Bernie the Alligator and Mascot Extraordinaire
Being a mascot is no easy task. Wendy, Flow, Mr. Geico Gecko… we’ve all got some pretty big responsibilities. I myself feel lucky Safari Ltd® chose me long ago to hang out by its name and represent such lovely people. In the spirit of that, and general mascot appreciation, I’d like to tell our story.
History is one of my favorite subjects, our own at Safari Ltd® not excluded. In a galaxy far, far away… or Florida in the 1970’s… two nature-loving enthusiasts started Safari Ltd® in their small North Miami Beach apartment.
Bernard and Rosemary Rubel were two people with a mission, to spread word on the importance of conserving endangered animals and educational toys. In the fine summer of ‘79, on a vacation to Munich, Germany, the Rubels stumbled upon a zoo shop. Here, they discovered a pair of rummy playing cards that would forever alter their story. The German cards featured photos of exquisite, wild animals and information on each. They had the cards translated and sent back home… here is where it gets good.
Back in Florida, the inspired couple began to take photos of wild animals around the state, converting their photography into postcards sold at zoos and other attractions. With the iconic Rolleiflex camera, the Rubels captured local wildlife, accomplishing their mission of spreading awareness of these animals and the importance of conserving them.
Eventually, the Rubels would go back to Germany, a favorite vacation spot of theirs, and see the toys that would inspire what the world now knows as Safari Ltd® figurines.
Spreading the mission, the Rubels made sure all their figurines would be developed as close to the original animal’s likeliness as possible. This would ensure children grew up truly knowing these animals and learning through the art of play.
Fast forward to present day, and Safari Ltd® has grown internationally and stayed a family affair. Ramona Pariente inherited the family biz from her parents and kept the legacy going for decades. Just recently, she passed the torch to her son, CEO Alexandre Pariente.
Keeping to family tradition, Alexandre runs the company with his wife, President Christina Pariente. These two animal enthusiasts and nature appreciators have been growing Safari Ltd® and spreading its mission of teaching children the importance of nature and conservation through the joy of play. With newly-devised efforts, like Safaripedia, this duo is taking Toys that Teach® to a whole other level!
I leave you here and with a quote, because who doesn’t like quotes? Yesterday is history, and tomorrow is a mystery.
Stay tuned and the blog for more exciting posts from an alligator, history buff and mascot extraordinaire.
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Peace, love and nature,