Success: the origins of Pegs
The history of this extremely fortunate composition toy started between Italy and France between the Fourties and the Fifties within the climate of industrial recovery that characterised the period, fertile with opportunity and full of innovations.
It started at the Paris Fair of 1946 where among the 96 contenders, Coloredo won the medal for the best invention, a multicolor relief mosaic for children from 3 to 15 years of age.
The first version was made up of a tablet of grey drilled paperboard with 640 holes, with a format of 120 X 185 mm, 6 mm thick, which was in turn made up of 4 thinner layers glued to each other and with the edges decorated with gold and silver paper. It included a sheet, which also had holes pierced in it, made of transparent celluloid to be used together with the ‘guide sheets’, a plastic frame made via injection molding, and numerous ‘matchsticks’ with the body in wood and the ‘head’ in sealing wax in one of four colours, to be slotted into the tablet itself. It also included a selection of ‘guide images’ printed out in just two colours (red and blue, whereas yellow and green were respectively represented by a red hyphen or a blue one) upon a very thin type of paper, so that it could easily be pierced by the matchsticks. Lastly, it included two 4-colour catalogues showing either 50 quite complex models to be copied, or 100 simpler models, easy to complete.
It must be noted that the cardboard tablet, due to manufacturing and production cost reasons, gradually became thinner as the years went by, until it ended up being made by just two layers and was only 3,5 millimeters thick. The French firm which owned the patent was operative in the field of graphics ad it is likely that it drew its inspiration from the colour printing process known as four-colour processing in order to come up with this extremely lucky ‘classic’ toy: we can safely say that this toy anticipated by several decades a form of art that today we call “Pixel Art”.
Below we have reported the text which appeared for many years on the back of the Coloredo boxes, because it helps to grasp the atmosphere of that time in history, with its mood of simplicity, sensitivity and a pinch of innocence.
“Coloredo is a new educational game; original, artistic and entertaining. It is popular due to its beauty, its magnificent colours, and the variety of images that can be acquired in relief”