Company Profile: Kibri
History in a Nutshell
Kindler & Briel GmbH was founded by Wilhelm Kindler and Adolf Briel in 1895, making it one of the oldest toy manufacturers in Württemberg, Germany. They originally manufactured tinplate toys for dollhouses and large scale model trains.
In the early 1950s, they began producing tinplate structures such as stations for 0 and H0 Gauges; later, manufacturing shifted toward injection molded plastic, and as Kibri continued to grow, they became a major manufacturer of model railroad kits and accessories. They entered the N Scale market in 1964 and also pursued Z Scale. In 1973 their production facilities suffered an arson attack; it was two years before they could resume production. In the 1980s they started producing models of large construction cranes, which proved to be very popular.
Kibri fell on hard times beginning in 2005 when sales slumped unexpectedly. Their problems got worse when Klaus Sick, the managing director, indicated he wanted to retire before naming a successor, and the banks cut their credit lines. Sick agreed to remain on board until 2006, but a new managing director wasn't appointed until 2007. That same year, Kibri was acquired by RiRe Maschinen GmbH; then in 2010 Viessmann Modellspielwaren GmbH became the owner (along with Vollmer), and production was moved to their Hungarian plant.
N Scale Products
Kibri entered N Scale in 1964 with several plastic structure kits of small chalets, and proceeded to build their product line to become one of the dominant players in this market segment. Their name is synonymous with quality tooling; some of their castles and cathedrals are extraordinary.
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