Foreign Toys: Moulin Roty Puppets from Paris

I confess, I have an addiction to international toy stores. There is something rewarding about finding a toy with foreign flair, a toy that no other child will have, and bringing it home for my kids. Before we head out of the country I find out where the best toy store is, and add the address to my sightseeing list - right along side the major monuments and museums.

Moulin Roty "La Grande Famille" puppet from Paris
Moulin Roty "La Grande Famille" puppet from Paris

One of my favorite finds ever was this sweet hand puppet from the Bon Marche Department Store in Paris. I love the muted slightly grown up colors and the oh-so-french outfit. At 6 months old my son thought the floppy ears were the most hilarious thing he had ever seen. For the rest of the trip, the toy provided comic relief in long museum lines, on car rides, and even on the plane ride home. Best of all, it's still a popular toy three years later - but now I get to relax and laugh while my kids put on the puppet show.

Do you have a favorite toy or product that you found on a trip?

Related Links
Bon Marche Children's Department
Paris With Kids

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  1. RennyBA on April 13, 2009 at 6:50 a.m.

    So cute - wish I could see the puppet show :-)

    Fave toy on my last trip: Must be the <a href="">Easter Bunny Egg</a> I found in the Norwegian woods.

  2. Jen on April 13, 2009 at 7:48 p.m.

    Great toy! We do the same thing on our trips. We also try to pick up a children's book at each spot written in the native language of the countries that we visit. If it is a state, we make sure the book has something to do with the state or a spot that we see/visit.

  3. Victoria on April 14, 2009 at 1:26 p.m.

    We do the same thing too! We always try and buy books in the language of the country we are visiting, preferably about something unique to the country, so for instance we have a French flap book about mountain animals. We also try and buy toys that are unique to the country, so we have Italian police cars to go with our red London buses and black taxis.

    I love buying any 'souvenir' that you can use in everyday life back home, such as Japanese kitchen stuff, but toy shops are some of the most fun places to go!

  4. Debbie on April 14, 2009 at 4:25 p.m.

    You're right - books are great too - I often search for simple books in the local language or wordless books. For me, dishtowels from France, dishes from Japan, and funky design stuff from Italy is both memorable and useful!

  5. Lucia on April 16, 2009 at 8:40 p.m.

    Books and music seem to be our favorite souvenirs. And traditional clothing..yukata summer kimonos from Japan, hats from Thailand, pajamas from Taiwan.

  6. Tamara Rice on April 16, 2009 at 9:06 p.m.

    I love that puppet! I think I'm headed to the Bon Marche online ...

  7. Tara Brown on July 8, 2010 at 5:16 p.m.

    We are currently living in Vincennes, a suburb of Paris for July and August. I can't wait to find some fun French toys. Currently one of Ripley's favorites is a ladybug puppet made by Latitude Enfant.

    Don't forget, Sophie the Giraffe is French too.:)