Bburago is an important Italian model brand.

Its production focuses on European models reproduced at the scale 1/18, 1/24, 1/43 and more recently 1 / 32e. The material used is mainly zamak . Some models are either fully assembled, or kit version with only few parts to mount (body and frame screw, decals).


1966: The Besana family creates the brand Mebetoys

Mario Besana, the future creator, worked in various companies during the 1950s. He will try for a while at the car manufacturer Innocenti then integrate Molgora, a manufacturer of stamped sheet metal toys. In 1959, with his brothers Martino and Hugo, he started making toys. It was not until 1966 that the Besana family created the Mebetoys brand.

This company (Meccanica Besana Toys), based in Milan , will realize many metal models. These will be mainly made at 1/43 and 1/25. Success will be immediate.

1969: Arrival of Mattel

In 1969, Mattel gained a foothold at Mebetoys for a period of three years. Mebetoys will initially produce toys for Mattel. But the American giant is greedy. He bought Mebetoys in 1973.

1972: Mario Besana creates Martoys, future Bburago

In 1972, Mario Besana, excluded from his company, created the company Martoys. Like Mebetoys, she will be very successful from the start. Success is so important that it is quickly necessary to build a new factory.

It will be born in 1975, in the Italian city of Burago, near Milan. Mario Besana takes the opportunity to rename Martoys, whose name is not very catchy. The name Bburago is chosen in 1974. The “B” is doubled in order to distinguish the host city from the name of the company. This first letter also reminds the name of the founder (Besana).

To differentiate from Mebetoys, BBurago specializes in 1 / 24th and 1 / 18th scale models with 1930s vehicles and GT cars. Its success is primarily due to the attention to detail that will make the reputation of the brand. BBurago productions were no longer children’s toys but collectibles and exhibits.

With the 1980s, BBurago was the first to understand that traditional distribution had evolved. His productions were not only distributed in toy shops, ever rarer, but especially in luxury supermarkets, airports, all places of passage of businessmen. The brand becomes world leader in its category 1 .

The competition was going to disappear. Solido also had to offer models on a large scale but without success. In 1994 BBurago bought its competitor Polistil and remains the only manufacturer in Europe. He will face in the 90s the very tough Asian competition with its models at very low prices but rough finish. Only toy multinationals could resist a little more.

2000 The knockout Mattel

In 2000, the American giant Mattel , by bringing its sponsorship to the Italian car manufacturer Ferrari , obtains the total exclusivity of the licenses of the models of the mark which had become the goodwill of BBurago which must therefore stop any marketing of the Ferrari models .

2005: difficult years and redemption

After this unpredictable blow, the company BBurago is the subject of a restructuring plan in 2005 and stopped all activity.

In 2007, the brand is relaunched, bought by the Chinese group May Cheong, which also owns Maisto. In order to differentiate the two brands, May Cheong specializes Bburago in European cars. The models are no longer made in Italy but in China.

Mattel, who was having a hard time selling his “toy” toy cars produced by Hot Wheels, is getting back in touch with BBurago to make several models that appeared in the Italian catalog before his coup de force. The collaboration agreement is expected until 2014, but Mattel understands that he will never be the leader of this special market and did not seek to renew it.

It is currently May Cheong who has become the owner of all Ferrari licenses. We find since January 2015 all models of the prancing horse in the range BBurago 2 , 3 .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ ” Alfa Romeo 8C competizione by BBurago ”  [ archive ]
  2. ↑ ” BBurago will be able to produce Ferrari again ”  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ ” Ferrari license repossession by BBurago ”  [ archive ]

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