Lo Store ufficiale del Polo Museale Fiorentino | Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della citta' di Firenze
13 April 2016
One billion units sold in 2015: the plastic "matches", today also for the adults, are the real competitor of video games.
All began in 1969, with the first Quercetti’s advertisement, strictly black and white, entitled "The Masters": the protagonists were four guys wearing a white coat of those which donate a typical appearance (medical-professorial), all busy with the construction. The message the réclame wanted to convey was not to settle of amateurism, even in playful situations; It was clearly a message from another time. Those kids with protruding ears and strictly with glasses were part of a world whose game concept was closely linked to seriousness, didactics and training.
Actually, the origins of this long-lived international phenomenon rooted in 1953, when the old Alexander (born in 1920, fighter pilot during World War II) exported, from France, the idea that the wooden matches with the head in colored wax, if driven into the perforated carton in order to create spectacular designs, could transform themselves into a recreational activity full of the creative spirit.
This idea was revolutionary and gave the family Quercetti the reputation it enjoys today. Only in 2015 were sold a billion "colored matchsticks", and forecasts for 2016 speak of a potential doubling! Numbers that, most likely, dad Alessandro would have never imagined to reach in 1949, when he took over the Incogiochi (bankrupt ) with the aim of creating, in fact, an alternative to the game which until then had reigned unchallenged : the Lego brick.
The success reached a so high level as to allow the nails to overcome the advent of digital and, totally against the current, to be reborn as a viable and valuable alternative to the virtual world around us.
One would wonder how is possible that a company like Quercetti has managed to survive and, indeed, to expand during these years of explosion of virtual technology: the answer might be in its ability to remain anchored to tradition, that “manual” tradition closely linked to physical contact and the three-dimensionality. These topics, in fact, re-emerged with great momentum after years of virtuality, doing rediscover the pleasure of using their fingers to catch, trap and push objects rather than "shake" a screen or move the mouse.
But the nails are not only a fun and creative pastime; Alberto, one of three sons of Alessandro, said: "a search for neuroscientists, still unpublished, shows that the tack as well as being a manual balancing act for the child, stimulates areas of the brain that affect the language so that if this is true, the more you play with the tack, the more it develops verbal skills."
From this statement we can deduce the motivation behind the nail for adults, which is a small version with which you can compose mosaics that look like landscapes, photographs, portraits and works of art: Pixel Art.
BassmArt LTD riding this return to the origins wave, and with the conviction that the tacks represent a cornerstone of Italian history playful (but also international), we invite you to rediscover this tradition by visiting the page dedicated to Pixel Art.