20 February 2018

A Love Letter to Sophie the Giraffe

When you were little, who did you love the most? Some of you will have been inseparable from your Mummy. After all, she looked after you in her tumtum for 9 months, keeping you safe and warm. Some of you will have loved your Daddy, feeling protected and loving to feel his scratchy Velcro face.

Not my son. 

He’s in love with a 7 inch plastic Giraffe called Sophie.

Sophie la Girafe (which roughly translates as ‘Sophie the Giraffe’) was first created back in the 1960’s by Vulli, a French company. Since then, over 30 million have been sold. Unlike those tryhards Barbie and Sindy, Sophie hasn’t changed for close to 60 years.

At first glance, I don’t know why Sophie has become such a phenomenon. She has cold, lifeless, inky eyeholes which make you feel as if you’re staring directly into the abyss. Each time I look into her eyes, I have a mini existential crisis. 

She clearly wants to look her best but has applied a little too much rouge onto her cheeks. If you were going for a night out with Sophie(and why wouldn’t you be going out on the sesh with a 7 inch plastic Giraffe?) you’d quietly take her to one side and tell her to tone it down a little before you left the house. 

She also makes the most ridiculous noise. Admittedly, I don’t know what sort of noise a Giraffe makes. I imagine it sounds a bit like a long Horse. However, Sophie sounds like someone has roughly kicked a Dormouse in the testicles. It’s a silly noise, not befitting such a majestic creature.

Having said all of that, my son absolutely adores his Sophie. He spends 90% of his time trying to cram her entire head down his oesophagus and Sophie is by far his favourite toy. If we’d have known this, we wouldn’t have bothered buying him anything else. Most of his toys will never get their turn because he’s too busy trying to deepthroat a Giraffe.

My wife used to work for a well known children’s store and would frequently see Mummies buying 2 Sophie’s, just in case they lost 1. Similarly, in France there are more Sophie’s sold than babies born. I now understand this need to always have a Sophie nearby. We may have to install a glass case in our house, containing an emergency Sophie...just in case anything happens to the one we have.

When we first got our Sophie, I thought she be no more than a fleeting visitor into our lives, something that my son would enjoy for 5 minutes before consigning to the sad pile of unloved toys. Over the last few weeks, she has proven why she has been so well loved for the past 60 years. She has outlived Furbies. She has outlived Troll Dolls. She has outlived Tamagotchis. She has outlived Beyblades...and she’ll outlive YOU!!

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