By Miguel Stefanelli and Sergio Luis dos Santos
About the Company
ROLY TOYS INDÚSTRIA E COMÉRCIO DE BRINQUEDOS LTDA was established in 1964 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, with the purpose of producing miniatures vehicles in metal, using the metal alloy Zamac, an acronym for the chemical elements that constitute it: zinc (its major component at about 95% of the alloy), aluminum, magnesium and copper. The strength and durability of the Zamac alloy would be reflected in the words printed on their small cardboard boxes: “Practically unbreakable”. [All photos are copyright of Miguel Stefanelli.]
Its founder was Mr. Maurício Nhuch, an entrepreneur who, seeing the success, acceptance and explosion of Matchbox miniatures, decided to create his own company. His priority was the production of miniature vehicles manufactured in Brazil.
In his endeavor he had the valuable support of Mr. David Kupperman, a chemical engineer who had responsibility for all the technical parts of the company, and who had an important role in the development of the designs of the molds and the specification of the paint to be applied in the miniatures. Another prominent company official was Mr Kurt Adolf Hamberger, who was responsible for the polishing and finishing of the cast parts. In this division of labor, Mauricio led the company’s management, as well as the commercial dividion (Soares, Tumminelli and Santos, 2002).
The company produced its own miniatures, because of the people mentioned above, during a very short period: from 1964 to the beginning of 1970. Roly Toys produced only eleven miniature models, which received numbers stamped on the chassis from Nr. 1 to Nr. 11.
According to the Roly Toys Catalog of the time, the following miniatures were identified:
Nr. 1 – Willys Interlagos, in the versions of car of walking and the reproduction of the model of a race car of Interlagos Nr. 22 of Team Willys of Racing, where, Emerson Fittipaldi (“Emmo”), had started his brilliant career of racing pilot.
Nr. 2 – DKW Vemaguet, in versions for street, fire, and DNER (National Highway Department).
Nr. 3 – VW Kombi, in street, fire and ambulance versions.
Nr. 4 – Scania-Vabis, reproduction of the L-76 tipper truck.
Nr 5 – VW Sedan, reproduction of the Volkswagen 1200.
Nr. 6 – Willys Jeep.
Nr. 7 – Mercedes-Benz, reproduction of the LP-321 tank truck, with the colors of the gasoline companies: ESSO, SHELL and TEXACO.
At that time the catalog mentioned that the Mercedes-Benz was still in preparation, but it was indeed manufactured.
Subsequently, other products were manufactured by Roly Toys, the following models are known:
No. 8 – Centurion tank.
No. 9 – VW Karmann-Ghia, in the convertible version.
Nº 9 – VW Karmann-Ghia, convertible model, of the series called “Bólidos”.
Nº 10 – Willys Interlagos.
Nº 10 – Willys Interlagos, of the series “Bólidos”.
Nº 11 – Scania-Vabis, reproduction of model L-76, tipper truck, with some light modifications from the model nr. 4.
There is no knowledge of any other Roly Toys Catalog, which might have included a more complete list of the actual vehicles produced.
We intend to return again with more information about these Brazilian “pearls”, bringing to you details about measurements and scales. At this moment, it is important to say that the scale of the cars is about 1:64. The trucks’ scale is 1:100.
In the next part, we’ll show you more details about chassis, scales and a lot of new photos. Bye!
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