For a long time, before World War I, Germany was the first toy manufacturer and seller internationally. The historical context of the war and the consequences it begat allowed several Belgian companies to develop: Having barely enough to live on, the Germans greatly diminished making toys (pre-industrial) for nearly twenty years. UNICA is part of one of them.
Spouses Verhoye Jeanne and Joseph Deckmyn created in 1923 in Kortrijk the company known today as the name of UNICA. This rule for more than 50 years throughout the toy of the Belgian market. Initially, the family firm was known as JVD, initial spouses. Later, she will bear the name of UNICA.
The first dolls UNICA therefore born in 1923 under the brand JVD The porcelain dolls, were too expensive for some time apart. Less expensive is the pasteboard of various conditions has been used for the manufacture of faces.
But the Second World War and its bombing caused extensive damage. Part of warehouse disappears with its reserves. UNICA still manages to recover with the help of outsiders.
In 1945, the doll “rattle” somehow becomes the UNICA catalog’s flagship. It consists of adding a bell inside of the head, resonant when the doll shakes.
In 1946, UNICA launched into the metal construction toys with TECNIC close enough to MECCANO.
Unfortunately, foreign competition is increasing, prices are more democratic and Germany slowly regains its position as the leading European manufacturer.
In 1971, a fire destroyed the factory and again will result in the permanent abandonment of part “creation and production”
Another consequence of these fires is the disappearance of the majority of their advertising materials. However, it remains prospectuses and brochures such as department stores that innovation and Bon Marché published.
Paul HERMAN Dolls made in Belgium, Glénat Benelux, Brussels, 1988, p. 37-100.
Paul HERMAN, The guestbook of toys made in Belgium, Glénat Benelux, Brussels, 1998, pp 85-113.