Ravensburger Company History

Enjoyment. Education. Togetherness. Since 1884.

1883-1925

Otto Maier – The Founder Sets the Course

Without a doubt, the Ravensburger story is characterized by the principles of Otto Maier. Inspired by the development of educational reforms during his time, in 1883 he founded a publishing house in Ravensburg.

His goal: to combine entertainment and education. His motto: learning by doing. His quality standard: nothing but the best. The initial product range includes presentation folders for craftspeople, educational and family games, how-to books and children's stories. After 1900 picture books, activity games and instructions for model construction and amateur art are added to the product range. By 1925, the year of Otto Maier's death, more than 1000 publishing products have been released.
Ravensburger History Otto Maier

Otto Maier – The Founder Sets the Course

Ravensburger History Otto Maier

Otto Maier – The Founder Sets the Course

Ravensburger History Otto Maier

Otto Maier – The Founder Sets the Course

1884

The Game Begins

Good quality, exceptional design, current themes – this is how Otto Maier's games should be. “A Trip Around the World” is the name of the first game, named after Jules Verne's bestseller “Around the World in 80 Days”. In line with the publisher's commitment to quality to offer “nothing but the best”, the elaborately equipped game features a laminated game board, painted tin figures and a high-quality box. The retail price of A Trip Around the World: 3 gold marks. The high commitment to content and design applies to every game that the publisher introduces from 1884 on.
Ravensburger game

1925-1952

The Second Generation: Continuity and New Developments

After Otto Maier's death, his three sons Otto, Karl and Eugen Maier share the organizational and editorial management of the publishing company.
Ravensburger family Maier

New style: Simple Forms

The appearance of the products also changes when the next generation takes over. Biedermeier elements, Historicism and Art Nouveau yield to clear, simple forms. This timeless style, featured in the 1927 game classic “Fang den Hut”, is still maintained today.

Textbooks

Fröbel's maxim “Learning by Doing” is still very popular, with an additional focus on providing instruction for craftsmanship and artistic skills. In addition to an extensive children's activity and crafting range, the image of the publisher is characterized by large, elaborately designed specialized craftsmanship books. During this period, sales are mainly generated by these books.
Ravensburger

1952-1979

The Third Generation: New Beginnings

It is the start of a new beginning in the 1950s/60s with the founder's grandson Otto Julius Maier and his cousin Dorothee Hess-Maier.
Dorothee Hess Maier and Otto Julius Maier

New Product Ideas

New product ideas for the German market are found in the USA: 1955 children's books predominantly with pictures, 1960 “Hobbytaschen”, 1963 paperbacks, 1964 puzzles.

New Games

Many of the newly introduced games quickly become classics: 1958 “Das goldene Spielemagazin”, 1959 “memory®“, 1960 “Malefiz®”. Games and puzzles are now the strongest pillars in the product range. The educational game range is extended as a result of the surge in preschool programs.

1975 a new product segment is launched with “Painting by Numbers”.

1979 “Hase und Igel” is the first game to receive the “Game of the Year” award.
Ravensburger

Industrial Production

After tripling sales in the 1950s, the phase-in of industrial production begins in 1962. It is the basis for the company's further expansion.
Ravensburger Production

Departure to Western Europe

Within the scope of the European Economic Community, in the 1960s, the publishing company expands its sales region into Western Europe and export versions are produced for many games. The first subsidiaries are established in the 1970s.
Ravensburger conqueres Europe

Ravensburger conqueres Europe

Ravensburger conqueres Europe

Ravensburger conqueres Europe

Ravensburger conqueres Europe

Ravensburger conqueres Europe

1974

The Blue Triangle: A Brief History of the Trademark

In 1974, the blue triangle trademark is introduced. The design is the result of a lengthy series of freely designed signets.

They contain elements of the municipal coat of arms and Otto Maier's initials, have winding or ornamental Wilhelmine decorations, depict Greek goddess Athena or a cone-shaped figure. The triangle is presented for the first time in 1957. Many different versions are created until it receives its clear, angular form in 1974.
Ravensburger Logos

1980s

Electronics and New Games

Electronic media change the leisure-time activities of children and families. Even Ravensburger develops electronic games, but still focuses on classic games.

Starting in 1984, Ravensburger becomes involved in children's television and develops their first children's games for computers. Parallel to the electronics trend, a new game and puzzle wave begins in Germany.
Ravensburger electronic and new games

Electronic media changed society

Ravensburger electronic and new games

Electronic media changed society

Ravensburger electronic and new games

Electronic media changed society

New Games, Many Awards

Ravensburger launches a whole series of new games and receives numerous prizes and awards. 1981 “Enchanted Forest” is presented and wins “Game of the Year” in 1982. This award is also received by “Scotland Yard” in 1983 and “Top Secret Spies” in 1986. In 1986 “Labyrinth” is released and advances to become a classic in the Ravensburger game portfolio.
Ravensburger games from the 80s

1990s

Entering New Markets

Ravensburger continues to develop electronic and classic products, expands into new markets and opens an amusement park.

When the borders to the east are opened in 1989, the entrance to Eastern Europe begins – in the new German states, in Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania. Ravensburger establishes production facilities in France and the Czech Republic, a subsidiary for computer games and learning software and a subsidiary in the USA. The variety of the games grows as they acquire other game companies.
Ravensburger expands

Neue markets, new works

Ravensburger expands

Neue markets, new works

Ravensburger expands

Neue markets, new works

1998

Ravensburger Spieleland Amusement Park

With the opening of Ravensburger Spieleland, Ravensburger enters a new category – the amusement park. It offers a wide range of amusement and action attractions to families with children two years of age and up.
Ravensburger Spieleland History

From 2000

On the Way to the Future

In addition to a return to its core competencies, Ravensburger considers new media and technologies. New product categories are created, production is increasingly automated and the online presence is expanded. Simultaneously the progress remains in balance with an awareness for tradition. 2008 marks the 125-year anniversary; in 2010 Ravensburger Museum opens.

New Product Categories

Electronics are back in the game: with “King Arthur” in 2003 and “The Island” in 2005, the first electronically supported board games are released on the market. In 2007, “Who was it?” leads to a breakthrough and is followed by “Where was it?” in 2008 and “Who was it? The 2nd Adventure” in 2010.

The baby and toddler range “ministeps” is launched in 2003, “puzzleball®” in 2004, and in 2006 the small toy series “Minis®”, the experiment series “ScienceX®” and the innovative educational game series “Learning by Playing”.

In 2010 the audio-digital learning system “tiptoi®” is introduced and wins the hearts of critics, children and parents by storm.

The first apps for iPhone and iPad also arrive on the market in 2010.

Automation

Production and logistics are increasingly automated to be able to provide high quality and safety along with fast service.
Ravensburger automated production

Automation of production and logistics

Ravensburger automated production

Automation of production and logistics

Ravensburger automated production

Automation of production and logistics

Online World

The Ravensburger online presence with an own Internet website exists since 1997. Ravensburger products are available in a company online shop and through other online suppliers since 2007.

Ravensburger Museum

The Ravensburger Museum reopened in May 2010. It provides an opportunity to experience the Ravensburger past and present in an interactive exhibition.

The museum is characterized by an exciting mix of historical exhibits and digital presentation in an old building with contemporary interior design.

The stimulating contrast it creates reflects the self-image of Ravensburger: with strong traditional roots and a vision towards the future.