S.I.O.: Sioliet Toys

“The wooden buildings”

S.I.O. was a sales agent, with a head quarter in Amsterdam and at least a factory in Vroomshoop. They sold a lot of different toys, started in 1938 and went bankrupt in 1982 after a big fire.

SIO stands for: “Speelgoed industrie Overijssel”.

Around 1950s S.I.O. sold a toy range called SIOLIET.

‘Sioliet’ is the name of the process that SIO has (further) developed to color wood with aniline dyes. The toys that were similarly colored were called ‘siolieten’ by Sio, as a kind of ‘line’ of toys. During 1950s, the toys are called differently, like Sio Montage. ‘Siolieten’ exists as an important part of the manufacturing process. (Source.)

I’m still very curious who designed these houses below, where produced and how they are linked to SIO?

Different Sioliet versions:

Here you see a comparison between 3 different Sioliet wooden log houses.

SIO gave all there products numbers. Unfortunately, the numbers are not necessarly linked to a certain date of producing/selling.

Box #1029 – Sioliet Chalets (till 1958s?)

Box size: 32.6 x 23.5 x 3.3 cm.

According the seller on MP, he got such a box on his brithday around 1960s.

When Sio started there were many toy factories, especially in Germany and Czechoslovakia. They looked closely at each other and copied designs from each other without mentioning where it came from. It is possible that the box has been in the attic of Sio for a while and was taken into production after the war.
Here a very simular box, from Schowanek, Czechoslovakia:

Box #1030 – box, manual & content (till 1958s)

Box size: 51.4 x 32.5 x 6.2 cm.

Found also this Sioliet box #1030, now I’m even more curious, what is the story behind these buildings. It’s definitely using the simular doors & windows, like some other boxes. I’m missing too many parts for a good reconstruction.

Some very interesting information on page 14, from SIO catalogus 1958:

Image courtesy: rvbcvbm.com

Especially on the photo it’s shown, that the sills around the doors & windows, don’t interlock with the bottom & top logs, while this is the case in the earlier #1032 boxes.

Box #1032: box, manual, content & building (1950s)

Box size: 36 x 24 x 4.7 cm.

On the back of the box, there is a sticker with the product number (something like: “1032“) and a number “9,50”, most likely the price in Guilders.

Here the front cover of SIO catalogus of 1953, this building was most likely sold before the 2 above:

An other way of dating the boxes, is looking to the logo. On the right picture is a scan from ‘Dagblad voor Amersfoort’ (Daily newspaper for city Amersfort) from 1948. Here you clearly see the SIO-blocks logo horizontal. In later series, the SIO logo is vertical and red.

Box #1033: Sioliet Architect Series (1950s)

Another nice looking box (see Etsy) from SIO, on the box is written:

“Sioliet Architect Series. (Age 4-10 years)
Content is suitable for building complete buildings complexes such as houses, factories, churces etc. All parts are highly polished.
With construction prints. 80 building blocks included.”
“Box dimensions according seller: 35 x 24 cm.”

Both boxes #1032 and #1033 shown on this Sio Stand Negum in Brussel (1955):

Box #1011(?): Sioliet Bouwdoos (Green & White)

Recently also found 2 ‘bouwdozen’, a green (ebay) & white (product #1011) (etsy) version. Both boxes, also contain simular wooden door & window styles, like used in the other series.

Parts #1032:

An other wooden log system, with it’s own unique features:

  • This system has also 2 half logs, so the house stays flat at ground level from both sides.
  • The doors & windows could be created from individual parts, although it’s better to leave the windows intact:
  • The roof system is also a bit different. Two roof panels could be anchored on wooden pins in both gables. In between, roof parts are interlocked by a simple groove system. The bottom part ends straight and the top part tapered.

Some system characteristics

Here a short list of some system characeristisc and how it’s retrofitted into the virtual LeoCAD library:

Part types:Original:Virtual:
Wooden pieces… wood
Single color pieces
Pitch of systemXY: 112 & 212
Z: ~8.5 [mm]
Snap settingsn/aXY: 1 [mm]
Z: 1 [mm]
Angles: 5 [deg]
Angled parts35 [deg]35 [deg]

Funny fact, you would expect a constant height build up, based on interlocking cut-outs, but here the wooden logs are higher then twice the cut out, so building feels a little loosely.

Library information (box #1032)

Here an overview of the parts library:

Building in LeoCAD

It’s a fun & easy house to build, with those ‘thicker’ logs. From tolerances perspective, it doesn’t fit perfectly, but the virtual version does.