The Moulin Roty range has also changed over the years. Like all companies, they need to keep things fresh and interesting, which means they introduce a new range or two every year. Which is great!
BUT sadly, this also means that a range or two has to be 'dropped' or discontinued.
Sometimes the discontinuations have really surprised me - ranges that seem to do so well! - but we must remember they are naturally led by the French market, and sometimes the ranges that do well here in the UK, just one of their export territories, don't perform so well elsewhere.
So this blog post is dedicated to some of the toys that have come and gone over the years. (I feel it should have a bit of a sad sound track playing in the background)
And for those desperately trying to track down old toys, the very best place to try is the French ebay site - www.ebay.fr - they have lots of older stuff on there.
Edouard the Duck
Edouard was such a lovely little chap. Red check, linen and a cream plush body. He was a bestseller for me for years and I couldn't believe it when he flew off into the distance
A lovely safari range of lion, giraffe, monkey and elephant. Happily Moulin Roty have just introduced 'Les Papoum' a new jungle range for 2015 which shares some characters.
Ah, Lila. I still remember when she was brand new! Such a gorgeous little grey mouse, in a really rosy print dress. She was sort of replaced by Myrtille et Capucine (a pair of pink bunnies) but they're about to go too now...
Bright strong colours and quirky magical characters - Dragobert himself was a dragon but his little clown / jester friends were also very popular.
Louna the bee and lots of little insect friends. Bright, fresh colours - greens and pinks and oranges. Popular for years and apparently a big big hit in France so not sure why this one went... but everything changes.
Aime et Celeste
Not around for that long, but I always loved this range as it seemed so very French to me. Classic navy and silvery grey - doll, rabbit, mouse. I suppose it was rather grown up, but I loved it.
Balthazar et Valentine
Two cheerful beret wearing mice, grey plush and bright cheerful outfits.There was also a lovely turquoise hen who outsold the mice at Cottontails.
Koko La Lune
Another favourite of mine - soft neutral colours, creams, greens and oranges. Koko was a little doll with a fox friend. I think the idea was they lived on the moon? The bestseller for me, by a long way, was the sleepy cat...
Malo et Mila
Ah I loved this pair! Bathing bunnies dressed in blue... I think the range was called Une Dimanche sur la Mer (or something like that) - meaning a 'Sunday by the Sea'. This is another range I was asked for long after Mila and Malo swam off into the distance...
Lise et Lulu
A lovely blue and yellow collection of rabbit and mouse. Gosh I remember selling lots of this when I first opened my little high street shop, so we're talking well over 10 years ago now.
Zoe et Zephir
An insect collection - crickets and dragonflies and ladybirds. The real big seller for me was the ladybird on a leaf comforter.
Collette et Pinpin
A doll and a dog. It's funny, this range never really took off at Cottontails, and yet after it was discontinued I had so many requests for replacements. People must have been buying the originals somewhere else!
Very gentle nursery colours in this bunny and mouse. I was asked for this range for years and years after it was discontinued, but not for a couple of years now - guess those babies are all grown up (sorry about picture quality - this is real archive stuff!)
Crockery and kitchenwear
One of the things that drew me to Moulin Roty in the first place was their *amazing* range of lovely quality French toy crockery. They still do a couple of bits, but nothing like the entire kitchen they used to make. I have some bits at home, I use them in my kitchen. And Rudolph rabbit often has his dinner on a miniature fruit stand!
Limited edition rag dolls - Gaspard was the boy, TingTing and Suzanne the girls. Gaspard didn't do that well and was replaced by Rosalie. They only made so many of the them at a time (was it 5000? I can't remember) and they came in a lovely box.
Gertrude & Lucien
Just two bunnies, but they were really special and I loved them. I still have a Gertrude here (she had a faulty neck so I couldn't sell her - something had gone wrong in the joint) and she lives in a dolls cot, looking beautiful (again sorry about the picture quality - from the archives!)
I always described him as a 'gentleman bear' as he was so nicely dressed. He came with some great furniture too...
A lovely eclectic collection of creatures presented in their own gift boxes. I always loved the sheep best, he has fabulous fleecy fur...
The 'long legs'
I always called this range the 'long legs' because they were so dangly, and I can't for the life of me remember their official name! Anyway, whoever they were, there were three of them and I do remember their individual names - Polo. Gege and Momo.
I loved this scruffy band of dogs! There were three of them: Roger, Raymond and Robert...
Well there we have it, a little trip down memory lane. This is not completely comprehensive, even as I type and assemble images other toys are coming back to me... there was a range called The Stray Bunch I think, and Paul et Virginie... but I'll be here all day if I keep going!
Finally, as I write in June 2015, there are a few more ranges 'on their way out' - so stock up now if these include your favourites:
Myrtille & Capucine, (they've almost gone, I just have a couple of items left),
Biscotte & Pompom
Basile et Lola (again just a few items left, only Lola...)