JUGUETES INVICTA – INVICTA TOYS
This car is a toy that my father got as a kid. He always took good care of it, and even today is in a very good condition. I took the pictures a long time ago, until I decided to investigate a bit about it.
The toy is a clockwork car with red body (it was also available in blue). The front bumper holds the front wheels together to the chassis, and the body is simply placed over it. When the car crashes, the bumper releases some kind of hinge, and the body of the car “flies” away, as well as the front wheels. It is quite interesting to see it working. Unfortunately, with the use, the car has a crack line at one side of the body, but it is in very good condition, nevertheless.
The car is marked on the base with the words: “INVICTA PATENTADO – Fabricación Española”. Also the front grill is marked “Invicta”.
After I took the pictures, I once saw the following pictures at some auction site. The Invicta model is clearly based on a previous Gama model, although this one seems to have a different mechanism (it has an on/off button over the left front wheel).
Gama model in which "Auto Accidente" is based on.
Well, after a quick search, I found at autoescala.net some information about Invicta. Apparently, Invicta was a toy factory based on Zarauz, Guipúzcoa (Zarautz, Gipuzkoa in Basque language). Its founder was Enrique Keller Fritsch, a businessman with German roots, who, in 1932, decides to start a company that would originally have his own name.
A document found in the auction site todocoleccion shows one of the first catalogues that the company published, in which we can see that their first products were mostly wooden toys (like cars, trucks, dominoes or construction blocks) and music instruments for children and grown-ups. Some sets were intended to be assembled at home and included a wooden hammer.
It seems that the best-selling products were some kind of harmonicas/mouth organs, sold under the brands “Opera” and “Victoria” (hi-quality models) or “Invicta”, “Gloriosa”, “Torero” and “Perla” (the toy-quality models, probably much cheaper than the other two).
Juguetes Invicta Catalogue. I cannot remember where did I take this picture from,
if you're the owner, please leave a comment, so I can credit the pictures. Thanks.
We don’t know if this catalogue was published after or before the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and we have no data of what happened to the company during these years. Anyway, the company kept operating after 1939, and extended its toyline to die-cast toys, for example cars in 1/43 scale or H0-scale railroads (similar to Märklin), and later, plastic. It is also known, that Invicta sometimes built toys under the license of foreign companies, like the French manufacturer Jouef (at least from 1966 on), or like (in this case) the German toymaker Gama.
Another interesting product are the ultra-rare zamak die-cast cars in 1:43 scale. There are 6 known models similar to Dinky Toys, Lyon Toys, Quiralu or CIJ. These are thought to have been manufactured around 1957 or 1958.
The following two pictures show one boxed sample of this toy. The model is blue instead of red.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: AUTO ACCIDENTE (Ref. 1600)
- Year: Around 1955
- Company: INVICTA (Spain)
- Size: Around 15 cm.