In search of Sylvanians

2 Jun

The 8 year old has never really played with toys.  Certainly not according to the manufacturers’ instructions anyway.  Her play usually involves dressing up and telling convoluted stories with numerous props and her brothers as extras.  The only toy that has ever properly captured her imagination is the Sylvanian Families range.  These little, fuzzy, animal families come dressed in quasi-Edwardian clothes and with an astonishing array of fingernail sized accessories.  Each animal has a name and character traits and their typical hobbies include holidaying on canal boats and having piano lessons.

It wasn’t a huge surprise when I found out that despite the European image that they project, they are actually Japanese.  Somewhere near Mount Fuji, there is a Sylvanian Families theme park, with lifesize characters.  This will either be completely brilliant or more than a bit scary.  We are going to find out.

I quite often photograph the Sylvanians, at the eight year old’s request.  She has plans to make a stop motion animation with them during the summer holidays.  Storyboards are being drawn up as we speak.  She set up this tableau entitled ‘Bath Time’.

But I wasn’t sure whether a tableau really counts as a still life, so I took this one too.  I like it’s macabre qualities.  I might ask the eight year old to make up a story to go with it.

This post was written for The Gallery at Sticky Fingers.  This week’s prompt was ‘still life’.

21 Responses to “In search of Sylvanians”

  1. TheMadHouse 02/06/2010 at 9:38 am #

    They are so cute, can not wait to see the animation

  2. Plan B 02/06/2010 at 9:42 am #

    Oh! I used to LOVE Sylvanian Families. My favourite was the baby mole. Had no idea they still existed. Am most impressed with the 8yo’s attention to detail too. I don’t think I ever reached that level.

    Am finding the Sylvanian Families theme park just a little scary though…

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:49 am #

      That makes you very young. I don’t think they existed when I was little. I like the baby Pandas. I think they’re called Chi Chi and Cha Cha Bamboo.

      • Kate 02/06/2010 at 7:20 pm #

        My 8 year old just got the Sylvanian caravan for her birthday with all its TINY accessories. The bunks look particularly precarious…

        • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:39 pm #

          The accessories are SO tiny. They get lost almost instantly. And only children have fingers small enough to play with them.

  3. jfb57 02/06/2010 at 9:44 am #

    Aren’t they lovely!It must be great when the children make up stories about them!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:47 am #

      They are actually really cute. Very glad she prefers these to Barbies and Bratz dolls.

  4. Mummylimited 02/06/2010 at 11:56 am #

    I uses to do this with my Barbies. Fly in the wall shots of them relaxing I their camper van. Brilliant!

  5. @jencull (jen) 02/06/2010 at 12:27 pm #

    The last shot reminds me of my mental picture of the last scene from Hamlet (its been that long since I did the play I am not even sure I got the name right so the ‘to be or not to be’ play) 😀 Very clever photos. Hope your daughters film goes well:) Jen.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:38 pm #

      Maybe we should do Hamlet with sylvanians!

  6. New Mummy 02/06/2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Brings back a lot of memories, great photos. I can’t wait for the story x

  7. Sandy Calico 02/06/2010 at 2:42 pm #

    The ‘Sylvanian bathroom massacre’ (as I’m calling it) has really tickled me, I keep chuckling. Good job I’m on my own! 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:42 pm #

      That’s excellent. I feel a vlog coming on…

  8. Gigi (MumsRock) 02/06/2010 at 3:02 pm #

    `Still maintain they are only good as cleaning aids in leiu of dead house mice. Although I imagine they make fairly successful dinner guests at a push 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:41 pm #

      They always dress smartly. But they don’t say much.

  9. anna 02/06/2010 at 3:21 pm #

    I used to love Sylvanians too! I wonder if my mum still has my collection. A friend had the tree-top house set up & I was v jealous of that.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:41 pm #

      You should ask her! You could start playing with them again…

  10. Crystal Jigsaw 02/06/2010 at 9:29 pm #

    I won’t be able to look at them in Argos in the same way ever again!

    CJ xx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 02/06/2010 at 9:40 pm #


  11. Solveig 03/06/2010 at 8:09 am #

    Wow, I remember Sylvanians. I used to play with them – the advantages of having a sister 5 years younger than me!!

  12. Jason 08/06/2010 at 7:50 pm #

    My 5 year old daughter has a whole bunch of those and she loves them. Here in the US they call them Calico Critters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: