I am sure you will immediately recognize the famous Rabbit or Mushroom lamps from the Belgian brand Egmont Toys. You can find these beautiful and unique lamps with a vintage look in many homes worldwide.
The story of the company goes back to 1994 as Egmont le Compte started as an agent for some toy manufactures under the name “Egmont Toys”.
Egmont Toys – a world of imagination
Egmont is 60 years old and has both master in history of art and a master in law. He was grown in a big happy family. He was born as the fourth child of his parents (from 10 in total) and the 40th grandchild of his grandparents (they were 60 in total). Egmont and Gaëtane has a newly composed family with 5 children (2 of him and 3 of Gaëtane) and 2 grandchildren, Morris and Julia. Due to his family background it is no wonder that toys are playing a huge role in his life. His favorite toy at the moment ist the new bowling game from Egmont Toys.
Egmont loves reading, mainly fiction, but also non-fiction – some of his favourite authors are Murakami, Orhan Pamuk, Chimamanda Adichie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip Roth. Cycling is an important part of his life since about 15 years. He goes each year on a cycling tour. Brussels-Rome, Barcelona, Siena and others. This helps him to “clean” his head. Witty people, his grandchildren or a good book can make him smile! An absolutely no go is intolerance and fanaticism. In his spare time you can find him in a good bookshop. Or maybe somewhere in Italy (his favorite country to spent a vacation) listening to Buddy Guy, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Willie Dixon, Bach or Rameau.
Welcome to the beautiful world of Egmont Toys.
I am very honored to welcome Egmont le Compte, the founder of Egmont Toys and the designer Gaëtane Lannoy, the creative head, but also the heart of the company and a charming companion of Egmont.
Photo credit: @Egmont Toys ~ Gaëtane Lannoy (designer) & Egmont le Compte (owner)
Dear Egmont, how did you get the idea of creating your own company?
I started my career as a salesman for a car dealer and later on for a leasing company. After 10 years I was fed up with this and resigned. By coincidence I was in contact with a wholesaler of wooden toys who was looking for a sales agent. So I started to work as a sales agent and soon after that I started to develop my own toys (with two free lance designers)
Which of your products you don’t want to miss in your own home?
Lots of toys in my home. My grandson is a big fan of our tin tea set.
Could you please describe your brand in 3 words?
Traditional toys with our own original interpretation at a reasonable price.
3 words: traditional, original, affordable
Is there any story connected with Egmont Toys you would like to share with us?
The first time I participated in the Nuremberg Toy Fair (the biggest toy fair in the world), I had a very small booth (12 m²) and had only about 10 products.
At a certain moment a very “classy” lady and 2 guys in a business-suit walk by.
All of a sudden the lady stops and asks “what is the price of that bowling game?”.
How much would it be if we buy 5000 pieces?
Well, I don’t know. I have to check and calculate. I will confirm the price after the fair, I said.
After the fair, I confirm the price for 8000 pieces (a full container).
And then for several days, no answer.
3 days later, a fax rolls in with a confirmation…
That year we sold 40.000 pieces of our bowling game to this one customer.
After that, I hired Gaëtane who designed this bowling game. I didn’t want to lose her anymore (smiling)
What do you wish for Egmont Toys in the coming years?
Two years ago we started to sell in the US. It looks as if this is going to be big! We sure hope so.
Dear Gaëtane, please tell us a little bit about you.
As I was 12 years old, I already knew that I wanted 2 things in my life:
To have some children
To draw for the children
As I was 18, I studied in an art school in Brussels.
And some years later, I was the mother of 3 children.
I have teached drawings to children during 10 years before I met Egmont, about 18 years ago.
Egmont is a magician for me: I make the drawings and he transforms them in toys. Our warehouse is full!
Where do you get your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my own childhood and from the children around me.
I’m always looking for old-timer toys and for old-timer posters or packaging.
I have never time enough to realize all my ideas…
Which part of the creative process you love most?
When I’m painting (water colours), I forget everything.
Can you tell us which product you have designed for Egmont Toys is your favorite?
The next one. (smiling)
How would you describe Egmont Toys in few sentences?
Egmont toys offers traditional games with a vintage look.
All the drawings are hand painted.
The grand-parents say “I had the same when I was young…”
Egmont toys is sold all over the world!
What is the next idea you would like to bring into the life?
We have a new project, a new range of traditional toys, but with a more adapted look to the young parents.
All lamps are hand painted with love in Germany
A huge thanks to Gaëtane and Egmont for this beautiful portrait.
Wishing you all the best for the future!
Sunny greetings from France,
Arminka aka Petit Sourire
In collaboration with Egmont Toys