Company Profile: Busch

History in a Nutshell

Founded in 1955 by Ernst Busch in Mannheim, Germany, Busch originally made fireworks. Two years later, owing to increasing legal safety requirements, the company moved to Viernheim and began manufacturing injection molded plastic toys; they exhibited their first model airplane at the 1958 Nürnberg International Toy Fair. By 1960 Busch had begun making model train accessories. Their first products included scenery items such as grass mats and trees. Later they offered model ships, streetlights and catenary systems in HO Scale.

1963 marked their debut in the N Scale market; later, their product range continued to expand, and included Styrofoam gliders, miniature golf games and other toys. In 1975 the company changed hands, and the new owners pushed them into new realms, including electronic experiment kits that gave rise to a series of electronic scenery accessories. Toward the end of the 1970s they were also making fashion dolls for girls.

1984 saw the launch of the Busch Data Service, an inventory control program designed for toy manufacturers. Ten years later they bought the Praliné company, which made collectible cars. And ten years after that, Busch introduced sewing kits and other craft items. In 2010 Busch returned to the Nürnberg Toy Fair to present a new concept in model railroading: an HO Scale mine train that ran on N Gauge track and utilized magnets to maintain traction. Other items in the diverse Busch product line include CD and MP3 players, walkie-talkies, and over 5,000 audio books. They currently have over 130 employees.

N Scale Products

Busch introduced their first N Scale items in 1963: a finished layout base made for Arnold Rapido track and trains, along with a handful of pre-built scenic items such as tunnels and grade crossings. By the following year their product line had exploded, featuring over two dozen urban structure kits and pre-builts. Curiously, years later they rebranded a number of Bachmann items, including figures and vehicles. Today they still make many N Scale products, which now include new vehicles, scenery items, and electronic accessories such as stoplights and signals, although their plastic structure kit line has totally disappeared.

Printed Matter

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