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Mechanical toys

Hopla-patented mechanical toys

Prior to these happenings, it is necessary to explain how the young Alessandro had diligently carried out research on the subject of toys, both via contacts with available shops (Perino Toys) who were more than happy to provide examples of toys with gears, and also by means of precocious but far-sighted visits to Nurnberg, which had always been a florid setting for the artisanship of toys. For a long time he would bear remember the place as a “ghost town”, cleansed from the debris of the war yet still essentially empty, where shops were improvised with wooden huts arranged in lines facing each other. It was here that he struck a deal for a supply of wood parts, as possible accessories for luxury dolls, which he later sold entirely to the lady of Lenci dolls, Elena Konig Scavini, who he had recently met for the first time, and who he continued to frequent regularly, thanks to the connection via the representative of the Turin company, Mercury.

Hopla, which bore the first Gallop Horse with black fur, basically had two associates, one of which was Alessandro, who would take care of designing and producing the toys, and the other was Briccarello, also called Bricca for short, a fellow student at the course for pilots at the Ghedi airport, who would take care of the sales.

The assortment of the Hopla company, based at the address of Via Cernaia 16, between 1950 and 1951 included the first Gallop Horse, the Inco Giochi products, and the model cars of the famous and aspired Turin company Mercury which built objects in die casting for the car industry.

Thanks to his friendship with the representative of the company, Alessandro had in fact been able to obtain the exclusive distribution in Sardinia, being the only area of Italy which was still uncovered. Even with a limited assortment, the success was so great that it allowed the small Hopla company (which was basically managed by a single person) to become an organized activity with at least three employees. Due to this development, in 1951 the company moved to the address of 49, Corso Casale, and subscribed to the Chamber of Commerce and to the Artisans’ Society for Turin and the Province, under the name of Hopla, Patented Mechanical Toys, which also enveloped Inco Games, which had just been purchased from the judge of the bankruptcy trial.

The products produced and developed here, almost completely in an independent way, starting from 1952, were the following: Hopla Sulky with the Cavallo Galoppa, the Corsa Sulky, the Hopla Derby, the 4 horse race, the Galoppa Gigante, both in a mechanical and electrical version, the electric version of the 685/A Train Set as requested by Rivarossi, Chicco and Piretta dolls with cart, the Veliero sailboat, the Oarboat with rower, also requested by Rivarossi, and lastly the preliminary project of the Tor Missile, however this was already towards the end of the decade, and we must first mention Coloredo pegs.