Photo credit: Playmobil
Horst Brandstätter, the head of the company behind the Playmobil toys, has died aged 81, it has been announced.
Brandstätter’s company, geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co revolutionised the toy market when it introduced the Playmobil toys in 1974.
In 1952, aged 19, Brandstätter entered the family business and trained as a mould maker.
It was not long until he realised the machines and working methods were out of date and he began promoting innovation when we was made joint shareholder at the age of 21.
In the early 1970s, Brandstätter put his entrepreneurial skills to the test and he requested his master mould maker, Hans Beck, to develop a completely new toy system, which could be continuously expanded.
This move came after Brandstätter recognised the future of toy manufacturing lay more in plastic products than metal ones.
He therefore decided to reconstruct the entire facility, and his specification for the new toy system was to achieve the maximum amount of play value for the minimum amount of plastic.
This resulted in the 7.5 centimetre play figures – a knight, a construction worker and a native American - first introduced to the general public as Playmobil at a toy fair in 1974.
With the help of Playmobil, Brandstätter’s company went on to become Germany’s top-selling toy manufacturer.