Efsi was a Dutch company making diecast cars and trucks under the Bestbox name. The company could be considered the Matchbox Toys of the Netherlands, but its origins and purpose as a government sponsored employer was far less commercial than other toy manufacturers. Efsi was based in Heerlen, the Netherlands, which is located in southern Limburg province.
Originally founded in 1959 this factory was meant to increase the social integration of disabled people by making it easier for them to get a job.
From 1962 onwards the models (most in 1/64 scale) were sold under the Best-Box name, but around 1971 the company name was changed to Efsi. This probably originates from the organisation that was behind Best-Box, FSI (Federation for Social Integration). It was also around that time that a wide range of truck models of various brands started to appear on the market.
Manufacturing promotional models became a major part of Efsi's activities during the 1980's and 1990's, and the quality of the models was further improved by replacing the 'fast-wheels' with less toy-like wheels with rims and better decorations. Efsi also supplied models to Siekmann & Co. in Germany that offered the models with their own printing under the ASA2000 name until 1986.
Around 1988, apparently when the disabled miner program was discontinued, the company name was changed to Holland Oto, which is still in operation, making contemporary models of trucks, buses, and agricultural vehicles (Bickford 2009, Holland-Oto Miniaturen 2010). Today, Holland-Oto is headquartered in Weert, just southeast of Eindhoven, but north of the Heerlen home of the former Efsi establishment in Limburg. While earlier Efsi packaging was either white or yellow or some combination of the two, the Holland Oto vehicles were generally the same products, but now in a blue and orange package.
What's your 'Efsi' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):
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