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.

History

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.

solido logo

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.

First models

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.

Links

Updated: 8 Dec. 2015

Solido value and price guide

What's your 'Solido' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):

Picture Title Date sold Price
Brosol Brazil Buggy Draco B906 07/2019 $250.00
Hobbytown Fdny Mack R Rescue 3 1 60 05/2019 $186.50
1 43 Cars Lesney Corgi Tootsietoy Burago 05/2019 $5.51
Original 1 43 Die Cast Lamborghini Miura 06/2019 $149.99
1 18 Mclaren Mp4 2c Alain Prost 1986 05/2019 $119.95
See all sold items for more prices

Solido forum (4 comments)

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Dave - November 24, 2013

Hi, looking for pictures and info on a 36 or 37 Philips 66 tow truck 1:24 scale cant find anywhere, can you help me. thanks .

Don - February 26, 2013

I'm trying to aquire spare accessories for my solido military vehicles from the 1960's.
►reply: Try and search for solido military on this website.

John - January 18, 2012

I am trying to find a particular Mercedes Benz the 1983 4 door 380 Sel sedan for my collection of classic Solido cars..Can you help me?
►reply: Best is to search this site for a solido mercedes sedan otherwise I wouldn't know...

Lee - September 3, 2010

hi, just been trying to find a particuler model on the web when i came across your site. I bought a model of an ac cobra in a tin also boxed about 13 or 14 years ago at a car show in doncaster england it says on the box solido elegance ac cobra 1965 with a classic looking picture of a women standing in the car looking out at a passenger liner from a beach could you please let me know any value you may no or how rare it could be thank you ever so much lee kent kingston upon hull england.