… the simple story of a giraffe born on May 25th in the year 1961, Saint Sophie’s day.
In those days, the only animal toys available were farm animals and pet .
Interview with Helene MONTGOMERY
Who is Sophie?
Every baby you know chews on the same rubber Sophie giraffe.
Made from 100% natural rubber and still “traditionally” produced for more than 50 years,
Sophie la giraffe is Baby’s first toy stimulating each of his senses
from the age of 3 months!
The giraffe tends to appear in parents’ lives sometime around the birth of a first child. It’s 7.5 inches tall, squeaky, and vaguely vanilla-scented. Its pupil-less eyes have the same blank, dazed expression newborns might recognize in the sleep-deprived parents dangling the toy above their crib.
What makes Sophie so special compared to other similar toys?
Monsieur RAMPEAU, who was an expert in transforming the 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 hand to grasp.
Yet in less than a decade Sophie went from being a virtual unknown in the US to the go-to baby gift for the upper-middle class. Roughly 500,000 Sophies are sold in the US each year. Its price point is right in prime baby shower gift territory. The giraffe is the 10th most popular baby item on Amazon, alongside staples like changing pads and breast milk storage bags.
What does Sophie mean for French families, is she a part of their traditions?
In France, where the toy manufacturer Vulli produced its first Sophie on May 25, 1961, la girafe is a childhood staple. Sophie sales match or surpass annual birth rates.
When French expatriate Hélène Dumoulin-Montgomery gave birth to her daughter in California in 2000, she looked for a toy Sophie for her baby like the one she’d had as a child. Sophie wasn’t sold in the US at the time. Dumoulin-Montgomery, who then worked part-time as a realtor’s assistant, contacted Vulli and asked for permission to import the toy.
“It’s her face. There’s something magical about it,” Dumoulin-Montgomery said. “I wish I could go in the head of a baby just to know.”
Can you explain how Sophie taps into all five senses?
Sophie la girafe’s squeaker keeps baby amused and stimulates his hearing. To begin with, the funny sound she makes when she is squeezed helps to stimulate their hearing, and then later, helps them to understand the link between cause and effect.
Touch is the first means a baby has to communicate with the outside world.
Sophie la girafe’s soft feel, like baby’s mother’s skin, stimulates physiological and emotional responses that soothe baby and promote healthy growth and well-being.
At the age of 3 months, a baby’s eyesight is still limited, and he can only make out high contrasts.
The dark and contrasting attention-catching spots all over Sophie la girafe’s body provide visual stimulation and she soon becomes a familiar and reassuring object for baby.
Made of 100% natural rubber and foodgrade
paints, she is completely safe to chew. Sophie la girafe is akin to the nipple of a feeding-bottle.
Her soft texture and numerous chewable parts (ears, horns, legs), makes her perfect for soothing
baby’s sore gums during teething.
The singular scent of natural rubber from the Hevea tree makes Sophie la girafe very special and
easy for your child to identify amid all their other toys.
Easy to grip
Thanks to her shape and 18cm size, Sophie la girafe is perfect for baby’s small hands. She is very
light, and her long legs and neck make it easy for baby to grip, even from their earliest days