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Company History

Video on the company's history

Company history

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1926

The company is founded as a one-man operation by Paul Bruder, who was looking for a job at the time; he laboriously handcrafted brass reeds using a small hand press. He sold these brass reeds to manufacturers of toy trumpets.

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Hand press that started it all

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Brass reeds produced as a supplier product for manufacturers of toy trumpets

1939

Production stop caused by WW II

1948

Production resumes

1950

Having completed his vocational training, Heinz Bruder joins his parents' company as a tool maker, continuing the tradition in the second generation.

1954

Heinz Bruder passes his examination for master craftsman as a tool maker. He already saw his way forward in the perpetuation of the search of new ideas.

1958

Purchase of a small, second-hand manual injection moulding machine; production shifts to plastic products, thereby, changing the structure of the company; the 60 sqm shop floor is no longer sufficient. Cardboard casings are replaced by plastic casings which can be produced automatically. A new production technology introduced by Heinz Bruder earns the company the first industrial property rights on reeds and small toys.

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Catalogue including plastic reed tubes integrated by the toy industry into rubber animals and puppets

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Slowly, but surely, BRUDER creates its own ideas - here is a small selection of the articles produced at that time which had a size of up to 10 cm and were used to fill lucky bags and for other purposes in the sweets industry

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Residential and plant building on Würzburger Str.

1960

Construction of a plant building used for mould construction on Würzburger Str. in Fürth

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Company founder Paul Bruder in his workshop, 1960

1965

Heinz Bruder takes over his parents' company. In the sixties small toys such as a sound gun, which only consists of 3 pieces and a rubber band, and which is a big hit because of its uniqueness, simplicity, excellent function and cheapness contributed to the continuing growth of the company. The small toys are mainly sold to the sweets industry.

1966

Expansion of the company by adding another production facility.
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1968

In an effort to satisfy the demand, the injection moulding plant starts working in three shifts

1975

First product presentation at the Toy Fair in Nuremberg in February

The continuing growth results in the construction of a warehouse and distribution facility on Bernbacher Straße, approx. 2 km away from the administrative building on Würzburger Str. in Fürth-Burgfarrnbach.

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Erection of the distribution facility, Bernbacher Str., Fürth

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1978

The company's name changes from Paul Bruder Spielwarenfabrik to:
BRUDER Spielwaren Owner Heinz Bruder.

1979

Now using its registered trademark "bruder", the company lays the foundation for constant further development by continuously adding new products to its line of vehicles, promotional gifts and small toys, which makes it necessary to expand the company location on Bernbacher Str.

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Catalogue title page from the years 1977, 1978, and 1979

1981

Inauguration after only 14 months in bulding. The entire business was moved to the Bernbacher Straße. The company’s personnel numbers 70; the machine outfit includes 35 injection molding machines; exports are now at 25 % and include more than 30 countries.

BRUDER-Mini, small size toy vehicles which fully underline BRUDER’s philosophy of functionality contribute to the success of the company in the eighties.

1987

The owner's son, Paul Heinz Bruder (graduate in civil engineering (UAS), field: machine construction) joins the company. He assumes the responsibility for product development and production.

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1988

Opening of the new assembly and warehouse facility. Assembly and storage capacity is doubled to accommodate for more growth.
BRUDER can now utilise more than 26,000 sqm of enclosed floor space. The company has 80 employees; the machine outfit includes; 45 injection moulding machines.

A new company logo is introduced:

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1992

Change in the legal form of the company from a sole proprietorship to a limited partnership with a limited liability company as general partner.  Grad. Civ. Eng. Paul Heinz Bruder is now co-managing partner alongside his father Heinz Bruder.   
Employees: 105; investments approx. 3.5 Mio. DM/year

1995

Thanks to an innovative article policy a new series of producats can be launched. The new ROADMAX vehicles are developed especially for small children aged 2 years. There colourful and sturdy vehicles in an attractive desgn are particularly loved by small children.

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1997

The new products developed over the last few years, for instance, the ROADMAX and TOP professional series including a new generation of tractors with enhanced product quality, e.g. model-sized profiled tyres, requires that the construction of a new four-storey with a floor space of approx. 15,000 sqm commence in October of 1997. The personnel counts 120.


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Structural work on the production facility in 1997

1998

By finishing the new construction (in June 1998) BRUDER confirms its commitment to its Fürth production location and providing secure jobs. BRUDER Spielwaren now has a totoal production and warehouse area of 41,000 sqm. The company’s innovative power is underlined by many patents and industrial design patents.

