips
    Rupert and Jock
    Rupert and Willie
    Rupert's Fairy Cycle
    Rupert and the Music Man
    Rupert's Winter Journey
    Rupert and Bingo's Trail

  • 1946 New Rupert Book

    Rupert on Coon Island
    Rupert and Rastus
    Rupert and the Blue Mountain
    (Rupert and the Prince of China?)
    Rupert, Beppo and the Duck
    Rupert and Podgy
    Rupert and the Rocket Plane
    Rupert and Bingo
    Rupert and the Magic Dart

  • 1947 More Adventures of Rupert

    Rupert and the Top Hat
    Rupert and the Black Cat
    Rupert and the Young Dragon
    Rupert, Bill and the Merboy
    Rupert and the Paper Kettle
    Rupert and the Woffle Fly
    Rupert and Koko
    Rupert and the Wavy Wand
    Rupert's Christmas Tree

  • 1948 The Rupert Book

    Rupert and Jack Frost
    Rupert and the Blue Balloon
    Rupert and the Magic S(t)ock
    Rupert and the Sleepy Pears
    Rupert and Rosalie
    Rupert and the Rainbow
    Rupert's Puppy Hunt
    Rupert and Cedric
    Rupert and the Hobby(-)Horse

  • 1949 Rupert

    Rupert and Ninky
    Rupert and the Young Imp
    Rupert's Magic Top
    Rupert's Island Adventure
    Rupert and Uncle Grizzly
    Rupert and the Twins
    Rupert and the New Pal
    Rupert, Algy and the Bee
    Rupert and Pong(-)Ping's Party

  • 1950 Adventures of Rupert

    Rupert's Silver Trumpet
    Rupert and Margot's House/Horse
    Rupert and the Jumping Fish
    Rupert and the Gooseberry Fool
    Rupert and the Paper Plane
    Rupert and the Three Guides
    Rupert and the Travel Machine
    Rupert and the Big Bang
    Rupert and the Empty Cottage

  • 1951 The New Rupert Rook

    Rupert and Dr Lion
    Rupertand Ting(-)Ling
    Rupert and Mr Punch
    Rupert and the Lucky Man
    Rupert's Elfin Bell
    Rupert and the Runaways
    Rupert's Queer Path
    Rupert's Dull Day

  • 1952 More Rupert Adventures

    Rupert and the Mare's Nest
    Rupert and the Sea(-)Sprites
    Rupert and the Elephants
    Rupert and the Arrows
    Rupert, Beppo and the Caravan
    Rupert and the Snuff(-)box

  • 1953 More Adventures of Rupert

    Rupert and Miranda
    Rupert and the Green Buzzer
    Rupert, Algy and the Cannibals (1936)
    Rupert and the Missing Pieces
    Rupert in Mysteryland (1938)
    Rupert at Rocky Bay

  • 1954 The New Rupert

    Rupert and the Friendly Sea(-)Lion
    Rupert and the Sketch Book
    Rupert and the Castaway
    Rupert and the Backroom Boy
    Rupert and the Dragon Pills

  • 1955 Rupert

    Rupert and (the) Poll Parrot
    Rupert and the Blue Firework
    Rupert and the Autumn Primrose
    Rupert and the Unknown Journey
    Rupert and the Cough Drop

  • 1956 The Rupert Book

    Rupert and the Blue Moon
    Rupert and Unlucky Simon
    Rupert and the Bandits' Cave (aka Rupert's Climbing Adventure)
    Rupert and the Flying Sorcerer

  • 1957 Rupert

    Rupert and the Crackerjack
    Rupert and the Pine Ogre
    Rupert and the Lion Rock
    Rupert and the Wind Whistle

  • 1958 Rupert

    Rupert and the Water(-)Lily
    Rupert and the New Bonnet
    Rupert and the Ice Flowers
    Rupert and the Spring Adventure
    Rupert and the Train Journey

  • 1959 Rupert

    Rupert and the Copper Bird
    Rupert and the River Rescue
    Rupert and the Butterflies
    Rupert and the Hazel Nut
    Rupert and the Toy Scout

