For 30 years, children have started saving with Topsy, our clever little fox. Throughout this time, they’ve been able to deposit their savings at the bank with the help of an adult. Our program for kids has proved its worth because children still save with Topsy today.

What piggy bank did you or your child have? Let’s take you on a journey through 30 years of savings history:

Topsy first brought a sparkle to children’s eyes on 5 June 1989, when the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) launched their children’s program. A total of 10,000 cuddly toys each measuring 17 cm were produced and distributed, with a taller version (35 cm) being available for purchase at every branch for 20 Swiss francs, and coming with the following piggy bank:

But those who opened their first bank account with the Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) back in the 80s and 90s won’t remember the fox. The creature (shown below) that helped children save is still considered a design icon today.

Esmeralda the owl and her son Sebastian were made from wood and first produced in 1987 by a Swiss manufacturer in Brienz, in the Bernese Oberland.

Following the merger of SBG and SBV in 1998, the decision was made to continue with the children’s program, but which mascot did they choose? An owl or a fox?

Report: 30 years of Topsy

In our major report for Topsy’s birthday, Daniela Capaul-Zoppi, then a manager in the project team, explains why Topsy was chosen over Esmeralda.

Topsy was finally chosen over the owl and also given a new look, this time with shiny red fur to match the UBS colors.

The little mascot was based on the SBC fox, but Esmeralda the owl and her son Sebastian were chosen for the design of the piggy bank, which was also made from wood.

The wooden Topsy was introduced in 1999, but soon after, in 2002, he received another makeover. In the new version, he’s holding a colorful treasure chest in which he's collected all of his money.

From 2010 onwards, things got more abstract and philosophical: Getting your first bank account lays the financial foundation for your life and so the new piggy bank design reminded the user of this important moment in their lives.

However, it was clear that the “foundation stone” look lacked cuteness. The next edition in 2012 therefore went back to Topsy’s roots and featured a red, fluffy Topsy and a yellow money bag:

A fluffier coat and blue eyes followed in 2018 and now, on his 30th birthday, Topsy still looks fresh and cheerful – and still not a single gray hair in sight!