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Sylvanian Families

Created in 1985 by the Japanese company Epoch Toys LTD, Sylvanian Families are adorable miniature anthropomorphic animal dolls made out of flocked plastic. They live in the land of Sylvania and live your typical 50s-60s British middle-class rural lifestyle; bake, own stores, go to school, chat with their neighbours and even celebrate Christmas! They even have well-respected jobs such as teachers, doctors or carpenters! After spreading worldwide and selling more than 100 million figurines(and becoming massive hits in the UK in 1987), Sylvanians have become some of the most beloved toys in the entire world. Joining children and adults both in a world of love, fun, merriment and slow-paced life, Sylvanians serve to express the joy of little things to children and help adults reminisce about their childhood.

A vintage Sylvanian dollhouse from 1985.

What animals have been transformed into Sylvanians? 

Originally planned to only be woodland creatures like bears, beavers, foxes, deer and rabbits, Sylvanians have adapted and have taken the form of most ‘popular’ animals from cats to koalas (still no capybaras though). 

Are Sylvanians dolls?

Well, Sylvanians are even more than mere dolls! They’re little animals with a ‘propria persona’. Leaving the humour aside, they’re all like miniature people with personalities, fears, jobs, relationships, birthdays and names.

Most characters, especially the newer ones, come with their own little story booklets! I’ve got a whole basket of these, and they’re always such sweet stories. 

Set Recommendations

City house with lights that open! (yes, they do open! However, no figures are included, or furniture.) 

The New Arrival

The Creamy Gelato Shop (figures not included) 

Sylvanian Families 

(Now, excuse me if I’ve missed any, the list is quite long. For the full list, you can go here:!) Sylvanians either come in family boxes or separately through sets or single packs and blind boxes. Here are the ones that come in family boxes: 

We’ve got Sylvanian Rabbits: 

  • Grey Lop-Eared Rabbits (the Brighteyes) 

  • Fawn Rabbits (the Dappledawns) 

  • Buttermilk Rabbits (the Periwinkles)- I recommend this set. I’ve had them since I was very young, and they’re so cute! 

  • Sea Breeze Rabbits (the Columbus’) 

  • Chocolate rabbits 

Then, there’s the cats: 

  • Maple Cats- I own them, they’re great fun. 

  • Tuxedo Cats- Super fun set! They come with coquette clothes, so brace yourself :) 

  • Persian Cats 

  • Midnight Cats

  • Latte Cats 

  • Calico Cats(the Whiskers)

  • Caramel Cats(the Macavity’s) 

  • Tear Drop Cats(the Merryweathers)

And, there are bears: 

  • ‘Basic’ Bears(the Honeys)

  • Golden Bears(the Osbornes) 

We also have dogs, although they’re much less popular nowadays: 

  • Border Collies

  • Hound Dogs 

  • Ocher Dogs 

  • Chiffon Dogs

  • Caramel Dogs 

  • Husky Dogs

  • Maple Dogs 

  • Forrester Dogs 

Some other cool animals: 

  • Grey Mice 

  • Marshmallow Mice 

  • Chestnut Raccoons 

  • Bouquet Skunks 

  • Duck

  • 1994 Koalas 

  • Honey Foxes

  • Walnut Squirrels 

  • Springer Kangaroos

  • Seals 

  • Otters(man, I own and love this set, it’s probably got the smallest Sylvanian babies ever!) 

Note: A funny Sylvanians account is @sylvaniandrama on Instagram. They make up the wackiest scenarios with these dolls! 

The Sylvanians Store in Arsenal London 

Well, I’ll start by saying that it’s closed now since the owner retired after 30 years of constant operation. When I lived in London, I went there; it was great. Like, greater than Hamleys at Christmas Time. It was hell and beyond to get to Arsenal, but it was an idyllic place like no other. Small but very hyggelige, the store was packed to the brim with all the sets one could imagine. I added this section just to mention that it has been a privilege to have been able to visit it and get most of my Sylvanians there.

Kristin Baybars- London 

I gave you a permanently closed store, so it’s only fair I give you one which is still out there. Kristin Baybars is a miniature store in Gospel Oak, London, which sells Sylvanian accessories as well as hand-crafted and quite pricy miniatures. Owned by a nice old lady and her friend, this store is magical in every way. It has entire shelves of culinary miniatures, historical ones and even toys for the toys! However, unlike the previous store, you must be careful here, for many things are fragile, unboxed and not intended as toys. Alas, I hope you have a lot of fun, because I sure did! 

Here is a picture of some of my things from Baybar’s. The little blue thing and the dolls aren’t from there, but the furniture and food sure are! 

In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed today’s article. It’s not much, I know, but I assure you that Sylvanians are some of the cutest toys you could ever see, and I hope that you can get some too. Until then, see you and make sure to take a stop in Sylvania! 

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