  • 1960 Rupert

    Rupert and the Crystal
    Rupert and Morwenna
    Rupert and Ozzie
    Rupert and the Diamond Leaf

  • 1961 Rupert

    Rupert and the Hearth(-)Rug
    Rupert and the Pepper Rose
    Rupert and the Black Spark
    Rupert and the New Boat
    Rupert at/and Greyrocks Cove

  • 1962 Rupert

    Rupert and the Dragon Fly
    Rupert and the Robins
    Rupert and Niagara
    Rupert and the Bad Dog
    Rupert and the Coral Island

  • 1963 Rupert

    Rupert and the Birthday Present
    Rupert and the Golden Acorn
    Rupert and the Lost Cuckoo
    Rupert and the Inventor
    Rupert and the Cold(-)Cure

  • 1964 Rupert

    Rupert and the Dover Sole
    Rupert and the Distant Music
    Rupert and the Compass
    Rupert and the Dog(-)Roses
    Rupert and the Rock Pool

  • 1965 Rupert

    Rupert and (the) Gaffer
    Rupert and the Winter Woolley
    Rupert and the Old Hat
    Rupert and Rusty

  • 1966 Rupert

    Rupert and the Magic Ball
    Rupert and the Secret Boat
    Rupert and (the) Billy Goat
    Rupert and the Spring Chicken

  • 1967 Rupert

    Rupert and the Lost List
    Rupert and the Jackdaw
    Rupert and Floppity
    Rupert and the Carved Stick

  • 1968 Rupert

    Rupert and (the) Truant
    Rupert and the Fiddle
    Rupert and the Fire(-)bird
    Rupert and the Rolling Ball

  • 1969 Rupert

    Rupert and the Whistlefish
    Rupert and the Old Chimney
    Rupert and the Snowball
    Rupert and Raggety
    Rupert and the Fishing Rod

  • 1970

    Rupert and the Outlaws
    Rupert and the Blunderpuss
    Rupert and the Paper Fall
    Rupert and the Sky(-)Boat

  • 1971 Rupert

    Rupert and the Gomnies
    Rupert and the Popweed
    Rupert and the Early Bird
    Rupert and the Windlings

  • 1972 Rupert

    Rupert's Deep Sea Adventure
    Rupert and the Learner
    Rupert and the Rugger Match
    Rupert and Gwyneth

  • 1973 Rupert

    Rupert and the Bouncers
    Rupert and the Housemouse
    Rupert and the Waterfall
    Rupert and the Flying Boat

  • 1974 Rupert

    Rupert and the Iron Spade
    Rupert and Jenny Frost
    Rupert and the Secret Path
    Rupert and the Little Bells

  • 1975 Rupert

    Rupert and the Little River
    Rupert and the Thinking Cap
    Rupert and the Broken Plate
    Rupert and the Blue Star
    Rupert and the Winter Sale

  • 1976 Rupert

    Rupert and the Jumping Men
    Rupert and Young Kevin
    Rupert and the Hot Water
    Rupert and the Windy Day

  • 1977 Rupert

    Rupert and the Winkybickies
    Rupert and the Fire-Lighter
    Rupert and Septimus
    Rupert and the Silent Land

  • 1978 Rupert

    Rupert and the Rivals
    Rupert and the Squire
    Rupert and the Boffit
    Rupert and the Secret Shell
    Rupert's Odd Party

  • 1979 Rupert

    Rupert and the Penguins
    Rupert and the Moon Moths
    Rupert and the Ice Skates
    Rupert and the Capricorn

  • 1980 Rupert

    Rupert and the Flavours
    Rupert and the Mixed Magic
    Rupert and the Blizzard
    Rupert and the Ocean Office

  • 1981 Rupert

    Rupert and the Castle Trap
    Rupert and the Wicked Uncle
    Rupert and the Buzzing Box
    Rupert and the Wrong Sweets
    (Rupert and the Silent Dog?)
    Rupert and the Baby Cloud

  • 1982 Rupert

    Rupert and Pong(-)Ping (1938)
    Rupert and the Umbrella Boy
    Rupert and the Gemlins
    Rupert and the Snow Puzzle
    Rupert and the Red Box

