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EXCLUSIVE: The Tufty Club set for a comeback and reinvention ‘in a bigger way’

Ref:A0513
Published: 22 July 2013

tufty club red squirrel


“He obviously doesn’t have the coverage he used to have but we are considering whether it would be right to bring Tufty back in a bigger way.” That is the voice of Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety for RoSPA (The Royals Society for the Prevention of Accidents).


Tufty, the road safety red squirrel, who was a favourite for millions of children in the Sixties and Seventies, ‘was a very powerful character for its day’. 


“It’s good for that very young age group, focussing on holding onto their parents and not crossing the road alone,” Mr Clinton said. “Whether it’s specifically Tufty, I think it would probably need to be updated and made more relevant to 2013.


He agreed that there needs to be more of a focus on that very young age group, with a particular focus on young pedestrian safety. Mr Clinton could not decide what animal would be suitable for young children. “The key thing with any animal character or cartoon character is being confident that the children can then relate it to their real life and real situations because of course there isn’t going to be a talking dinosaur or a talking squirrel so the crucial thing is that it’s transferrable to their real lives,” he said. 


“But we want to be sure. What would be the best way of doing that? And how would we be sure that the youngsters would relate to what they see with Tufty which is not a real situation to when they’re out on the road in reality?


“And it could be for instance that Tufty could be a way of good nostalgia of helping parents educate and keep their children safe on the roads because the parents will remember Tufty from when they were young children, whereas their children wouldn’t.”


The crucial thing, he said, is making sure the lessons and videos relate to real life situations.

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