Bburago


Milan, Italy (February, 2006)
MAY CHEONG ACQUIRES ASSETS OF BBURAGO
May Cheong has officially confirmed the purchase of the assets of Bburago through G. Invest S.R.L., an affiliated
company, from a bankruptcy court in Italy. Terms and price of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Bburago, founded in Italy in 1974, made a name for themselves as a manufacturer of die cast model
cars with a fine relationship between quality and price in both toy and collectors markets. They were the first diecast
manufacturer to reproduce cars in 1:18 scale. Bburago models have been manufactured primarily in 3 scales
(1:18 / 1:24 / 1:43).
The court in Milan, Italy had attempted to sell off the assets of the die-cast replica and toy manufacturer ever
since the company filed for bankruptcy in October of last year. Several companies were reported interested in
purchasing the tools, inventory, and naming rights to the popular company.
“The purchase allows us to strengthen our position in the die-cast replica, kit, and toy categories throughout the
world,” said Katherine Ngan, owner and Vice President of May Cheong. “We have always respected the quality,
design, and stature of Bburago, and we look forward to marketing the brand to collectors for many years to
come.” The company did confirm Bburago would be branded and marketed independent from their existing diecast
brands.
May Cheong is a vertically integrated manufacturer based in Hong Kong. The company has been manufacturing
die cast replicas and toys for over 30 years, have over 10,000 employees worldwide and manufacturing facilities
covering over 5,000,000 square feet. They most well known brand is Maisto

G. Invest S.R.L., a May Cheong Company,
Via Privata Maria Teresa, 11, Milan Italy 20123 T 039-60 861 W www.bburago.com

After more the 40 years in the diecast model business Bburago will live on.  I have used Bburago models as bases for my customised models for years, with the absence of these I am faced with a problem. Hot Wheels models are very similar to Bburago in the level of detail but are expensive compared to Maisto and I have always considered Maisto models to good to mess with. It will be very interesting to see what happens with the Bburago models and moulds and what Maisto will do with them. The following is  a short history of Bburago.

Bburago Kataloge 1982 1983 1989  1997/98

The Bburago company was located in northern  Italy. It settled in the small place "Burago Molgora" in the proximity of Milan.
The additive "Molgora" comes by the way from the river Molgora on which Burago lies. Second B in the name Bburago stands for Mario B Esana, the firm founder. It started in 1966 in Milan with the company Mebetoys , who manufactured miniature models made of metal in the sizes 1:43 and 1:25. It sold Mebetoys 1973 to the American toy company Mattel. But after short break Mario Esana came together with some his former co-workers to create Martoys.
 Mario Besana  
I

Here some examples from the Mebetoys production
Alfa Romeo Modellautos 1:25 von Mebetoys

 


1975 to 1976 saw a series of 1:24 models under the name Martoys were created. in 1977 these vehicles were produced under the name Bburago and the range was constantly extended and updated.
 alte Bburago Modelle 1:24

 

1977 to 1984 saw the manufacture of the famous formula 1 racing car in 1:14.
First under the name HAS (hobby and Toys) later with Bburago inscription.

Formel 1 1:14

 1977 appeared the first 1:18 model: The Rolls Royce Camargue. It was manufactured in different colour variants until 1990 and today is sort after as they are rare pieces.

(This is not completely true because  the original base plate showed it to be 1:22)

Rolls Royce Camarque

 

 

1977 to 1983 Bburago produced the series of "clay/tone". That were Fiats trucks in 1:43 with altogether 12 different superstructures.

LKW 1:24

 1982 (until today) the series of "4100" 1:43 a line with innumerable colour and sticker variants
The somewhat toyful working vehicles all have one peculiar similarity : They possess without exception  much to broad tires with identical rims.

Serie 4100 1:43

 1982 (until today) formula racing car series of "Grand Prix" in 1:24

3x Formula1

1982 (until 1990) the series of "9000".
Audi Quattro Serie 9000 1:24 It was a cheap version of the normal 1:24 series
and differed mainly by other stickers and by yellow rims.

 

1984 (until 1986) the 1:18 "super Cartoons" appeared
PIPPO (Goofy in a Bugatti 59) and PAPERINO (Donald duck in a Jaguar SS 100).
These are great collecting value today:
 Super Cartoons 1:18

 

1984 (until 1987) likewise the 1:24 "Cartoons" appeared
with the Comic figures Puffi, Pique, Tom + Jerry and Pink Panther in different vehicles.
Collecting huge value today: 

Cartoons 1:24

 1988 saw the 1:18  premiere of the Ferrari F 40.
 Ferrari F40 1:18 An unparalleled speculation on these models is expected with mint condition boxed models demanding up to $100. Not a bad investment for a $30 model! 
(Bburago's 1:18 model of the F 40 sold over 3 million pieces. Why did you not keep the box!!!!)

