Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite
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Yes, we know it's a little bit of a contradiction in terms, but here's where you can talk about Norev, Minialuxe, Siku, Polistil, Tomte, Auburn, Sun Rubber or any other ready-made model car that's made of plastic or rubber. Hey, they're still cast in dies!

TOPIC: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite

Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #1

Gold Boarder
<p>Welcome to my Wonderfully Warped Parallel Universe of Norev collecting.</p>

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #2

Gold Boarder
A man named Joseph Veron, with help from brother Emile (and perhaps a third unnamed brother) founded Norev in 1946 in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon. The company name is simply their surname spelled like Nobleco's habit to install Dinky hubs.

In 1953, after a stint of making "toys", like footballs, whatever that is, the company started to produce 1:43 scale toy cars, which were made from a plastic called "Rhodialite", made by the nearby chemical company Rhodia.

Rhodialite is a cellulose acetate and thus can be coloured like no other thermoplastic, a property Norev used to the fullest. It's little wonder them yoofs back then didn't become bloody drug addicts, since being exposed to Norev colours makes even LSD redundant. Add to this that once moulded, cellulose acetate has an extremely glossy surface, is surprisingly impact resistant, has a faint smell of Vanilla and is cheap as chips.

Sounds like an ideal medium for toy cars, doesn't it?
Well, on the down side, the process of polymerisation never really ends, which leads to deformation of the plastic over time, it loses its shine and becomes extremely brittle.

However, this only affects today's hoarders of such wares, which have long since exceeded their anticipated sell by date. Consequently, the ability to appreciate grotesquely warped examples with panel gaps of much hilarity is a not insignificant virtue of people addicted to holding the remaining examples hostage. In fact, there is an inner circle of the most normal members of this fraternity of dimwits, who stage an annual 'who-obtained-the-warptest-piece-of-rubbish' contest around Christmas time. I won it in 2019.

By the 1970s the "negative" attributes of Rhodialite became apparent for the first time, and the founding fathers of Norev reacted by switching to Polystyrene, a plastic that doesn't warp over time, can only be coloured to a mediocre extent and only smells of something if you become a gluey.

Did I say "founding fathers"?
Well, Joseph Veron jumped ship already in the late Sixties, founding a company called "Majorette" to make models of a weird material that doesn't warp and is heavy enough that your house collapses in a downright Shakespearean manner should you accumulate sufficient quantities of it. That'll never catch on.

However, this thread is about Rhodilaite at its warptest and look at the bright side - every example added to the ever growing pile of plastic tat down in my dungeon is not going to end up in The Oceans™.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RoutemasterNL

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #3

Platinum Boarder
interesting story and I had no idea I was involved. LOL Thanks for sharing.

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #4

Gold Boarder
Well, before I avail you to my Rhodialite Realm, I give you some photos taken inside the Norev factory at Villeurbanne, ca late Fifties.

Obviouly this was the man responsible for the colours.



I bet he played contrabass in a free jazz band when he wasn't busy providing for a happy childhood of countless kiddos.


And since I know she was responsible for the chrome plating



I no longer mind that it's all oxidised and dull.

Why did they never teach me how to say "I just had a wet dream" in my French class at school?

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #5

Gold Boarder
Her chrome plating chemically reacted wonderfully with the tyres they used. Norev never ceased to deliver.

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #6

Gold Boarder
So here goes.

I start today's episode of the Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite with this.







One wonders why they bothered and obviously they didn't.

But behold the green of much verdantness.

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #7

Platinum Boarder
And that is the color of the material. Fantastic and so green.

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #8

Gold Boarder
This is the one that started my recent collection spree. I had quite a few Norevs as a kid, but sold them all during my teenage years to fund my emerging American plastic kits collection.

I found it at a toy fair for the whopping asking price of one Pound, so I didn't even bother to haggle.






Notice how it is completely intact underneath all that paint. Even the bumper ends aren't broken off, which is very, very rare indeed.

It now looks like this:











Meanwhile I managed to obtain the van version as well, complete with one of its original stickers still left.











The following user(s) said Thank You: PoliTom2

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #9

Platinum Boarder
Quite the difference after your treatment of that orange or red one on top. The pale yellow suits it.
Nice score on the van and now all you need is one sticker.

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #10

Platinum Boarder
I think they are Renault but I don't know for sure. We did not have these where I grew up. They were very odd for over here.
Maybe you could start telling us fold how don't know, what these are, please.

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #11

Gold Boarder
Those are definitely Renaults. The first one is the classic Renault 4L. The second one is what they call a Renault 4 Fourgonnette.

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #12

Gold Boarder
Some Rhodialite of mine, the recently acquired Minialuxe bus.
Not sure if this is/was an existing model.









Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #13

Gold Boarder
Minialuxe aren't made from Rhodialite.
It is an existing model, a Floirat. Very nice indeed.




I shall thenceforth mention what the models are, since not all quirky French cars can be known the world over.

Now I show you one of only two American offerings Norev ever did in Rhodialite.
It's a 1958 Chrysler New Torker convertible and it was modelled after Mr Veron's real car, numberplate and all, which survives and is currently being restored in France.

To get one really good one, I bought this pile of rubbish:



However, each of them was knackered enough that even this lot didn't yield everything required for a proper example.











They are also notorious for shedding their taillights and between the entire fleet there was only one.

So I bought another one, in rare day glow orange.



And by picking only the best parts, I assembled this one:






Now, this model was sold as a gift set together with a Rocca motorboat.
I managed to obtain a rather warped example with the propeller drive broken off and no trailer. But I thought this is better than none at all.






Imagine how I felt when I found a forlorn trailer in a 50p rummage box at a toy fair shortly afterwards.




So here goes:




And the entire set:



The following user(s) said Thank You: PoliTom2

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #14

Gold Boarder
New Yorker*

(I'm not going to edit that post)

Re: Daily Dose of Random Rhodialite 5 months, 2 weeks ago #15

Gold Boarder
And this is the only other American car they did, the Chevrolet Corvair Monza.