Inventor of the popular children's toy Playmobil, Horst Brandstätter, passed away last Wednesday at the age of 81. Manufacturer Geobra-Brandstätter confirmed the news yesterday.
From coffins to 2.8 billion 'puppets'
The name Horst Brandstätter may not ring a bell, but his 'invention' most certainly will: Playmobil, undoubtedly the world's most well-known toy after LEGO and Barbie. In 1974, he was the one who transformed his uncles' German company from a coffin parts manufacturer into the manufacturer of the plastic toy figures.
It became a resounding success: all in all, more than 2.8 billion Playmobil figures have been sold. Geobra-Brandstätter, which also creates plastic flower pots, had a 596 million euro turnover last year and employs 4,000 people. It even has Playmobil theme parks in Zirndorf (where its main offices are located), Athens, Malta, Florida and Paris.
To secure the factory and toy figures' future, Brandstätter had already created a foundation that has now become the company's owner. Horst Brandstätter passed away last week at the age of 81 after a short illness.