CIJ ( Compagnie industrielle du jouet or "Manufacturing Company of toys") is a classic French brand for toy vehicles. It was founded by Fernand Migault in Paris in 1920. The name was changed to Migault S.A. in 1927, after his cousin Marcel Gourdet had joined the firm.
On the grounds of contracts signed by André Citroën himself in 1922, the company produced exclusive model cars made of either metalware or wood in 1:20, la 5 CV Trèfle and la B14 Citroën included. Solely authorised Citroën dealers distributed these model cars. Still the company wasn't allowed to advertise their cooperation with Citroën.
The workshop for metalware in Briare that Marcel Gourdet had brought to Ferdinand Migault's company burned down in 1929. At that time the descendants of the Bapterosses family took on the direction. The company moved its headquarters back to Paris and employed eventually more than a hundred people, mostly in Briare.
The exclusive fabrication of model cars for Citroën ended in 1934 when Citroën went into administration and was eventually taken over by Michelin. Many years later CIJ signed a less binding contract with Louis Renault concerning numerous types of Renault model cars in scales from 1:10 to 1:43, partly made of lithographed metal ware or in particular of zamak. But this time CIJ was on its own in regards to the distribution. An agreement with Shell about miniatures of filling stations including the transporter Shell Berre was signed in 1950. This model car was made of an alloy called ramec (which blended aluminium, copper, zinc and magnesium). On 27 December 1964 new works were inaugurated in Briare. But one year later, after the company had bought the stash of its former competitor JRD, the company CIJ actually disappeared. The Bapterosses family kept on producing exclusive series' of artisan type models in the Rivotte farm (in the vicinity of the factory) but the works in Briare were engrossed by ITT and produced henceforth parts for telephones.
The model cars
The first model cars were completely made from iron sheet or wood (scale from 1:6 to 1:43) and because of the high quality CIJ could compete with other contemporary producer such as Dinky Toys and Norev. In April 2007 Norev bought the brand CIJ and annonced 13 model cars made from zamac and two lithographed models from iron sheet (4CV Renault and Juvaquatre), which were new editions of the original CIJ model cars. Still these models were presented under the name "dream toys" (French meaning of Norev = our dreams).
- Le Giennois industriel, p. 174
- Une aventure industrielle, p. 51
- François Theimer, Le Guidargus des jouets de collection, Èditions de l'Amateur-1990, pp. 227 à 236
- Le Giennois industriel, p. 175
- "La Petite histoire de la marque J R D". Retrieved 2011-05-13.
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