Horst Brandstaetter was bornon 27 June 1933 in Germany. Horst Brandstaetter, founder of toy-maker Playmobil, died in June 2015. At the time of his death, Playmobil was one of the world's largest toy companies, with $700 million in sales. While now famous for its two-and-three-quarter inch figures sold in thematic, Lego-esque kits, the company's origins were distinctly less whimsical. In 1876, a Brandstaetter ancestor founded the firm in Furth, Germany?then Bavaria?as a producer of ornamental casket fittings and locks. Family members later expanded to sheet-metal piggy banks, telephones and cash registers. Horst joined the family business, then run by his two uncles, in 1952 at age 19. He pressed for the aging business to think about entering new markets. Six years later, the company brought the hula hoop to Europe. The oil crisis of the 1970s made plastic scarce, and Brandstaetter asked a top lieutenant to develop a new toy that wouldn't require much of it. Together, he and that employee dreamed up the little figurines with hollow body parts that used less plastic. They hit toy store shelves in 1974. Brandstaetter stepped down from running Playmobil in 2000. The company's sole shareholder, he continued to go to the office daily right until his death. He is survived by two children.
The 1973 oil crisis necessitated the creation of a toy whose production required little solid plastic; he had asked Beck for "the maximum amount of play value for the minimum amount of plastic"
Horst Brandstätter was born on June 27, 1933 in Zirndorf, Germany
The company was founded by Andreas Brandstätter in 1876