Vilac began in 1911 in the village of Moirans-en-Montagne, the French toy capital, when Narcisse Villet created a small craft workshop called "Maison Villet".

In 1951, the Villet sons took over the small workshop, the notoriety of which was well established, and created the Villet Frères establishment. 

In 1979 Villet Frères became Vilac which is the contraction of the words Villet and lacquer which honors the trademark colors and finish of their toys.

The year 1985 marks the end of the Villet family ownership, when Vilac is purchased by Hervé Halgand, who has been deeply committed to Vilac's tradition of turned and lacquered wooden toys. Halgand successfully developed toys with appeal for new generations while preserving its culture and traditions.

In 2007, Vilac was awarded the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company, or EPV) label, a mark of recognition, put in place to reward French firms for the excellence of their traditional and industrial skills.

Awarded for a period of five years, the label brings together producers committed to the quality of their trades and products. It may be awarded "to any undertaking that has economic heritage, consisting in particular of rare, renowned or ancestral skills which draw on a mastery of traditional or technically advanced techniques, and restricted to a particular geographical area". The Label is awarded by the French Minister for Crafts, Trade and Tourism and the Minister Delegate with responsibility for SMEs, Innovation & the Digital Economy, after a meticulous selection process for identifying talent.

In 2012, Vilac was acquired by the France Cartes group, who have successfully maintained the distinctive trademarks of the brand, as well as their EPV label.