The little giraffe was born on the 25th of May in the year 1961… St Sophie’s Day! In those days, the only animal toys available were farm animals or pet figures. That is why one day in France, a certain Monsieur RAMPEAU, who was an expert in transforming latex from the HEVEA tree using the rotational molding of rubber as a toy-making concept, came up with the idea of designing a giraffe.
Such an exotic wildlife figure would be a first on the market, and its size and shape would be ideal for a baby’s small hands to grasp. Sophie la girafe, who looked exactly the same then as she does today, went into production on Thursday, May 25th, hence her name.She was an immediate success.
Young mothers immediately saw that she was a must for their children when the first signs of teething appear, Sophie la girafe helps a baby stop crying and by simple word of mouth, the little giraffe’s fame spread. Since that time, in Europe, generation upon generation of children have loved hearing Sophie squeak whenever they pressed her tummy and head!
Vulli, a company based in Rumilly in the Haute-Savoie Region of France, has continued to keep the jealously-guarded secret of how this wonder toy is made. Sophie is still “traditionally” produced to this day, a process that involves more than 14 manual operations. She is made from 100% natural rubber derived from the latex of the Hevea trees growing in Malaysia. Each morning before the heat of the day settles in, the milky liquid that oozes from the cells beneath the bark is collected from these millions of Hevea trees. This liquid is known as “latex” and is natural, soft, elastic, waterproof, insulating, and pleasant to the smell and touch.
To create the little wonder that is Sophie la girafe, Vulli first heats the latex using a special process involving the “rotomoulding” technique and then performs a series of 14 manual operations.
Despite being born in 1961, Sophie la girafe has not aged in the slightest. With over 50 million units sold, she is the undisputed star among toddlers.
Today, Calisson distributes Sophie la giraffe in the United States. For more information call 949/ 493-5154 or visit www.sophiethegiraffe-usa.com.