Friday, September 30, 2011

Wonderful and Interesting Toys from France

By Rebecca, Shelter Tools Staff

Founded in France in 1972, Moulin Roty began as an experiment in communal living. Thirty friends decided to live and work together to renovate an old, run-down farm. Within 3 years they had converted the barns into workshops and produced their first two toys: a simple wooden car and a soft cloth doll. Growing from these humble roots, Moulin Roty is now an international company offering over 500 different toys. In 1980, they acquired SCOP (Société Cooperative et Participative) status, which means that their 40 employees are also their majority stockholders. Not only do Moulin Roty employees own more than 51% of the company, each stockholder—no matter how much their individual stake—only gets one vote at stakeholder meetings.

The beautiful, timeless toys that Moulin Roty makes can be hard to find on this side of the Atlantic. Because all of their products are designed and made in France, everything has to be imported to the USA. But it is certainly worth the trouble. Moulin Roty’s most popular toys are just like the first two they made in 1975—whimsical cloth dolls and sturdy wooden toys of all sizes. Yet the French toy company has expanded beyond just these two categories and currently makes everything from clothing, rugs and quilts to music boxes, tiddlywinks, and full-size cribs. Indeed, Moulin Roty makes something for children of all ages.

Toy collectors especially appreciate the incredible quality and timelessness of their toys, which come in two lines: the Main Range and Childhood Memories. The Main Range primarily features cloth dolls in different themes and characters, but we here at Shelter are more partial to the Childhood Memories series. That’s where you can find the child-size (yet functional!) garden sets, sewing/knitting kit, kitchen toys (including an adorable baking set) and—best of all—workshop tools! There’s even a miniature tool bench complete with a functional front vise.

We recently received an email from Bob and Judy in New Jersey about the Moulin Roty Ride On Plane:

Jack, our Grandson, just loves this toy. I have attached a photo, as you can see it has made him one very happy little boy....we can't get him off the thing!! He zips through the house, with his bulldog chasing close behind....We expect him to take flight any day. And the special part is, this is such a well made toy, we're sure it will pass on to Jack's son one day.
Jack takes flight
Stop by Shelter to see Moulin Roty products in person at our store or contact us for more details. These beautiful toys are not to be missed!

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