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The story

or rather, the adventure of Atlantic toys.

 

The Atlantic company was born from the passion of two friends, Sandro Compagnoni and Pietro Guerra, who at the end of the 1950s found themselves in the small backroom of the "Zia Gin" toy store, managed by Sandro Compagnoni's mother in Milan in via Paolo Sarpi n .15, and begin to build small artisan toys in thermo-shaped plastic, mostly boats, motorboats, models and small forts.

The few handcrafted toys produced are offered for sale in the shop, with moderate success among the neighborhood children and the two friends try to improve the offer with boats, motorboats, racing toy cars, military and railway layouts packed in simple cardboard boxes where the name they thought to give to their craft activity Atlantic Giocattoli Milano - Italia.

Itís believed that the name Atlantic was chosen previsely in relation to the first handmade toys produced, which mostly included boats and motorboats.

The back shop of the toy shop is no longer sufficient and in the early 60s the two friends move not far away, in via Paolo Sarpi n.31, and found Atlantic S.r.l .; the first numberings appear on the packs, still in simple packaging cardboard.

Shortly afterwards, Compagnoni and Guerra, decided to invest further in their business and, given the limited spaces, they began to search for new available premises by finding an old workshop for rent in via Bramante n.29 where they moved with the first machinery purchased; in a short time the Atlantic was transformed from an artisan workshop into a toy factory, albeit a small one.

The marketing of the sales counter (forerunner of the more established Supermarket), the medieval castle, the fort of the west, the spring guns and the target shooting begins, even if, not all the toys were handcrafted, but a part of the same it was purchased from other suppliers and then reworked and marketed under the Atlantic brand.

The toys begin to be packaged in boxes of various shapes and sizes, some of appreviable aesthetics and the fabbrica di giocattoli in plastica Atlantic adhesive label appears which is applied on packs intended for department stores and shops.

In the mid-1960s, Atlantic began advertising its products, among others also in the weekly Mickey Mouse, which due to its diffusion will also be a favorite for the future.

On 6 August 1965 a violent fire broke out in the factory in via Bramante, probably due to a short circuit, in which the stocks of toys were lost and the machinery was damaged.

Despite the serious losses and the economic difficulties the two friends do not give up, they find the premises not far away, in via Farini n.4, sufficient to resume the activity and decide to set up a joint stock company; Atlantic Toys S.p.A. was founded on February 18, 1966 with registered office in C.so Buenos Aires n.28 and factory in via Farini n.4.

Production continues with new items including doll kitchens, the aircraft carrier Enterprise and the pirate galleon, but the headquarters in via Farini n.4 is evident that itís only provisional and Atlantic Toys S.p.A, in April 1970, buys a plot of land in Treviglio in the province of Bergamo, on which, in a record time of 4 months, builds a factory of about 5000 square meters ; on October 4, 1970 the new Atlantic plant was inaugurated in via Calvenzano which then changed its name to via Redipuglia 53/55.

Production in the new factory begins at the end of 1970 and in the autumn of 1971 the first soldiers in H0 scale appear on the market in the first 4 packs of the Soldati d'Italia 10000 series; previsely with the production of toy soldiers in HO (1/72) and 1/32 scale, in the 70s the Atlantic achieved national fame and such is the success that soon established itself also in Europe and North America, so much to produce series dedicated to the international market.

With the release of the military series, the Atlantic giocattoli Treviglio logo is also modified using the font that will make it famous.

The soldiers dedicated to the Soldiers of Italy and the Great Revolutions, to the Armies of World War II, to modern Armies, to Ancient History, to the History of the West, to the Future (Galaxy and Spacers) and to Cartoons (Goldrake and Captain Harlock).

Atlantic toy soldiers become a real costume phenomenon; with the placing on the market of "100 LIRE" toy soldiers boxes, the famous advertising slogan "boy do you have 100 lire?" and the motto "to play better and better", Atlantic toy soldiers become part of the everyday life and games of millions of Italian children and still remain in the heart of an entire generation and many collectors around the world; we find references almost everywhere, not least the one on Wikipedia.

Also in the 70s, the house of Treviglio produced another nationally renowned game, the Giocagoal, an all-Italian answer to the most famous and expensive Subbuteo.

