Conti is a world all of its own.
The Conti company with trade mark CO.MO.G.E. (Costruzione Motori Giocattoli Elettrici) has its roots in Lombardy (North Italy) , first in Milan, then in Bollate.
Factory in Bollate
It had a long tradition in the toy industry, producing wooden and “papier-mâché” toys since the late nineteenth century.
Together with other trade marks in Lombardy: Rivarossi, COS.MO., BRAL, Biaggi, PVZ
Conti launched in Italy the electric train, first as a toy, then as a model.
For the period, the nineteen fifties,
this represented an absolute novelty that brought the Italian culture of the toy and of the model in line with that of other European countries such as Great Britain, Germany, France and also of United States of America.
A quantum leap to go from rocking horse to electric train.
A cultural phenomenon rarely considered by most, but depicting in full the change taking place in Italian society at that time.
The electric train began to enter the homes of the Italians first as a toy for children, then over the years, as a pastime and hobby for adults.
Especially in Lombardy the manufacturer Conti has scattered its products, its Set base composed of a small steam locomotive, two small wagons, a circuit of the track, all powered by a 5 watts transformer or by a square electric battery
easily found in electricity shops of the time.
While Italy in the sixties progressed and the economic boom saw its economy soar as in the famous song “Voolaree ohhhhh“, the Italians changed their lifestyle.
Also the toy market was changing with the introduction of materials such as plastic instead of metal and tin.
Despite the attribution of two “ Pinocchio d’oro” awards in the years 1959-1960, the maximum recognition for its products, the Conti Company began to encounter increasing difficulties, to the point of having to cease their activities.
Slowly the Conti trains also disappeared from the games of children and adults, partially worn from use and partly by changing tastes also influenced by advertising.
A small number of trains, however, were placed in closets, attics, basements and gave rise to that particular Karst phenomenon that after thirty years these toys did not return to light for the happiness of the children of the nineties, but vice versa for a small and refined circle of adult collectors, who were rediscovering the charm of the fifties in Conti trains, given by the imperfection of the models, the maker’s fantasy and especially by the nostalgia for the past, where dreaming was the rule and the future was full of hope.
From here the discovery of an object, rare in availability and consequently expensive for those who are catching up with this kind of passion.
None of those children who sixty years ago played with these little trains would have imagined that one day these trains would become objects disputed by adults.
These trains are in fact fully considered as antique toys.