The Fathers of PLAYMOBIL®

Horst Brandstätter
Horst Brandstätter
Hans Beck
Hans Beck

Horst Brandstätter (1933 – 2015)

Children knew him as “Mr. Playmobil”, but to most of his employees he was simply “HOB”. Horst Brandstätter, the great-grandchild of company founder Andreas Brandstätter, was the company’s sole owner for three decades. He was among the most distinguished personalities of the German toy industry. Already in the 1950s, he realized that the future of toy production would be in the field of plastics instead of metal goods. As a result, he restructured the entire manufacturing system of the family business. At the beginning of the 1970s, Horst Brandstätter asked his chief model maker Hans Beck to develop an entirely new toy system: PLAYMOBIL® was born. With the help of PLAYMOBIL®, Brandstätter’s company went on to become Germany’s top-selling toy manufacturer. Proof of Brandstätter’s talent for looking ahead and turning his visions into reality can also be seen with the LECHUZA self watering planters, which he successfully established in 2000 as the second pillar of his company. PLAYMOBIL® head Horst Brandstätter died on June 3, 2015 at the age of 81. His company is continued as a corporate foundation.

 

Hans Beck (1929 – 2009)

In 1958 Hans Beck applied for a position as a toy developer, or at that time a “model maker,” with geobra Brandstätter. The company’s owner, Horst Brandstätter, selected Mr. Beck from among a number of applicants. Hans Beck designed innovative products for the company from the start, which considerably contributed to the company’s success. His masterpiece, PLAYMOBIL®, was created in the early 1970s. As Head of Development, Hans Beck was PLAYMOBIL®’s "Corporate Conscience" for many years. He personally kept a careful watch over new PLAYMOBIL® sets to ensure that they would fit into the play system’s fundamental concept instead of following short-lived trends. The consumer’s satisfaction was always his most important concern. Mr. Beck retired in 1998 and passed away after a long illness in 2009. The company geobra Brandstätter commemorates Hans Beck by making certain that he lives on through the continuation of his figures. The PLAYMOBIL® R&D team, under the direction of Mr. Uwe Reuter since 2014, is continuing Mr. Beck’s life’s work.