In the second half of the 19th century some merchants, called “balonari” (toy-makers), left Gattorna at the beginning of the warm season with suitcases full of small toys they took to the capitals and the big towns in northern Europe. They were simple toys, manufactured in Gattorna di Moconesi during the winter season, made from very simple materials such as cardboard, tin and cloth.
Toy horns, cardboard mice, little balls filled with sawdust with an elastic band that worked liked a yo-you, rag animals and the famous windmills, which at that time were made of paper. Millions of children have played with these small and simple toys bought at fairs in Hamburg, Paris, Stockholm, London, Monaco and Amsterdam.
As a token of that era of journeys and hard work, in order to show these craftsmen’s works of art, the “Piccolo Museo del Giocattolo” (little toy museum), located in Gattorna, has been established. From that moment on, the windmill has become the symbol of the village.
The history of our company starts at this very moment, on 1st March 1953, when Mr Mario Basso took over a small artisan business which would later become “Alfredo Ginocchio di Basso Mario” and would continue manufacturing these toys and broaden the range.
Over time, he adopted more productive systems and hired more and more employees. His son Graziano Basso, born on the same day, is now the company’s current owner, together with his younger brother that time the toys started to be sent to different toy wholesalers and toy importers all over Europe. Contacts with customers were established during trade fairs, shows and exhibitions in Milan, Paris and Nuremberg, where we still have an exhibition stand to this day.
In the year 1967 we bought the first press in order to build the different plastic components of the windmill, the item we specialised in, becoming famous all over the world. Sadly, in 1980 Mr Mario Basso passed away, but the history of our enterprise continued with “Giobas”, which bought new huge spaces and hired more staff.
Small photo Emanuelita and Mario BASSO