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

His son Georg takes over the business, changing the name to geobra, an acronym derived from his name, Georg Brandstätter.

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

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

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

Anfang der 70er Jahre
The oil crises and the cost pressure from low-cost countries catch up with the company. Horst Brandstätter realizes that this situation is the right moment for a completely new play idea from Hans Beck. Mr. Beck is the company’s sample maker - a position that would be known as developer or designer today.

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 2 ¾ in PLAYMOBIL figure.

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

In den 80er Jahren
To meet the globally-rising demand, PLAYMOBIL sets up sales companies in France, the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), England, Italy, Canada and the USA.

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.

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 the theme park has to offer.

Geobra Brandstätter enters a new era with its LECHUZA brand. It’s not long before the high-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.

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

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%.

Throughout the past decades Horst Brandstätter has continuously invested in new production facilities. In 2012 a new high-rack warehouse and a new injection molding plant come into operation at the Dietenhofen location at a cost of 25 million Euros. Further investments of 100 million Euros are planned for 2013.

With 531 million Euros in 2012, PLAYMOBIL's global sales to retail achieve a new record. Group volume grows by 5.3% to 591 million Euros. The group of companies, apart from the main manufacturing plant in Dietenhofen in Bavaria, includes additional production facilities in Germany, 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 3,700 staff in 2012.

PLAYMOBIL figures celebrate their 40th birthday.

Updated: February 2013