Solido - An Industry Leader - Solido's Niche

Solido's Niche

For example, Corgi and Dinky used flashy, but inauthentic "jewels" for head and tail lights while Solido distinguished itself by prudently using clear plastics for enhanced realism. If Solido had a weakness, it may have been in paint. At times colors seemed odd (like the bright green for the 1960 Thunderbird) and paint application was often thin and rather grainy (Rixon referred to it as "slightly hammered"; Rixon 2005,83). By comparison, Bburago or Eligor Models had rich paint jobs with smooth and glossy finishes.

Packaging varied from dull to brighter as time passed. Though some 1950s boxes were brighter red, white and yellow, in the early 1960s, boxes of a light green and white lettering with vehicles shown in a rust colored outline were common. By the mid-1960s, this gave way to more striking solid red boxes with lettering and car illustrated in white (Rixon 2005, pp. 35, 79). Most boxes in the 1970s and 1980s were some variation on red, yellow or orange, and then plastic 'display cases' were implemented with light cardboard coverings in various glossy colors.

Some 1:43 scale diecasts like the Italian Polistil in the late 1960s with their Politoys M-Series, used a very handsome metal "wire" wheel, and Solido did as well in the early 1960s, but then beat that in their 100 and GAM 2 series in the 1970s by impressively copying the wheel styles from the actual vehicles. Thus Solidos usually had a unique wheel style for every model. To keep down production costs, the competition usually used one (often simple or unattractive) style common to most vehicles in their lines. Eventually, even for Solido, this became impractical and the company stopped using unique wheel designs around 1980. Another sign of uniqueness in detail were the web of gray plastic 'chains' seen on some trucks like 1974 Simca-Unic snow plough (Rixon 2005, 114).

The trade-off in superior wheel detail was in not having all parts open or move, as seen with Politoys' M Series, Mebetoys or the German Gama Toys. Solidos would have an opening engine lid or doors, but not all parts moved. By the late 1970s, Solido's GAM 2 series more commonly had no moving parts. Nevertheless, Solido detail remained impeccable and their cars remained the industry standard (for the price) through the early 1990s, and with some touching-up held their own against collector models costing in the hundreds of dollars (Olson 2008, p. 26).

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