Grad. Civ. Eng. Paul Heinz Bruder, who has already been playing a major role in the company's positive development, is now in charge of making all crucial decisions as the company's Managing Director. Thanks to his experience in modern company management and developing articles with a promising future, Paul Heinz Bruder is certain to bring continuing growth to the current company location in Fürth-Burgfarrnbach and continue his family's tradition.

1999

Founding of a sales office by establishing Bruder Toys America Inc. in Gardena, California, USA, headed by Beate Caso, daughter of Heinz and Elfriede Bruder.

2000

The positive development the company has been experiencing continues thanks to successful new product developments. The Fürth-Burgfarrnbach location currently now employs a personnel of approx. 180. The number of company-trained apprentices is increased to 11 due to the shortage of qualified personnel on the labour market.

2001

The export quota is now greater than 50%. Investments in the purchase of an adjacent property lay the foundation for continuing expansion.

June sees the celebration of senior partner Heinz Bruder's 70th birthday.

2002

In November, ground excavation for the construction of the new warehouse commences on the newly purchased neighbouring property

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2003

In an effort to improve the generally poor training situation on the labour market, a "Bavarian Day for Vocational Training" is held in June. At this event, BRUDER was honoured as a model company for increasing its number of apprentices to 17. On September 12, 2003, a newly constructed logistics centre at Bernbacher Str. 150 is commissioned.  Providing 6,000 sqm of storage space with 10 storage cells that are 10 m high, the building is commissioned by Bavaria's Home Secretary Dr. Günther Beckstein. The investment volume required for this undertaking is approx. 5 M EUR.  Other investments include the purchase of 4 new injection moulding machines as well as one CNC milling centre.

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6,000 sqm logistics building, completed in 2003

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Logistics building gateway

2003

Newly designed company logo:
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2004

In spite of the ongoing weakness in domestic economy and the low consumer confidence associated with this weak activity, BRUDER is able to increase its export quota to more than 60% of the last year's result. In the summer, BRUDER kick-starts the development of a new mini series which is to be planned to be launched in 2005. The first product in this series is a 1:128 mini tractor with an abundance of fully functional accessories; its special feature is the included screwdriver and chain which makes it possible to convert the toy tractor into a key ring.

2005

The new BRUDER mini series is launched on the market!
BRUDER is able to achieve an increase in turnover. However, since the overall economic situation remains poor, the cost pressure remains intense. The surge in commodity prices, e.g. the price of crude oil, and the increase in energy costs are primary factors in this regard.

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2006

BRUDER's US sales office Bruder Toys America Inc. acquires its own office and shipping building and moves its principal offices from Gardena, California, to Hawthorne, California.

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BRUDER branch in Hawthorne, California, USA

2007

In May, Senior partner Heinz Bruder receives the Bavarian Founders Award from the Bavarian Association of Savings Banks in honour of his lifetime business achievements.
The remodelling, mostly in the administrative building, set the course for the company's future.

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In 2007, Mr. Rudolf Faltermeier, Vice-President of the Bavarian Association of Savings Banks, hands Heinz Bruder the Bavarian Founders Award in the lifetime achievement category

2008

In autumn the go-ahead of the new BRUDER website www.bruder.de has been given. This new and innovative instrument of information and communication has been created with big effort. Consequently the users are very enthusiastic with this new website.

2010

To expand the logistics centre, construction of a new warehouse began in summer 2010. Upon completion, the new storage facility with a useable height of approximately 16.5 metres will provide around 10,000 square metres of storage space. The state-of-the-art high bay racking system will also meet future capacity needs.

2011

Launching of a new product line called bworld. The name “bworld” stands for “bruder world” and comprises a play system. This play system contains modular buildings, animals and figures as well as many accessories made from high quality plastics. The play system’s specific characteristics are on the one hand fully functional and realistic figures and on the other hand its versatility: bworld is compatible with the vehicles of the BRUDER Pro Series scaled 1:16. With this new play system endless play fun is guaranteed. Recommended for children aged 3 – 10 years.

Senior President Heinz Bruder who still advises the company celebrates his 80th birthday.

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2012

Completion of the storage depot (warehouse construction began in 2010) providing 15,000 pallet storage bays. Moreover, the expansion of the injection moulding plant including a new energy-efficient cooling system could be completed.
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