 

1988 (until 1989) series of "4000"
A 1:43 cheap series consisting of 24 models of the series of "4100" from this period; however with other colors, other stickers and without stickers at the vehicle sides.

1994 Bburago buys the moulds and tools of the Italian competitor Polistil .

 

1995 Bburago buys the moulds and tools of Techno Giodi and produces the Mercedes Benz 280 SL " pagode" from the bankrupt's estate of the manufacturer.
MB 280E (Pagode) von Techno Giodi

 

 

1997 (until today) formula racing car series of "Formula" in 1:24
This complex built series consists at present of 3 "Schumacher Ferrari". I recently missed out on one for $15

Schumacher Ferrari 1:24

 
Gift Collection 1998 the new series "poison Collection" created in November.
In a decorative large case there were 3 thematically fitting models united.
1 model in 1:18 and 2 models in 1:24

 
New Beetle 1998 the "new Beetle" comes 

 

 
1999

Bburago celebrates its 25-year anniversary.

Bburago Katalog 1999

 
Bburago CD June 1999
The first BBurago catalog on a Multimedia CD appears.
It contains complete contents of the 1999 year anniversary catalog.


In the anniversary year Bburago is one of the most well-known model makers  world-wide.
The main market is naturally Italy, afterwards Germany, Then the USA.

Bburago had one of the most modern production plants with much of the work procedures fully automatic. The models are actually only handled for applying the stickers .

By economical manufacturing processes and mass production to top quality standards, Bburago successfully competes  against asian cheap wages despite a European manufacturing plant.

Bburago manufactures (all series together) per day 15,000 to 20,000 model cars.


2001
Bburago quit the contracts to numerous European distributors and wholesalers.
The German Bburago importer: The Gerd Herbertz GmbH in Freiburg loses its contract after 18 years activity for Bburago.
New German importer is Bburago's own distributing organization Bburago Germany GmbH in Pirmasens under the direction of managing director Rainer Werner.

2003
The company name Polistil  was re-activated and under this label cheap model cars made from China were sold. 

2004
BBurago announces that their models are still made in Italy with the words "BBurago Models of our land" in Italy and "Made in Italy" internationally:
Officially through some new models were made in China particularly the VOLKSWAGEN Touareg and  Maserati GT Spyder and the gulf 5 of the BBurago 1:18 Models .

Again new Bburago selling structure:
Starting from 1/7/2004 the Bburago distributing organization Bburago Germany GmbH in Pirmasens stops  their activities  and the DICKIE SCHUCO GmbH & CO kg in Fuerth becomes the new selling partner for Germany.

In Canada the Distributor company becomes Dynatech. 

2005  Australia,s exclusive distributor finds that they have an unannounced rival at a toy fair. Also that the rival has access to stock they were deigned. 

2006 Hear say that Bburago is bankrupt and that Maisto has bought the plans tools and moulds.

There were rumors about the bankrupt firm Bburago being purchased by Maisto, Maisto has confirmed this purchase via the press release below:

Milan, Italy (February, 2006)
MAY CHEONG ACQUIRES ASSETS OF BBURAGO
May Cheong has officially confirmed the purchase of the assets of Bburago through G. Invest S.R.L., an affiliated
company, from a bankruptcy court in Italy. Terms and price of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Bburago, founded in Italy in 1974, made a name for themselves as a superior manufacturer of die cast model
cars with a fine relationship between quality and price in both toy and collectors markets. They were the first diecast
manufacturer to reproduce cars in 1:18 scale. Bburago models have been manufactured primarily in 3 scales
(1:18 / 1:24 / 1:43).
The court in Milan, Italy had attempted to sell off the assets of the die-cast replica and toy manufacturer ever
since the company filed for bankruptcy in October of last year. Several companies were reported interested in
purchasing the tools, inventory, and naming rights to the popular company.
“The purchase allows us to strengthen our position in the die-cast replica, kit, and toy categories throughout the
world,” said Katherine Ngan, owner and Vice President of May Cheong. “We have always respected the quality,
design, and stature of Bburago, and we look forward to marketing the brand to collectors for many years to
come.” The company did confirm Bburago would be branded and marketed independent from their existing diecast
brands.
May Cheong is a vertically integrated manufacturer based in Hong Kong. The company has been manufacturing
die cast replicas and toys for over 30 years, have over 10,000 employees worldwide and manufacturing facilities
covering over 5,000,000 square feet.

G. Invest S.R.L., a May Cheong Company,
Via Privata Maria Teresa, 11, Milan Italy 20123 T 039-60 861 W www.bburago.com