Hi again and welcome to Part II of my guide to Sylvanian Families (SF)
More Essential Info
SF were first launched in Japan (JP) in 1984 and are still going strong today - in fact Japan is the biggest SF market. There is even a theme park over there, with life-size characters and houses.
JP SF are very much sought after, in particular the "Urban Life" Series, which includes families, furniture and buildings. This series was marketed as the "Up-market" Sylvanians, and the figures came with posh outfits, and the furniture and buildings were very elegant. All the furniture was brown, with red fabric, and included the Grand Piano and Gramaphone.
These were only sold in Japan during the 1980's, with some families being relaunched in the 2000's, making them quite hard to find. The relaunched families were only sold in the 4-figure format (Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister) so it is even more difficult to get hold of the babies. Japanese figures are now either sold individually, or in 4-figure formats.
When SF were launched in the UK in 1987, the figures were also sold individually. Some of the earliest families (Timbertops - Brown Bears, and Evergreens - Grey Bears) had older brothers and sisters, which are very desirable as they were never included in the re-issued families.
The Oakwood Squirrels (minus babies)
Some of rarest and most sought-after families are: The Oakwood Squirrels, McBurrows Moles, and Meadows Mice.
Figures such as the Meadows Mice family were only available with certain accessories/sets and are therefore even harder to get hold of.
It is also difficult to obtain original clothing for figures, although there are several sellers on Ebay who make beautiful clothing sets, which can be purchased very reasonably.
Due to the popularity of SF during the 1980's and early 1990's, several manufacturers (Forrest Families and Maple Town) jumped on the bandwagon and started producing Sylvanian-esque toys, which appear regularly on the 2nd hand market. They are clothed very similarly to SF, and include some of the more exotic species of animal, such as: Cows, Hippos, Turtles, Parrots, Elephants, Tigers, and Leopards. Be wary of paying over the odds for these figures, especially if they are described as genuine Sylvanian Families - they are not!
If you are looking to sell Sylvanian Families, here are my top tips...
- If you are wanting to sell a large collection, I would recommend splitting it down into individual buildings and figures. Many times I have seen listings and wanted specific items which are rare, but haven't wanted to purchase duplicate items which I would have to sell on. You can achieve maximum prices by selling this way.
- It sounds really obvious, but try and take clear photos and point out any fur rubs - this is really important when selling older figures - if they are in very good condition collectors will pay more for them
- If you have the original box for the item, try and include a picture of it in the listing, and also detail whether it is a Tomy or Flair figure. When Flair took over the distribution of Sylvanian Families they re-issued a number of original families and buildings which had different outfits/colours, and many collectors will buy all variations.
- If you are not sure how rare/sought-after (or not!) your figures are, then it pays to do some research! There are lots of fan-sites out there dedicated to SF, which offer up a wealth of information. I will also be happy to assist with any enquiries you may have or assistance you may need. This offer is available to anyone, and is made without agenda.