If you don’t have a couple thousand dollars set aside for toys, Pixi & Cie in Paris may be the window shopping spot for you.
Founder Alexis Poliakoff turned his childhood fascination with sculpting into a very posh business selling and auctioning exclusive handmade figurines.
It all started when he was a young boy, spending too much time in his artist father’s studio. Poliakoff was given pieces of clay to keep him busy while his father focused on modernist painting, and it quickly became an obsession.
With funding help from his father-in-law, Pierre Guénard, Poliakoff launched his first Pixi & Cie store in 1982. But business wasn’t always booming for this family-owned, grown-up toy store.
It took a few years for these high-end action figures to catch on, but once Poliakoff was able to gain rights to Tintin, the well-loved comic book series, the collectors started rolling in.
“Once it caught on, we were shipping trailer trucks full of Pixis,” Guénard told Vanity Fair.
After a few displays at art exhibitions and museum shows, Pixi & Cie was able to price their products for hundreds–and even thousands–of dollars to avid collectors.
This quaint toy store is now a full-blown tourist attraction for fascinated non-collectors worldwide. [VF]