The man behind Playmobil, the small plastic figures loved by children the world over, has died.
Horst Brandstätter, who was 81, launched the iconic plastic figurines in the 1970s and turned his family firm into one of the world’s most recognizable toy brands.
But unlike many manufacturers, the Bavarian refused to move his production over to Asia.
“I’d say a Franconian does not change things easily,” he said in a recent TV interview.
“I’d feel uneasy if my products were being produced in the Far East – because it’s so far away, and I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on it.”
Playmobil toys are made in Germany, Malta, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Brandstätter had started as a mold maker in the 1950’s and was quick to spot the potential for toys made of plastic rather than metal.
The seven and a half centimeter figures – compact, sturdy and painful to step on – have since become a smashing hit, with nearly 3 billion Playmobil sold to date.