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 joins the company, later to become its sole owner, a new era begins. The young and dynamic man makes plastics his favorite material, 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.

Early 1970’s
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 are assembled by hand. Today most of these are machine-made and PLAYMOBIL Malta has an annual capacity of more than 100 million figures.

In the 1980s,
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 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.

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 moulding plant come into operation at the Dietenhofen location at a cost of 25 million euros.

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.

PLAYMOBIL figures celebrate their 40th birthday.

The company’s sole owner, Horst Brandstätter, passes away on June 3 at the age of 81. His company is continued 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.

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

Updated: January 2016