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Sophie the giraffe, world conqueror

Sophie, the cult of the giraffe



Though China is leader in the toy industry, a little French lady still plays with the big cats: Sophie the giraffe. She's past 50 years old, but is still the first baby toy in France. Now, she's stretching her long neck beyond borders.


Friend of future carnivores

18 cm of latex body, a cute face and a specific squeezing sound: Sophie la girafe has slept in all cradles of France. In 2010, 816,000 Sophies were sold for 828,000 births registered!

The giraffe never had any advertisement campaign, nor played in any movie. But her success proves the effectiveness of word-of-mouth. She has built her reputation more than 50 years ago. Her first consumers are now grandparents themselves... and she does not have one wrinkle!

Sophie surely has many assets in her hands. She's a real toolkit for personal development of underage babies: she improves the sense of touch through her complex design, the hearing with her squeezing sound and sight with her dotted body. But most of all, Sophie the giraffe is the perfect companion when babies start growing their teeth.


The best of the "Made in France"

The giraffe was born on the 25th of May 1961 - the day of Saint Sophie - in the Delacoste workshops in Asnières-sur-Oise. Since then, Sophie has stayed the same. She only changed her legs: in 1981, they gained curves to comply with security standards.

This continuity is present in the business model of the Vulli company, of which she is the emblem. Manufacture methods are still artisanal: 14 manual operations are needed to create the toy, proudly displaying its "Made in France" label. Since its launch, the company is based in the Haute-Savoie region and registers today 80 workers and a 25 million Euros turnover.


Sophie the explorer

Vulli took its time to push Sophie the giraffe out of French borders, relying on its simple success. In 2006, a new shareholder and a new CEO arrived, which marked the rise of development for the small company.

In its marketing approach, the manufacturer relied on the proven method of word-of-mouth. The company recruited bicultural couples in charge of the promotion of the brand in their country. In the age of social media and blogging mothers, the toy quickly reached success. Today, 64 % of the company turnover is generated worldwide, mainly in the United-States: Sophie the giraffe was chosen "Product of the year 2012". Vulli now develops over 200 products, from decoration accessories to strollers. In 2014, Sophie even had a cousin: Al’Thir. The camel has the same characteristics has the giraffe and hopes for the same success story... in the Middle East.