Madagascar

In Madagascar many children make their own toys of old tin cans. Several small factories have also produced toys made of recycled materials - at first for the domestic market and for tourists. Their totally handmade products could not compete with cheap plastic toys made in China and India which have been introduced in Madagascar since 1992. But then model cars manufactured in Madagascar and made of tin, later also of palissandre wood, were sold as decorative and collectable items: Various fair-trading companies began to distribute such models in Europe. Quite an important role is played by Mahafaly, a company founded by Uwe Marschall from Germany: About a dozen of small factories in and near the capital Antananarivo have produced tin can models of cars, commercial vehicles, bikes, airplanes and boats for Mahafaly since the 1990s, with the variety of the range and the quality of the models continuously improving. Being their most important customer, Mahafaly grants a safe income to all families involved in the production. A good part of the gains are invested in social projects, namely in the children's education. Similar models made of tin cans have been produced in the workshops of the manufacturer Bezalila since 1994. A completely different kind of model cars is related to Madagascar, too: In the 1990s, European manufacturers such as BBR (for their Gasoline Models range) and Provence Moulage started assembling ready-made handbuilt models here, due to cost reasons.

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