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Once upon a time, a simple story, the little giraffe was born on 25th May in year 1961, Saint 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 sap from the hevea tree using the rotational moulding 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 the Giraffe, who looked exactly the same then as she does today, went into production on Thursday 25th May.
She was an immediate success. Sophie quickly became a “must have” in baby’s essentials. Designed to stimulate the senses and soothe teething gums, parents recognised right away the benefits of this little giraffe for their child.
By simple word of mouth, the little giraffe’s fame spread.
From then on in Europe, generation upon generation of children were to love hearing Sophie squeak whenever they pressed her tummy or 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 the Giraffe is still “traditionally” produced to this day, a process that involves more than 14 manual operations.