Our secret motto back then was: "first we make children happy, then we make children happy", 82-year-old gerhard limmer smiles at the opening of the "mechanical toys in neustadt" exhibition in the foyer of the neustadt town hall. Limmer must know this, because at that time unpaid toys came out of his toy factory that made children's hearts beat faster.
"In the late 1950s, we produced figurines for easter and christmas from papier-mâché castings, but also for sale at folk festivals and other occasions", recalled the former factory owner. Already in the early 60s, the company switched to a new rubber casting compound made of latex.
Always again the pumuckl
That's when the first dancing animals came into being. "Neustadt was the ideal town for toy manufacturers back then. There was almost everything you needed in a single store", says limmer and adds: "we had cardboard box manufacturers, the massemuhle, the brush-jakob, the drugstore mauer for chemicals and paints, the company doms produced hair and many more." the first participation in the nurnberg toy fair in 1964 was a great success. A particular highlight of his company was a doll that looked like one from 1900, made of porcelain, but now unbreakable. Dancing animals have been well received, including the dancing babies and, above all, pumuckl.
And it is precisely to this that the exhibition has a separate showcase dedicated. In it, a pumuckl sleeps in his pumuckl-bed, an advent calendar with pumuckl can be admired, the pumuckl together with the then popular ice cream confection in a gift box and last but not least the pumuckl together with his master eder as hand puppets. "We later visited gustl bayrhammer with our son in munich. It was a unique experience for all of us", remembers limmer. The collectors and stamp enthusiasts of neustadt have put together some 30 display panels on the subject for this exhibition.
Until 23. May to see
There is information not only about limmer's former toy factory, but also about those of other neustadters, such as erich leistners or ernst liebermanns. Drawings, photographs and documents show the importance of the toy industry for the town. In additional showcases you can see original toys from the local production. During the puppet festival, which starts on sunday, it is possible to visit the museum every day, after that until 23. May at the usual opening hours of the town hall.