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The beginnings: the 70s

Our business was founded in the early Seventies, when Mario, Paola’s father, decided to completely change his job and bought a toy store. It was located in Piazza Bottini, the square facing Lambrate railway station, in Milan. At the time it was quite away from the center of Milan, but there was already a lively local community. He named it "2001 Toys", from the title of the famous movie that had left its mark in the popular imagination, and in those years the year 2001 seemed still so far away! He found himself having to deal with a great number of toys, a relentless novelty advertising, but also with something classic, as scale model cars and electric trains. And so patiently he followed, listened and pleased, every costumer. The store became a meeting point for many fans, that after having enjoyed the sight of real trains at the station, liked to spend some time at the store, commenting on new arrivals, but also rediscovering old “treasures” which were proudly displayed in the “second-hand showcase” located under the stairs.

The discovery: the 80s

In the early Eighties Mario decided to take up another activity and left the store to his daughter Paola, who had always been at his side, helped by Franco, who later became her husband. The store slowly became more and more just a "2001 Model”: they continued to sell model cars, especially in 1:43 scale and also the famous toy cars from Corgi Toys, but the discovery of an old forgotten box in the cellar completely changed everything: inside the box there was a Märklin train. It turned out that it was the classic “3000", nothing special, and with it the box contained also some metal tracks, a pair of green cars in a tin, and nothing more. For those times, when a kid found this gift under the tree on the Christmas of 1959, it was something beautiful and it was a Märklin train, a really good choice. It was 1982, and that choice has never left us. Since then we have always sold Märklin, learning about all new models but also rediscovering all the old ones, repairing, restoring, digitizing etc. In those years we communicated primarily with the Italian importer, but we also began to know the "sirs from Göppingen" during the Nurnberg’s fairs in the early seminars about digital, but also at the marketplaces in Italy and Germany, auctions and flea markets, and more. Basically everything we wanted to learn everything we needed, even the most simple screws of the "3000".

The turning point: the 90s

We arrived in the early Nineties everyday busier, we became the first shop in Italy for Märklin, many loyal customers followed us, but something long awaited changed everything: in our family arrived “a new model”, our daughter. In early 1992 we decided to leave the store on the road and move to an interior, at the first floor, but the choice always falls on Milan, always in Lambrate, in Via Golgi 60. It is a particular building, let’s say original, and has its own history: it was the place where in the Fifties and Sixties were made the model railways by FEM, stations in tin of a certain value, in Italian style, which could well compete with the most famous Faller or Kibri, but also with Märklin as well. We started a very particular job, assisting only Märklin trains, leaving out the sale of the new, but devoting ourselves, body and soul, to sell spare parts and repaired used items, without losing sight of the progress, always installing digital decoders. Such loyalty eventually paid off. In 1993, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Renato Malavasi (Italian importer at STICKTOY), Mr. Giuseppe Rocchia (Office Export Märklin) and Mr. Dieter Wolz (executive Märklin) we are recognized as the only authorized service center for Märklin in Italy, reporting directly to the company of Göppingen, in close contact with the importer. Those were important years of great satisfaction, but also of great work and new responsibilities.

Innovations and changes: it's the new millennium

In 2001 - name of this year is no coincidence - in that fateful month of September, we were in touch a bit 'with the whole world, but especially with so many Americans, and has been for us a strong and moving experience. Simultaneously the Internet exploded in all its features, making us discover a global market: everything became closer, the contacts instant, the shipments fast and the couriers more reliable, both to and from Germany. In 2003 we moved again, remaining in the same building but on the ground floor, in rooms a bit more comfortable, and that’s where we still are. And that was the year in which the translation of the general catalog Trix 2003/2004 was assigned to us. In recent years we have collaborated with the engineer Dieter Lorenz (engineer Märklin) the holding of seminars on Märklin digital for Italian shopkeepers and we participated as an official Märklin assistance to various Hobby Model Expo Novegro at the STICKTOY stand alongside the new owner Vittorio Bisotti. In 2009 a big shock, in February, during the first day of the Nuremberg Fair, it was declared the insolvency of Märklin, a blow, the collapse of a myth. It was the time to resist and roll up our sleeves again, maintaining the usual confidence, keeping on ordering and just trusting the news, waiting for events to evolve.

Today

We have experienced all these changes so enthusiastically, we do not lose any upgrades, but we feel the need to return to a more direct contact with our customers, even online. Once we had the cabinet under the stairs, now we have a used list that by e-mail arrives everywhere and our online-shop, but what has not changed and we wanted then, as now, is this passion that is called Märklin.

Vai all'articolo di Repubblica

 

La Repubblica 27 febbraio 2004
 

 
Dal Catalogo Märklin 1957
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