During its activity, Atlantic produces, in addition to the toy soldiers and the Giocagoal, a wide range of games and toys: from the Supermarket dedicated to girls, to Super basketball, to Toy weapons, to Shooting cannons, to boats, to a series of Trucks. , Atlantic models, model railways, early childhood toys, other games and toys including a pool table.

Atlantic promotes its production through the catalogs available in toy stores and advertising campaigns, in particular in publications dedicated to children, the most famous of which is the one on the Disney weekly "Mickey Mouse", but references can be found from the house in Treviglio in encyclopedias, texts, shows and other games.

After having now consolidated a sales network in France and Belgium, Atlantic also imports toys in Portugal and Spain; in 1977, for the German and English markets, Atlantic formed its own branch in each of the two countries for the import of its toys: Atlantic Spielwaren Import Gmbh and Atlantic Hobby & Toy Co. (UK) Ltd, Atlantic respectively House.

Subsequently, it also turned to the American market, availing itself of the import of Euro Imports Inc.

In 1980, thanks also to the period of economic recession that has been burdening for some time, with the advent of electronic games, the crisis of the classic toy begins and, given the unsold inventories, in January the Atlantic is forced to close numerous production lines and subsequently in March to lay off almost half of the employees; in 1980 the latest advertising promotions are also commissioned.

During this period, Atlantic through an agreement with Kaku Robust, a factory from then East Germany, acquired the molds to produce and market some early childhood toys in Italy.

New subjects are no longer produced but an attempt is made to dispose of the inventories by reworking some series and proposing them in new packs.

To try to overcome the crisis, Atlantic seeks new sales channels and in March 1980 the company Edizioni Atlantic S.r.l. was born, based in Treviglio in Via Redipuglia 53/55, with the aim of producing and distributing periodical editorial publications through newsstands often accompanied by gift inserts.

Edizioni Atlantic S.r.l. sells part of Atlantic toys S.p.A. products, modifying the blister packs and envelopes and the motto "to play better and better" in "the best friend of your free time".

In December 1986 Atlantic toys S.p.A. changes its company name to Atlantic toys S.r.l. and moved its registered office to Treviglio in Via Redipuglia 53/55.

In November 1987 Atlantic toys S.p.A. ceases operations and orders the sale of the Treviglio plant; most of the molds are sold in bulk to the Niagara Toys in Milan.

In April 1988, all types of activities ceased and Atlantic toys S.p.A. itís canceled from the industrial and artisan trade register of Treviglio.

In December 1988 the company Edizioni Atlantic S.r.l. was put into liquidation and in February 1989 also canceled from the industrial and artisan trade register of Treviglio.

However, the adventure of Atlantic toys does not end here.

Atlantic closed, apart from some sold individually to private individuals, most of the original molds and samples are taken over by the Milanese company Niagara toys S.p.A. who in 1990 decided to sell everything in bulk to an Iraqi industrialist, except for about twenty molds of which he remains the owner.

In the meantime the embargo is decreed and the economic sanctions against Iraq for the invasion of Kuwait and the purchased molds remain forcibly blocked in the port of Ravenna.

In 1991 it seems that the molds have illegally reached Baghdad and since then there is no more news.

Shortly afterwards, Niagara also sold the H0 scale Egyptian court mold to a small Mexican firm in Guadalajara.

In 1998 the American company Gloncoe Models commissioned Niagara to print certain subjects to be marketed under its own brand, as well as the Italian Nexus Editrice S.r.l and Waterloo 1815.

In 1999 Nexus registered the Atlantic brand, which after many years was now decayed and free on the market, and signed an exclusive contract with Niagara to market 19 Atlantic sets in H0 scale.

In 2003 Nexus Editrice reached a commercial agreement with Italeri S.p.A. for the packaging and distribution of the 19 sets.

In 2007 the Atlantic brand was sold by Nexus Editrice to Italeri S.p.A., which in 2008 sold it to NG International (a branch of Italeri S.p.A.) until its liquidation, in August 2011.

Will the adventure of Atlantic toys really end like this?

We'll see ... in the meantime their myth continues.