Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Renault

Solido, 1:50 scale buses

by Peter
Categories: AEC, Buses & Coaches, Diecast models, Renault, Solido
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As some readers know, I have had the task of selling of a large diecast collection over the last few weeks, and among them was a couple of  Solido buses I don’t have in my own collection, it’s always hard as a collector to sell models I don’t already have but they did finally go to new owners, the two buses are pictured below.

First the classic red London bus, this is Solido No 4402

Solidobus2

Bigger than any other London double decker bus I have and a nicely detailed model too, this can still be picked up on places like Ebay in various colour schemes and liveries.

The second was the French Renault TN6C, and numbered 4401

Again available still quite easily on Ebay and again in various liveries.

Solidobus1

 

Solido is a French manufacturer of die-cast model cars and trucks based in Oulins, Anet, France, about 40 miles west of Paris.

Solido was established in 1930 by Ferdinand de Vazeilles 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 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 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 1984, older Solido dies were made in a slightly simpler form, at least in packaging, and sold as the Verem brand, a subsidiary started by the Veron concern of Majorette, after taking over Solido. Many models were done very tastefully, but the purpose of Verem is not entirely clear. It appears Verem was a cheaper line using older Solido dies. Boxes from the time say that Verem was based in Rouvres, a couple of miles south of Solido shops in Oulins.

Majorette influence in the 1980s, brought some simplification of models, but without harm to overall quality. In the mid-1990s, Majorette Toys purchased the Portuguese Novacars factory and formed a conglomerate called Ideal Loisirs. Solido production was halted for a time, until January 1996 when Triumph-Adler AG of Nurnberg, Germany, took over Idéal Loisirs/Majorette/Solido (Militaires Solido website). Solido miniature production was commenced again.

About 2000, much production was shifted to China and dies from some other companies, like the Spanish Mira were used. Solido became part of toy producer Smoby when it bought Majorette in 2003. Smoby became part of the Simba Dickey Group which also owns German model producer Schuco. Reportedly, Majorette was to be divorced from Smoby again in 2008 and sold to MI29, a French investment fund which owns Bigben Interactive, but the Simba-Dickie website in early 2011 still included Majorette and Solido.

Solido company information from Wikipedia