Sophie la Girafe is a French teething toy created in 1961 — and a global star:
Priced at $25 in the U.S., compared with less than $5 for more ordinary teethers, Sophie is stocked in high-end baby boutiques around the world, including Mexico, Japan and Australia. The offspring of celebrities such as Sandra Bullock and Kate Hudson have been photographed clutching the giraffe.
Vulli’s sales of €22 million ($29 million) have more than quadrupled since 2006, just before Sophie was first sold outside France. This year, for the first time, the company expects to sell more outside of France than domestically.
That’s saying something, because in France, Sophie is a national tradition. In 2010, Vulli sold 816,000 giraffes in France, and 828,000 babies were born, meaning that nearly every French newborn got one.
Sophie isn’t nearly as elite at home in France. Local supermarkets sell the blister-packaged toy for $12, less than half of its U.S. sticker price.