  • 1983 Rupert

    Rupert and the Black Circle
    Rupert and the Dragon Race
    Rupert and Santa Paws
    Rupert's Autumn Adventure (1936)

  • 1984 Rupert

    Rupert and the Two Moons
    Rupert and the Wee Man
    Rupert and the Igloo
    Rupert and the Wonderful Kite (1936)
    Rupert and the Cuckoo Clock (1938)

  • 1985 Rupert

    (note: this 50th anniversary special made a point of containing one story from the 30s, one from the 40s, and so on, so they had a good excuse for repetition in this case)

    Rupert, Bill and the Pearls (1936)
    Rupert at/and Pong-Ping's Party (1949)
    Rupert and the Unknown Journey (1955)
    Rupert and the Snowstorm
    Rupert and the Pirate Boys
    Rupert and the Windmill

  • 1986 Rupert

    Rupert and the Strange Airman (1939)
    Rupert and Rika
    Rupert and the Worried Elves
    Rupert and the Dragon Mystery
    Rupert and the Mulp Gulper
    Rupert and the Iceberg (1940)

  • 1987 Rupert

    Rupert and the River Pirates
    Rupert and the Worg Seeds
    Rupert and the Lotus Isle
    Rupert and Hamish
    Rupert and Old Tom's Trove

  • 1988 Rupert

    Rupert on Um Island
    Rupert and the Go-Cart
    Rupert and the Sleeping Village
    Rupert, Beppo and the Kite (1939)
    Rupert and Terry's Return
    Rupert and Podgy's Christmas

  • 1989 Rupert

    Rupert and the Boomerarrow
    Rupert and the Knight
    Rupert and the Thaw
    Rupert and the Power Flower
    Rupert and Algy's Misadventure
    Rupert and Rika's Return

  • 1990 Rupert

    Rupert and Little Yum
    Rupert and the Sea Queen
    Rupert and the Eastern Isle
    Rupert and the Little Train
    Rupert and Willie's Present

  • 1991 Rupert

    Rupert and the Angry Sea
    Rupert and the Sacred Crows
    Rupert and the River Rogues
    Rupert and the Twilight Fan
    Rupert and the Stolen Snowman

  • 1992 Rupert

    Rupert and the Falling Leaf
    Rupert and the Wool Gatherers
    Rupert and the Sea Urchin
    Rupert and the Gardens Mystery
    Rupert and the Missing Snow

  • 1993 Rupert

    Rupert and Ottoline
    Rupert and the Chinese Creeper
    Rupert and the Rosalie's Adventure
    Rupert and the Sands of Time
    Rupert and the April Fool

  • 1994 Rupert

    Rupert and the Spaceship
    Rupert and the Peacock Hedge
    Rupert and the Beachcombers
    Rupert and the Queen's Visit
    Rupert and Uncle Boris

  • 1995 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Pharaoh's Treasure
    Rupert and the Star Gazer
    Rupert and the Odmedod's Adventure
    Rupert and the Noisy Firework
    Rupert and the Christmas Tree

  • 1996 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Dragon Dance
    Rupert and the Lost Sheep
    Rupert and the Pirates
    Rupert and the Mail Train
    Rupert and the Deep Freeze

  • 1997 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Song Snatcher
    Rupert and the Magic Chalk
    Rupert and the Whale
    Rupert and the Water Boatman
    Rupert and Santa's Present

  • 1998 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Missing Cakes
    Rupert and the Goose Chase
    Rupert and the Raft
    Rupert and the Sundial
    Rupert and the Pumpkin Pie
    Rupert and Uncle Polar

  • 1999 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Forest Throne
    Rupert and the Gold-Rush
    Rupert and the Skylark
    Rupert and the Apple Trees
    Rupert and the Christmas List

  • 2000 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Fool's Prize
    Rupert and the Rust Mites
    Rupert and the Strawberries
    Rupert and the Harvest Moon
    Rupert and the Smokescreen
    Rupert and the Christmas Cake

