Majorette, the rise and fall of a French dream


Majorette is a brand known to all boys born around the 70s. The birth of the company dates back to October 17, 1961 when the “Rail-Route Jouets” was registered in the register of the Chamber of Commerce of Lyon by Emile Véron, brother of Joseph, the owner of the Norev.  In 1966 the name was changed definitively in social Majorette.
In the early years the availability of Majorette was limited and therefore of high value.
The overall quality of the products offered at the turn of the 60s and 70s was good, so much so that the Majorette earned the reputation of producing models rather detailed. Much of the models, whose body and frame were made of metal, had supplied the doors or chests that open, adopting parts of translucent plastic and especially a suspension system that characterized the brand.

The “Série 200”

In the seventies a change of marketing strategy brought the brand to produce models of realism less, but more attractive to children. It was the era of the so-called “Série 200” which became a commercial success.

The success on a global scale

In 1977 the Majorette took over a part of the production of the Solid. It was the beginning of the brightest period in the history of the brand that gained worldwide importance: despite the competition of Matchbox and Hot Wheels began distributing in the United States. By the Eighties, the Majorette came to produce up to 400,000 models per day, and markets them in 60 countries.
In the same years the “Majorette Distribution SA” also started to distribute products Solido, Verem, Majorette and Solido-Pub-Pub. Were such successes that the company Lyons, Emile Véron decided to embark on a political career, planning to present the presidential elections of 1988.

The decline

The nineties, however, marked the decline of the brand. The production was outsourced to Thailand and the models they lost not only the pride of being Made in France, but also the quality: the base metal was replaced with a cheap black plastic (like the case of other historical brands such as Matchbox, Bburago and Hot Wheels) losing more than visual appeal of even their characteristic weight and their strength. It was the signal of a financial collapse and an inevitable failure: the liquidation of the Idéal Loisirs in 1993 and the subsequent sale to the German Triumph-Adler AG did not return luster to the brand.  Majorette was again dismissed in 2000 and production stopped in 2002.  The brand is currently owned by Smoby who has revived the production in Thailand, with models very well taken care of from the point of view of the painting, differently from Majorette models produced in the last decade.  In fact, the latest products, came off the production line already with small annoying lack of color or even with incomplete or incorrect assembly, making them unattractive for collectors.

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