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Clairet was a post WW2 French brand that made toy soldiers, Western, knights, farm and zoo animals. The first models were hollow-cast lead and are very rare. Most production was done in cellulose acetate, a hard synthetic material. The first plastic zoo animals appeared in the early 1950s. In their book Soldats plastiques: Historique des marques françaises, Alain Thomas and Daniel Trombetta mention a document from March 1952 with a list of about 15 zoo animals and a later publication in 1953 with already over 80 zoo models (including vegetation, human figures and rock formations). Most models were first released in the 1950s, with only a few in later years. The models were sculpted by François Clairet, giving them their own unique style. The company ceased to exist in the 1980s and the last price list that Thomas and Trombetta mention is from 1979/80, which still contained 97 models. Although Clairet published price lists, relatively little is known about the company because no catalogues are known to the collecting community.

Source: Soldats plastiques: Historique des marques françaises, Tome 2: Clairet. Alain Thomas and Daniel Trombetta

Condition Warning

Clairet figures suffer from a decomposition problem. It's believed they may host a bacteria which eats them and transforms the plastic back into petrol. Affected models have white shades on them and sometimes separate oil. Figures are known to have entirely melted. Not all Clairet figures seem to be affected, but it's thought that it may be possible to transfer the bacteria from one figure to another, affecting other brands of hard plastic figures as well. Quarantine possibly affected figures away from other. Careful handling and hand washing is recommended.

Zoo animals


Clairet at STS forum