I remember the original run of this, although I think I was only two at the time. That was back in the hey-day of Saturday morning TV. Ironically, it was not much stranger than a lot of the popular pre-school children's shows on now.
Jack Wild wasn't the star of Oliver but played the Artful Dodger in the movie. In fact he was so well known at the time for the role I believe there was a reference to him as the Artful Dodger in the Puffnstuff movie.
There was also a lawsuit against McDonalds because their characters were too close to the Puffnstuff characters.