By Larry LeMasters Note: This feature is in the May TT&C 2014 issue.
Bruder managing director Paul Heinz Bruder, holding Bruder’s top 2014 toy, Arocs half-pipe dump truck.
A 1/16 scale Mack Granite tipping container truck with swinging rear doors on the container and container can be lowered and dropped from the rear.
Mack Granite timber truck with loading crane that pivots 360 degrees and three log trunks.
MB Arocs cement mixer with mixing barrel that can be rotated by actuating the crank handle. Bright colors make this an eye-appealing toy.
Bruder Spielwaren GmbH + Co. KG of Germany has a simple corporate philosophy when it comes to making toy trucks—place “the playing child at the centre of every single product” we make. In keeping with this simple philosophy, Bruder develops its products as model-sized toys. Beate Caso, president of Bruder Toys America, Inc., explained, “We use ‘model-sized’ toys to encourage children to imitate real life in the form of role playing.” Real life imitation is easy for children when playing with a Bruder truck since the company strives to follow its company slogan—“Just Like the Real Thing”—with everything it manufactures. Building toys “just like the real thing” has helped Bruder become one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of plastic toy vehicles and a growing participant in America’s diverse toy market. Collectors like Bruder toys for their “Made in Germany” reputation. The company’s web site states, “More than 98 percent of our production is made in our facilities in Fürth, Germany. We supervise and control the complete process of manufacturing of our toys until they are dispatched. All our products are tested and examined by an independent quality test institute and they correspond to the directives of EN71 and ASTM (European and American toy standards).” Collectors know all too well how rare it is to find plastic toys not made in China. The road from startup to international toy sales was a 60-plus years overnight success story for Bruder. Paul Bruder founded Bruder in 1926 in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany, hoping to find a self-employed occupation where he could work with his hands and be a part of something larger. He found success, using a small hand press, in fabricating brass reeds for toy trumpets. WWII interrupted toy production, but by 1948, Bruder was back in business and his son, Heinz Bruder, joined the company in 1950. Searching for new business ideas, young Bruder investigated the growing injection mold industry. In 1958 Bruder purchased its first hand-operated injection mold machine, changing forever the future and fortunes of Bruder. By 1965 Heinz Bruder ran Bruder, directing it towards the modern age of plastic toys. Bruder’s first major success was his plastic “Sound Gun” which consisted of just three pieces and a rubber band. The gun’s simplicity and inexpensive cost made it a favorite toy with children and parents alike. The year 1975 may be the year that Bruder truly became an international toy company. That is the year Bruder first exhibited at the Nuremburg Toy Fair. Growing recognition forced Bruder to once again expand by constructing a new warehouse and dispatch office. A new factory and office building were needed in 1979 as Bruder expanded its line of toys to include larger product lines of vehicles and other small toy items that would quickly provide the foundations of continuing expansion for the company.
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