Once upon a time…
In those days, the only animal toys available were farm animal 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 a Thursday 25th May, whence her name. She was an immediate success. Young mothers straightaway saw that she was a must for their children... When the first signs of teething appear, Sophie the Giraffe helps baby stop crying! By simple word of mouth, the little giraffe's fame spread.
Vulli, a company based in Rumilly in the French Alps 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. She is made from 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree.
A 100% natural rubber toy
Latex from the rubber tree (Hevea) was first processed in 1928 using the vulcanization invented by Mr Charles Goodyear.
The rubber used by Vulli comes from the Hevea trees that grow in Malaysia. Every morning, before the daytime heat sets 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”. Latex is natural, elastic and water-resistant, acts as an insulator, is pleasant to the touch and smells nice. Vulli takes this latex, heats it, and then applies a special process and rotational moulding technique.
The result after 14 manual operations is the wonderful little “Sophie the Giraffe”.
The “must have” toy for all newborn babies
Sophie the Giraffe has been around for more than 46 years but is still the “must have” toy for all newborn babies, because she is the 1st baby toy to stimulate all 5 senses from the age of three months:
• Sight: The dark and contrasting attention-catching spots all over Sophie the Giraffe's body provide visual stimulation.
• Hearing: Sophie the Giraffe's squeaker keeps baby amused and stimulates his hearing.
• Taste: Sophie the Giraffe is made of 100% natural rubber and food paint, and is completely safe to chew. Her soft texture and numerous chewable parts make her perfect for soothing baby's sore gums during teething.
• Touch: Touch Sophie the Giraffe's soft feel stimulates physiological and emotional responses that soothe baby and promote healthy growth and well-being.
• Smell: The singular scent of natural rubber makes Sophie the Giraffe very special and easy for the child to identify amid all his other toys.
• Easy to grip: Sophie the Giraffe's shape and 18cm size are perfect for baby's small hands. She is very light, and her long legs and neck are easy for baby to grip.
A huge success all around the world
Since 1961, 30,000,000 giraffes have been sold in the world.
800,000 babies were born in France last year; over 700,000 giraffes have been sold!
Her success has been huge in Europe, America and in Canada.
Sophie comes in its present box with a birth certificate to fill in.
Stars love Sophie too! Naomi Watts, Sofia Coppola and Nicole Ritchie have all bought a Sophie the Giraffe for their children.