The Sylvanian Store Keepers, London

23 Oct

Kittymama in LondonIt’s been almost five months since I was in London, and I realized I have yet to take you to a virtual trip inside my favorite store in all of London- the Sylvanian Families Store in Mountgrove Road. This particular Sylvanian Families store stands apart all others in the world because it is the original home of Flair Sylvanian Families products. Also known as The Sylvanian Store Keepers or SSK, it is an extensive walls-to-ceiling collection of current UK products and merchandise. With the end of Flair’s distribution agreement with Epoch, the Japanese creator and manufacturer of Sylvanian Families, in 2013, SSK now owns all existing stock of Flair Sylvanian Families products. While this transition means a more unified market strategy for Epoch, it also signals an end to the era of those glorious blue boxes. I visited the store twice in the week we were there and truth to tell, I would’ve gone there every single day if we had more time. The first time A♥ took me, it was a day after we had arrived and right after he finished his work meetings. I have only a few pictures because I was simply overwhelmed with joy. The second time, well, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.🙂

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I made it!

Kittymama in Sylvanian 02

When you get to SSK, the first thing you would notice is- Holy Moly!!!- so many blue boxes! It took all my restraint not to jump up and down (the way I did outside, on the curbside, as you can see in the picture above). Here I was, giggling for the camera.

SSK 20

A♥ wisely suggested a photo op with Belinda and Kitty of SSK (Rocky had the day off), perhaps to take my mind off all the things I wanted to buy, teehee. Freya Chocolate was looking a little shabby that day, but then again, with so many people wanting to touch her, it was a surprise she hadn’t gone bald yet.

SSK 19

And then, armed with my packages, it was time to go.😦

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Four pictures? That was all I had? Concerned by this lack of pictures (and you know how Filipinos love their pictures), I armed myself with a new list and a firmer resolve. A♥ and I went back to the store a few days later and I made a conscious effort to document the experience in pictures. Somewhere along the way, I may have gotten a little too excited, but I did manage to snap some really nice photographs.

This is the Picadilly line train we took to get to Mountgrove.

SSK 01

We got off at the Arsenal Station in Highbury, London.

SSK 02

There was a bit of a walk but since the weather was fair and breezy, Kittymama’s wheezing was barely noticeable.

SSK 03

A few more minutes of brisk walking and we found the street we wanted.

SSK 18

Even from afar, Kittymama could not contain her excitement. “There it is,” she shrieked at the top of her voice. It was a good thing the streets were empty that time of the day.

SSK 04

Another picture (because she insisted)… and she looked ready to pounce!

SSK 05

She made her way right in, gently whispering “Yoohoo! Anybody home?”

SSK 06

To our great pleasure, we were welcomed by Rocky (Ben Miller, Operations and Retail Manager). I told Rocky that he has fans in Manila- and I happen to be one of them! (He blushed, heehee.)

SSK 07

Kittymama felt right at home in SSK’s Sylvanian village. She really didn’t want to leave anymore. (Apologies for the blurry picture, my hands were shaking in excitement.)

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 Here’s a clearer and closer shot of the center table display.

SSK 11

There were so many details to look at that I drooled, heehee. Good thing I managed to retract that string of saliva or I would’ve died of shame!

SSK 09

On top of the center display were these wonderful air balloons that were made by hand especially for the Club Collectors’ magazine in summer 2012.

SSK 10

A quick tour and we saw dioramas and displays filling the shelves with so many fantastic things to see!

SSK 12

And there were wall to wall to ceiling shelvings of so many products- families, babies, playsets, houses, and more! I suddenly wished I had deeper pockets then. :-) SSK 14

SSK 15

Each display was meticulously detailed and made to look as realistic as possible. I guess that’s why we never tire of Sylvanian Families- there are just so many things you can do with them, so many ways to display and play with these fascinating critters.

The Seaside Restaurant was entertaining guests that day. I took a peek and no one seemed to mind my intrusion.

SSK 16

And the majestic Regency Hotel was also filled with guests coming for a visit- this was just too cute for words!

SSK 17

After all the gawking and drooling, the picture taking and more drooling, of course there was shopping to be done (again!). I had planned my luggage to make those boxes fit, of course, and I bought some Sylvanians for a friend too.

Before saying goodbye, I just had to have a last picture with Rocky. Meeting Rocky, Belinda, and Kitty were highlights of the visit too and I shared stories of my countrymen’s fondness for Sylvanian Families with them.

SSK 08

If you ever get to London one of these days, do drop by and say hello to these lovely folks at SSK. These are the people who make our critters come alive for us. If Sylvanians had superstars, Rocky, Belinda, and Kitty would be them!

My gracious thanks to SSK and their lovely personnel for making my visits welcome and memorable. Hope to see you all again soon!

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Sylvanian Families Shop

68 Mountgrove Road Highbury London N5 2LT

020 7226 1329

3 Responses to “The Sylvanian Store Keepers, London”

  1. Sylvanian Fan November 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    I am totally envious! I want to go there too!

    • Kittymama November 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      I’m sure you’ll love it there too, Sylvanian Fan!

  2. Sylvanako (from the forum) November 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Thank you Kittymama for this awesome post! I’m envious too! Visiting SSK is a dream for all sylvanian collectors! You made it!

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