Almost 40 years after the extinction of the Lilí Ledy factory, it is considered a cult factory in the world of toys.
Vía México Desconocido
To the rescue of Star Wars fans
In 1977, Mexicans were crazy after seeing the first Star Wars movie . Children, adolescents and adults in Mexico wanted to have the toys from the George Lucas film as soon as possible, which was impossible if they did not have a relative in the United States or the budget to travel to that country. Fortunately, the Mexican toy factory Lilí Ledy came to the rescue.
They made a deal with their American colleagues at Kenner Products to pass them rights, ship molds, and Star Wars action figures to manufacture domestically, and they did. The result was that thousands of young and old from Tijuana to Yucatán were able to access the toys of the intergalactic saga at a good price and competitive quality.
Lilí Ledy dolls
But this was not Lilí Ledy’s first feat, because before he had already made history, he launched his successful Belinda Lilí, Rosalinda Lilí, Carolinda Lilí and Leonora Lilí dolls that operated with mini discs housed in his spinal cord that made it possible for them to speak. The company patented this system, which did not prevent some Italian toy makers from copying it under the name ” Ozen ” and implementing it for their Sebino dolls .
Another success for the Mexican company was the launch of the sophisticated Barbara and Señorita Lilí dolls, a copy of the Barbie that had stopped being sold in Mexico due to a breach of contract by Mattel . The rescue of Lilí Ledy so that Mexican childhood had access to a fashionable toy in the United States was about others.
The Mexican oven, figures and GI Joe
At the same time, the Mexican company produced the Lilí Ledy Magic Oven , which with the help of a light inside it could bake cakes made with Pronto flour .
And before, in 1966, they manufactured in national territory a toy that allowed creating unreal and hypnotizing geometric figures with a pen, which he called Spirograph (in its manual and electric versions), which he was able to reproduce thanks to the fact that since then he already had dealings with Kenner. owner of the rights to the ” Spirograph “.
They also reproduced in Mexico the Action Adventurers , the Mexican version of the GI Joe that in the United States were manufactured by Hasbro . Not only did the Mexican figurines have the same quality as the American ones, but Lilí Ledy even added her patented voice system to the doll called Comandante Parlante , which made it a sales hit .
So also toys from this Mexican factory became a legend in Mexico such as the Thunderbird Ledí car (one of the emblematic pieces of the Toy Museum of Mexico City ), the Batmobile , the electric highways with a current transformer such as ” La Autopista 500 miles ” and the “ Selectrónica Carretera Panamericana ”, both with electrical systems, lights, lap counter, in short, technology that without Lilí Ledy it was difficult for the bulk of Mexican childhood to have.
The history of the Mexican company that innovated with toys
To date, hundreds of toy collectors around the world are looking for more information about the origins and reasons for the closure of Lilí Ledy in 1985. However, the family that owns the company has opened almost nothing to talk about it. The little that is known about the first stage is that the company was born in 1950 under the corporate name Novedades Plásticas y Metálicas, SA de CV founded by the Cliklik Persky couple and Mrs. Sneider .
Its first production establishment was on Villalongín avenue, Cuauhtémoc neighborhood, Mexico City . However, in 1970 they moved to Tlalnepantla and then to Naucalpan (in Edomex), and it was when the American General Mills Group owned it in the last stage until its abrupt closure in 1985.
There are those who assure that it was due to the entry of toys from different latitudes of the planet; some more said that the factory burned down, others that it fell due to the earthquake that year, although neither version is real.
The truth is that when the company was acquired by the General Mills Group, the union leaders, knowing that it was a foreign company, believed that they could demand higher salaries, better benefits and financial compensation much higher than what was provided by law, with the time the Americans could not more with the pressure and economic commitments with their employees, reason why they were forced to close.
It is almost 40 years since the end of Lilí Ledy, but his toys are sold in Mercado Libre , on specialized platforms and other channels at prices ranging from 300, 500 or 700 times more than their original starting value in the 1950s. 1960, 1970 and 1980.
The legend of the Wampa, a collector’s item
The legend of the black Wampa from Star Wars fits here. It is a piece that is originally white but that, due to a mistake made by a Lilí Ledy worker, who when interpreting the negatives of the product they sent from the United States, reproduced it in a dark tone, so that over the years it would have become in the Holy Grail of Star Wars collectors across the globe. But most likely, the black wampa is just a myth.
The one that is sought after and coveted by Star Wars collectors around the world is the Bib Fortuna by Lilí Ledy, as it presents variations in paint, accessories and clothing, as reported on the theswca.com site. In fact, Iván Rodríguez, a collector indicated to Unknown Mexico that the Bib Fortuna is one of the most counterfeit pieces in the toy world.
Currently former workers, youtubers like Luis Rodrigo de Orduña alias “MadHunter” and César Tellez , as well as thousands of other fans, have worshiped Lilí Ledy in their own way, trying to piece together this part of Mexico’s toy history .