Our History

Here is our group timeline highlighting the core historical milestones from our three global brands: The blue triangle, BRIO and ThinkFun.

Ravensburger Group: We are a family.

The Ravensburger Group sees itself as a corporate family in the best sense of the word, each company and brand individual in its character and strengths, but all united by a common mission:

Encourage discovery of what really matters.

In today's fast-paced modern society where there is little time for and with each other, we want to offer moments of togetherness and personal development. This is what Ravensburger, BRIO and Thinkfun achieve with their offerings: playful quality content with high entertainment value; durable and well-designed products; creative educational concepts that support children in their personal development.

This is also how consumers judge our offers in market surveys. And ultimately, they underline the success stories that all three companies have written. What is interesting is that every company has pursued their very own educational approach, which unite very well in our mission today:

Ravensburger

Togetherness and personal development, this orientation existed from the very beginning when Otto Maier founded the company in 1883 as "Otto Maier Verlag". He was inspired by the educational reforms of his time, by the credo: "learning by doing" and the unity of "head, heart and hand". The founder brought products onto the market that were intended to combine entertainment and education "in the most excellent way". This combination of quality entertainment that is fun and educational content that benefits children in life is still typical of Ravensburger to this day and is appreciated by consumers for precisely this reason.

Ravensburger's first board game, "A Trip Around the World" from 1884, was not only fun for children and parents. They also discovered details about distant countries while playing. And today our children's non-fiction book series "Why? How come? What for?" is not only interesting and informative. It also encourages play while it is equipped with little doors, sliders and pop-ups. Also "Learning by doing" continues to apply. So building our new ball track system "Gravitrax" not only makes for good fun, but also promotes creative thinking and makes the laws of gravity visible.

Ravensburger

Togetherness and personal development, this orientation existed from the very beginning when Otto Maier founded the company in 1883 as "Otto Maier Verlag". He was inspired by the educational reforms of his time, by the credo: "learning by doing" and the unity of "head, heart and hand". The founder brought products onto the market that were intended to combine entertainment and education "in the most excellent way". This combination of quality entertainment that is fun and educational content that benefits children in life is still typical of Ravensburger to this day and is appreciated by consumers for precisely this reason.

Ravensburger's first board game, "A Trip Around the World" from 1884, was not only fun for children and parents. They also discovered details about distant countries while playing. And today our children's non-fiction book series "Why? How come? What for?" is not only interesting and informative. It also encourages play while it is equipped with little doors, sliders and pop-ups. Also "Learning by doing" continues to apply. So building our new ball track system "Gravitrax" not only makes for good fun, but also promotes creative thinking and makes the laws of gravity visible.

BRIO

BRIO’s story began in 1884 when Ivar Bengtsson, an entrepreneurial young man, invested the few savings that he had to create a business selling wooden baskets. The craftsmanship and quality of these products were key to Ivar’s success and became a core value for his small business in Osby, Sweden.

It was in 1907 that Ivar’s passion for toys was born with the launch of the Osby Wooden Horse. Soon after, BRIO - an acronym for ‘The Ivarsson brothers of Osby’ – was created when the business was transferred to Ivar’s sons. And it was under this new name that BRIO mastered their craftmanship for play - designing quality toys that support children’s development and trigger creativity by being bold, colourful and interactive.

With this philosophy in mind, BRIO found great success with iconic toys that would be loved by generations of children. The wooden railway, pull-along dachshund and stacking clown are just as popular today as they were when they were released in the 1950s. More innovative toys joined the family to match the changing demands of society and today you can find smart technologies, rechargeable batteries and radio controls seamlessly integrated into their playful toys.

Through these different experiences that BRIO products offer, children can joyfully and safely explore, discover and grow whilst they play. By learning about themselves, the people in their lives and the wonderful world around them in the process, they will create those precious, happy childhood memories the brand evokes.

BRIO

BRIO’s story began in 1884 when Ivar Bengtsson, an entrepreneurial young man, invested the few savings that he had to create a business selling wooden baskets. The craftsmanship and quality of these products were key to Ivar’s success and became a core value for his small business in Osby, Sweden.

It was in 1907 that Ivar’s passion for toys was born with the launch of the Osby Wooden Horse. Soon after, BRIO - an acronym for ‘The Ivarsson brothers of Osby’ – was created when the business was transferred to Ivar’s sons. And it was under this new name that BRIO mastered their craftmanship for play - designing quality toys that support children’s development and trigger creativity by being bold, colourful and interactive.

With this philosophy in mind, BRIO found great success with iconic toys that would be loved by generations of children. The wooden railway, pull-along dachshund and stacking clown are just as popular today as they were when they were released in the 1950s. More innovative toys joined the family to match the changing demands of society and today you can find smart technologies, rechargeable batteries and radio controls seamlessly integrated into their playful toys.

Through these different experiences that BRIO products offer, children can joyfully and safely explore, discover and grow whilst they play. By learning about themselves, the people in their lives and the wonderful world around them in the process, they will create those precious, happy childhood memories the brand evokes.

ThinkFun

The name says it all: since 1985, the US game developer has been combining "thinking" with "fun" and developing thinking and logic games with a high fun factor. The founders Bill and Andrea Barthello and Bill Ritchie are convinced: learning can be fun: "We founded ThinkFun on a dream, that we could change the world by translating the brilliant ideas of the craziest mathematicians, engineers and inventors into simple toys that can be appreciated by children around the world."

Together with highly creative authors, ThinkFun developed a growing programme of thinking games and puzzles that celebrate the joy found in a challenge. ThinkFun's bestseller, Rush Hour the Traffic Jam Puzzle, appeared in 1996 and is a worldwide classic.  The entire ThinkFun range is successful because it proves time and again: games that promote learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills can be really fun.

ThinkFun

The name says it all: since 1985, the US game developer has been combining "thinking" with "fun" and developing thinking and logic games with a high fun factor. The founders Bill and Andrea Barthello and Bill Ritchie are convinced: learning can be fun: "We founded ThinkFun on a dream, that we could change the world by translating the brilliant ideas of the craziest mathematicians, engineers and inventors into simple toys that can be appreciated by children around the world."

Together with highly creative authors, ThinkFun developed a growing programme of thinking games and puzzles that celebrate the joy found in a challenge. ThinkFun's bestseller, Rush Hour the Traffic Jam Puzzle, appeared in 1996 and is a worldwide classic.  The entire ThinkFun range is successful because it proves time and again: games that promote learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills can be really fun.