  • 2001 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Coronation
    Rupert and the Seaweed
    Rupert's Birthday Adventure
    Rupert and the Pearl Fishers
    Rupert and the Nut Hatch
    Rupert and the Christmas Box

  • 2002 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Broken Wand
    Rupert and the Artist
    Rupert and the Whizz Watch
    Rupert and the Cloud Catchers
    Rupert and the Christmas Play
    Rupert and the Christmas Fairy

  • 2003 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Water Bottle
    Rupert and the Ringer
    Rupert and the Late Start
    Rupert and the Lost Shell
    Rupert and the Blue Vase
    Rupert and the White Path

  • 2004 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Sky Pirates
    Rupert and the Golden Pipe
    Rupert and the Summer Roses
    Rupert and the Runaway Balloon
    Rupert and the Screen
    Rupert and the Reindeer Rescue

  • 2005 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Speaking Pool
    Rupert and the Wind Chimes
    Rupert and the Sum Bean
    Rupert and the Secret
    Rupert and the Golden Apples
    Rupert and the Sparklers
    Rupert and the Gaffer's Guest

  • 2006 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Chimney Sweeper
    Rupert and the Peacock Hedge (1994)
    Rupert and the Presents Mix-up
    Rupert and the Missing Snowmen
    Rupert and Little Yum (1990)

  • 2007 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Sleeping Village (1988)
    Rupert and the Little Train (1990)
    Rupert and Algy's Misadventure (1989)
    Rupert and Podgy's Christmas (1988)
    Rupert and the Metal Horse

  • 2008 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Ice-Cream Van
    Rupert and the Fairy Tales
    Rupert and the Branch Line

  • 2009 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Dam
    Rupert and the Golden Carp
    Rupert and the Lost Sheep (1996)
    Rupert and the Cut

  • 2010 The 75th Rupert Annual

    Rupert at School
    Rupert's Queer Path (1951)
    Rupert's Birthday Surprise
    Rupert and the Snowbird

  • 2011 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Little Plane (1942)
    Rupert and Ozzie (1960)
    Rupert and the Mail Train (1996)
    Rupert and Robo

  • 2012 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Blue Moon (1956)
    Rupert and the River Pirates (1987)
    Rupert and the Bosun's Chair

  • 2013 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Cart Race
    Rupert and the Rugger Match (1972)
    Rupert and the Baby Cloud (1981)
    Rupert and the Missing Snow (1992)

  • 2014 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Boffit (1978)
    Rupert and the Ocean Office (1980)
    Rupert and the Nut Hatch (2001)
    Rupert and Snowflake

  • 2015 The 80th Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Mulp Gulper (1986)
    Rupert and the Coral Crown
    Rupert and the Noisy Firework (1995)
    Rupert and the Carved Stick (1967)
    Rupert and Santa Paws (1983)
    Rupert and the Christmas Box (2001)

  • 2016 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Iceberg (1940, 1986)
    Rupert and the Fiddle (1968)
    Rupert and the Gardens Mystery (1992)
    Rupert and the Gemlins (1982)
    Rupert and the Snowball (1969)
    Rupert and the Green Man

  • 2017 The Rupert Annual

    Rupert and the Boomerarrow (1989)
    Rupert and the Pepper-Rose (1961)
    Rupert and the Secret Shell (1978)
    Rupert and the Sundial (1998)
    Rupert and the Snow Puzzle (1982)
    Rupert and the Christmas Birds
    Rupert and the Goblin Cobbler (1939)

  • Thanks for this. I can remember reading Rupert and Little Yum to the daughter of close friends in 1990. It was her favourite story. She was only 4 years old (iirc) and I had to explain to her the concept of anthropomorphism, and how animals that ought to be free spirits can be treated as property. That was a hard sell. – Mick Dec 19 '17 at 17:45
  • You could give a special mention to the stories that were repeated more than once. For instance, Rupert and the Iceberg from 1940 was repeated in 1986 as well as 2016. – Mr Lister Dec 19 '17 at 21:30
  • @MrLister Good point; I edited the 2016 line to mention 1986 as well as 1940. – Rand al'Thor Dec 20 '17 at 11:01

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