Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Toys of Paris

It's an intriguing notion to realise that children in Paris grow up with a totally different imaginary world than children in English speaking countries. Of course it seems quite natural that this is so when you think about it, but their childhood world is peopled by rather different characters. A visit to the toy section of Galleries Lafayette makes it rather obvious. 


Of course you have to stop gazing upwards at the magnificent dome.



And then keep going upwards past the floor of Seduction Fashion





Smurfs are still a big deal in France. Or, Les Schtroumpfs, as the French call them. Not really surprising when you find out that they were originally Belgian creations, and that the original name was actually Les Schtroumpfs. Their English name Smurf is actually borrowed from their Dutch name. Thanks wiki




Elmer is there. An English elephant.



Finally, a French classic.  Le Petit Nicolas.


 T'choupi too.

Le Petit Prince action figure sets. 


Of course not everyone is unfamiliar. 





Saturday Snapshot, is a wonderful weekly meme from at home with books



Paris in July is cohosted by Karen at BookBath and Tamara at Thyme for Tea 

24 comments:

Susan Lindquist said...

Cool! Smurfs always reminded me of Trolls that we played with as kids ... that dome is magnificent!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Louise, these are great photos, I love the dome. The toys are different from what we tend to see here in the US.

Marg said...

Wow! That dome is amazing!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

What a wonderfully colorful story...perfectly illustrated.

Thanks for sharing.

Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

bermudaonion said...

I've been to that store quite a few times, but tried not to spend too much time in the toy department. Is that Mr. Bib in the bin with the elephants?

Christine Harding said...

I've been in, just to gaze at the amazing ceiling, but I wish I'd gone to look at the toys!My Snapshot is at http://goo.gl/qCafm

skiourophile said...

I spent ages in the toy department there - so fascinating. I must go back this trip!

michelle said...

What a delightful post! Never realized Smurfs were so popular over there. The Nicolas reminded me of the French penpal I had when I was young, also named Nicolas, and he used to draw cartoons of himself looking exactly like that. :)

Bev Hankins said...

Very cool! I had no idea about the origins of Smurfs. Not that I've thought about it too much (Smurfs were popular here when I had gotten old enough to not be too interested...). And I haven't seen the recent movie.

Here's my Snapshot.

Cipriano said...

Smurftastic shots!
That first photo looks like something from the set of the movie "Hugo".

rippleeffects said...

You have the most unique ideas for Paris in July posts. First the birds, then Polly Pockets, now the toys. These are interesting photos... an insider's view. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into everyday France.

Eva said...

Great post, and so nice to be reminded of the smurfs.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

Smurfs! I remember those. That dome is a beauty.

marveloustales said...

Huh, that is interesting to think about, that the classic staples of childhood really aren't the same across all borders. Though I do recognize Elmer and the Little Prince!

Irene said...

What a great visit. Thanks for sharing.

Alyce said...

That dome is glorious! I loved smurfs when I was a kid, but now I just find them to be annoying. :) I'm thankful that my kids aren't into them.

gautami tripathy said...

Interesting pictures...They tell a story or two!

Here is my Saturday Snapshot post!

Hannah said...

I think it was in Paris that I saw Twilight barbie/action (action? HAHAHA a likely story) dolls. *shudder* If only some cities were sacred!

Louise said...

The dome is certainly magnificent, it's hard to keep from just staring upward- I'm sure it's an easy way to pick the tourists (well one of the easy ways). It could easily have been used in Hugo.

Kathy- I'm not familiar with Mr Bib. Actually I just googled him, but I suspect you're right- well spotted. And heh, I learnt something from my own post. Gotta love that. I always thought he was just called the Michelin Man.

Michelle- I'm glad to have brought back a nice memory for you.

Rippleeffects- thanks so much.

Alyce- I'm glad my son never went through a smurf stage too.

Hannah- you bought one yes?

Kailana said...

I'd love to see that dome in person!

Paulita said...

What fun to visit a Paris toystore in search of classic French toys. Whenever we visited to get toys for the kids, we focused on toy soldiers, wooden castle blocks and sail boats. My kids did have a French computer game that had a cat in it. I can't remember the name of it now.

Debbie Rodgers said...

So much fun- thanks for sharing!

Barbara said...

Little Prince action figures? That's amazing! Photos are terrific! Love the dome.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I think one of the Smurf books is on the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read list!

The Little Prince action figure set is quite disconcerting.