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  • 1954/1956
  • 1967/1970
  • 1975/1989
  • 1988/2002/2003
  • 2006/2008/2009
  • 2011/2012
  • 2012/2013/2015
  • 2017/2019

The Beginning

1954

Kurt Naef founds a company in Basel (Switzerland) under the name Kurt Naef. His company’s focus is on furniture and interior design.

1956

The production of his first toys according to his own designs brings Kurt Naef great recognition.

Growth and Export

1967

The expanding production requires more space. A modern production facility is built in Zeiningen, Aargau (Switzerland). During peak production times, the business employs up to 40 employees. The range of products is widened through collaboration with well-known designers such as Peer Clahsen, Werner Panton, Xavier de Clippeleir, Jo Niemeyer, Yasuo Aizawa, among others.

1970

Two Japanese ladies visit Zeiningen. They later prove themselves to be competent businesswomen. After talks, an exclusive agreement is worked out for Japan. Naef and Niki Tiki still enjoy a successful and prosperous partnership to this day.

Bauhaus and Commercial Products

ca. 1975

While travelling abroad, Kurt Naef continues to discover new items which he can import into Switzerland and form collaborations with Naef. One of the most successful is the wind chime from the company Woodstock, USA.

From 1977

The collaboration with Hans-Maria Wingler, present director of the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, allows Kurt Naef to obtain reproduction rights for toys of the Bauhaus era – another milestone for the Naef company. Since then, the "Optical Color Mixer" from Bauhaus, the "Bauhaus Bauspiel" (building game) have been part of the product range, also the “Bauhaus Schachfiguren” (chess set) (1981), the Bauhaus Hampelmann” (jumping jack) (1996) and the “Bauhaus Steckpuppen” (peg dolls) (1996).

Sale of the Company, Crisis and Buy-back

1988 - 1989

Kurt Naef sells the company to a long-term supplier. A new managing director is appointed. The company "Kurt Naef" is transformed into a stock corporation, "Naef AG". Roger Pfund creates the new corporate design for Naef AG.

2003

The company falls into a deep crisis. Driven by Kurt Naef, a small group of investors manages to buy back the company. Under the name "Naef Spiele AG" the premises are relocated to Zofingen, Switzerland where Kurt Naef presently lives with his wife Lotti. Hans-Peter Engeler, Lotti's son, runs the company together with his son Patrick Engeler. The company once again belongs to the family.

Expansion und Modernisation

2006

"Naef USA" is founded as an independent distribution partner of Naef Spiele AG. The company headquarters is located in Winchester (VA).

2008

In Wismar (Germany) the exhibition "Kurt Naef - Der Spielzeugmacher / The Toymaker" takes place in honour of Kurt Naef and his company, offering a retrospective of his life's work.

Naef launches its first toy design competition for students at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (USA). The best toy/play-objects are awarded. Further competitions will follow in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and 2017.

2009

A new corporate design is launched, including a website with a web shop and a new catalogue. Modern and open-minded, small yet refined, Naef Spiele AG is ready for the international market.

Museum, Shop und Factory Relocation

2011

A new museum / archive is built in the offices of Naef Spiele AG in Zofingen. Here you can find many games and toys from the past - a bit of nostalgia. A shop is also set up.
The museum and shop are open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 12 pm / 1.30 pm to 5 pm.

2012

Production relocates to southern Germany and a new distribution center is acquired. Management, administration and product development remain in Zofingen.

Packaging is redesigned.

Ambassador for Quality

2012

Naef is represented at the exhibition "Century of the Child" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York with its products Pantonaef (building blocks made of cubic frames), Bauhaus Bauspiel (sailboat-inspired building blocks) and Bauhaus Optischer Farbmischer (a spinning top with changeable coloured panels).

2013

Naef enters the Chinese market. “Naef China” is founded.

2015

Japan celebrates 150 years of diplomatic relations with Switzerland and invites renowned Swiss companies to exhibit their products. Part of the Naef exhibition is an enormous picture of the Matterhorn, consisting of over 1000 coloured Naef building blocks.

Good ideas live on

2017

Interest in Naef products continues to grow in Asia. In Shanghai, the Chinese Naef partners organize a major event at which Naef - its products and its company history - is introduced.

2019

Bauhaus celebrates its 100th birthday. Bauhaus replicas, produced by Naef since 1977, become extremely popular again. In honour of the Bauhaus anniversary, Naef re-creates two Bauhaus classics: Peter Keler's Bauhaus cradle in miniature form, and a new edition of Alma Siedhoff-Buscher's shipbuilding game, the Bauhaus Bauspiel White Edition.