The company of Solido toys was founded in 1930 in Paris, France. Later, they moved to an old hydroelectric factory in Ivry-la-Bataille, Normandy. Headquarters are located in the Marechal Foch Street, in Versailles. The firm is run by the three children (Charlotte, Jean and Colette) of founder Ferdinand de Vazeilles (1889-1984). Since 1932, Solido offers "toys with transformations", kits manufactured in Mazac - a zinc alloy injected under pressure. The friction vehicles have spring engines.
Solido was the brand name established in 1930 by Ferdinand de Vazeilles of the "Fonderie de précision de Nanterre" in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre, France. The company was one of the first European firms to champion the "virtues of unbreakable diecast metal" (Rixon 2005, 9). Vazeilles' first product was a metal Gergovia brand spark plug on wheels (Force 1993. 5). In 1932, some of the first vehicle kits were made in Zamac, labeled with the theme "toys with transformations" referring to their various bodies fitting on standard chassis, like the real coach builders and car manufacturers did at that time. Some were fitted with spring-loaded motors that would propel them across the floor. The feeling was somewhat like what Schuco was offering in Germany. In 1953, de Vazeilles bequeathed the company, then called Solijouets SA, to his son Jean René (Militaires Solido website). By 1960, Vazeilles' three children, Charlotte, Jean and Colette were running it.
In 1953 Ferdinand de Vazeilles bequeathes the lead of the company Solijouets SA to his son Jean René.
In 1957, Jean chooses to sell his new ranges of miniatures, copies of existing machines, already assembled. Solido innovates with suspensions on the cars at 1:43 scale. The public discovers its models in a illustrated annual catalogue, like the packaging, by Jean Blanche's drawings.
The first Solido lines (Major, Junior and Baby) were introduced in 1932, 1933, and 1935, respectively (Rixon 2005, 34). The Major series was 1:35 scale and was already phased out by 1937 according to Edward Force (Force 1993, 5-6). At this time several different cars were made, a few of different truck models, and also military guns and cannons. These were simpler toys, fragile and subject to metal fatigue.
In 1952, a smaller rather crude 1:60 scale 'Mosquito' series was introduced featuring 12 models. The first 1:43 scale '100' series was started in 1957 and this set the stage for Solido's ascendance, though models were not numbered until 1962, according to Force (1993). The first military vehicles, for which Solido has become particularly well known, appeared in 1961.
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