Sylvanian Families Wiki
Sylvanian Families Wiki
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Sylvanian Families (jpn. シルバニアファミリー Shirubania Famirī) is a line of collectible anthropomorphic animal figurines made of flocked plastic. They were created by the Japanese gaming company Epoch in 1985 and distributed worldwide by a number of companies. Several animated adaptations and games have been made.


At the beginning of production, on March 20, 1985, Sylvanian Families were created and released in Japan by Epoch, which uses the concept of dollhouses and anthropomorphic animal figures. The first releases of the dollhouses and other playsets were made of porcelain and the furniture was made of wood. However, later releases replaced the materials with plastic and metal in the production. The toys were later released in North America the same year, but with different packaging and minor differences to the characters themselves. The toyline was originally titled Pleasant Friends of the Forest Epoch System Collection Animal Toy Sylvanian Families (jpn. 森のゆかいな仲間たち エポック社 システム・コレクション・アニマルトーイ・シルバニアファミリー Mori noyu kaina nakama-tachi Epokkusha shisutemu korekushon animarutōi Shirubania Famirī). However it was changed to its current name.

In October 1987, the series spawned an animated series produced by DIC Animation City and TMS Entertainment, which ran for 13 episodes. The series was popular in the UK and Spain. The name of the television series based on Sylvanian Families was adapted in different countries. It was also shown in the late 1990s in the US on PAX TV. Later that same year, the success in these markets led to expansion into Western Europe, beginning with the UK subsidiary of Tomy acquiring exclusive rights for the brand in the UK. Tomy introduced Sylvanian Families into the UK market in 1987, and it quickly became a bestseller.

By 1988, Sylvanian Families had become a major success around the world, winning the British Association of Toy Retailers award for "Toy of the Year" three years consecutively, in 1987, 1988 and 1989. In 1999/2000, Flair took over the production of Sylvanian Families in the UK.

In 1993, Tomy, who had been distributing the toys worldwide, lost the rights to the name "Sylvanian Families" in Canada and the USA. Tomy reintroduced the line under the new name Calico Critters of Cloverleaf Corners, now simply just called Calico Critters. The Calico Critters line is currently distributed in the US and Canada by Epoch Everlasting Play.


Main article: Sylvania

Sylvania, according to Epoch, was originally intended to be a dream-village in North America, and is described: "Sylvanian Village is located in deep forest of the vast North American continent. This is a very very small dream-village, the most pleasant beautiful place in the world." (1995). By the following year the description of the location of the Sylvanians was updated, completely phasing out the North American location, and reads: "Sylvanian Families include all the families of animals living in the Sylvanian forest. They are leading comfortable and happy lives in Sylvanian Village surrounded by great nature."

The entire franchise is set in Sylvania (jpn. シルバニア Shirubania), a fictional country based on 1950s Great Britain. The majority of the families are all rural middle-class, with many of them owning localized but successful family businesses, or having white-collar jobs, such as doctor, teacher, artist, news reporter, carpenter or bus driver. They are designed wearing very 1950s-like fashion. They can live in large, multistory houses, or own dwellings based on the premise of a kind of holiday home. The houses are designed very realistically and can be decorated and redesigned. They can also indulge in many stereotypically middle-class leisure activities such as sailing or horse-riding, and often host garden parties or go on short camping holidays.

The characters, grouped into families, originally depicted typical woodland creatures such as bears, rabbits, cats, squirrels, foxes, raccoons, and mice, and later expanded to other animals such as dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, penguins, monkeys, cows, sheep, pigs, elephants, pandas, kangaroos, koalas and meerkats. Most families consist of a father, mother, sister and brother, and continue to add family members from there on such as grandparents, babies, and older siblings.

Animated series[]

  • Sylvanian Families the Movie: A Gift from Freya (2023)
Live-action / stop motion short film


Main article: Families

External links[]