PLAYMOBIL®

Company History


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1876

Andreas Brandstätter founds the company bearing his name in Fürth in Bavaria for the production of ornamental casket fittings and locks.

1908

His son Georg takes over from him, changing the name into geobra, an acronym made up from his name, Georg Brandstätter.

1921

Later, the company moves to Zirndorf, the next-door village, where the company’s headquarters are still located today. Mainly moneyboxes, telephones, cash registers and scales for toy shops, all made of sheet metal, are sold successfully in Europe and overseas.

1952

When Horst Brandstätter, today´s sole owner, joins the company he starts a new era. The young and dynamic man makes plastics his favourite material, changes the production facilities and the product palette accordingly and looks for further sales opportunities and new markets.

1958

A first sensational success comes with the hula hoop. The company then expands with several toys and leisure-products – all made out of plastic.

1970

Early 1970’s The oil crisis and the cost pressure from low-cost countries catch up with the company. Horst Brandstätter realises that this situation is the right moment for a completely new play idea of Hans Beck. Mr. Beck is the company’s sample maker - a position that would be called developer or designer today.

1974

PLAYMOBIL® is introduced. At the request of his boss, Hans Beck had been busy developing a new play system since 1971. Beck’s new idea focuses on the 7.5 cm PLAYMOBIL® figure.

1976

The Malta subsidiary takes over production of the PLAYMOBIL® figures, which are made up of seven components and are assembled by hand. Today most of these are machine-made and PLAYMOBIL® Malta has an annual capacity of 100 million figures.

1980

In the 1980s, to meet the rising global demand, PLAYMOBIL® sets up sales companies in France, the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), England, Italy, Canada and the USA.

1990

Move to the new headquarters for development, marketing and sales in Zirndorf. Exhibition space and play areas are opened up right next door – the start of the PLAYMOBIL® FunPark.

2000

PLAYMOBIL® FunPark opens in Zirndorf, next to the company headquarters. True to its “let’s get active” motto, the unique life-sized play worlds encourage children to enjoy all the action and adventure of the theme park.
Geobra Brandstätter enters a new segment with its LECHUZA brand. It’s not long before the quality self-watering planters have become successfully established as the company’s second line of business. Owner Horst Brandstätter finds a successor to run the business, Andrea Schauer, but he stays on as executive partner and continues to play an entrepreneurial role.

2004

PLAYMOBIL® celebrates its 30th anniversary. It has long been an established classic of the toy world.

2010

PLAYMOBIL®’s global sales exceed the “half-billion mark” for the first time, with a turnover of 507 million euros. geobra Brandstätter is Germany’s largest toy manufacturer, with a market share of 8%.

2012

Throughout the past decades Horst Brandstätter has continuously invested in new production facilities. In 2012 a new high-rack warehouse and a new injection moulding plant come into operation at the Dietenhofen location at a cost of 25 million euros.

2013

With investments of 100 million euros in 2013, company owner Horst Brandstätter paves the way for his company to remain the largest German toy manufacturer. In May, the groundbreaking for a new PLAYMOBIL logistics center in Herrieden takes place.

2014

PLAYMOBIL® figures celebrate their 40th birthday.

2015

The company’s sole owner Horst Brandstätter passes away on June 3rd at the age of 81 years. His company continues as a corporate foundation. The Brandstätter Group reaches a global sales volume of 616 million euros. The group of companies, apart from the largest manufacturing plant in Dietenhofen in Bavaria, includes production facilities in Selb, Malta, the Czech Republic and Spain, twelve PLAYMOBIL sales companies, as well as the production and sales of LECHUZA planters. Worldwide, the Brandstätter Group employs more than 4,100 staff in 2015.

2016

2.9 billion figures have found their way into children rooms worldwide. More than 5,100 different figures have been created since 1974.