Ravensburger Karton is the Czech manufacturing plant of Ravensburger AG. Headquartered in Ravensburg, Germany, Ravensburger is the market leader in the European jigsaw puzzle market.
The comprehensive product range includes approximately 8,000 different articles, including country-specific items, and splits into four product divisions: Puzzles (adult puzzles, children’s puzzles, 3D puzzles, jigsaw puzzle accessories), Games (family games, children’s games, educational games, giant card games, character games, strategy games, memory®), Arts and Crafts (such as Aquarelle, Mandala-Designer® or Science X) and Characters and Themes (Disney, Hello Kitty, Spiderman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, Thomas & Friends and many more).
Ravensburger is exceptionally rich in tradition. The company was founded by Otto Robert Maier in 1883. He started publishing instruction folders for craftsmen and architects, and his first board game, named Journey around the World, appeared in 1884.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the product range had expanded to include picture books, children’s activity books, art instruction manuals, non-fiction books, children’s games and activity kits.
The blue triangle, which is known around the world today as a hallmark of quality, was registered as a trademark in 1900. Export activities were started in 1912, mainly to Western Europe. After World War II, Ravensburger focused on children’s games and books as well as specialist books for art, architecture and hobbies.
“The basis for the company’s uninterrupted growth was laid in the 1960s when the publishing house began producing jigsaw puzzles and opening subsidiary companies across Europe,” says Peter Neff, managing director of the Czech production subsidiary. Today, Ravensburger products are exported to more than 84 countries in 2013 worldwide. The Group employs approximately 1,700 people and has annual sales of 330 million EUR.
In 2011, Ravensburger published the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle ever made as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Titled Keith Haring: Double Retrospect, the giant puzzle consists of 32,256 pieces and measures 17′ x 6′. Current Ravensburger best-sellers are the company’s innovative 3D building set puzzles and the audiodigital, educational game series tiptoi®. “Both products are genuine growth drivers,” states Mr. Neff.
“For the 3D building set puzzle series we use a completely new manufacturing technique.” Ravensburger is more, however, than a manufacturer of award-winning jigsaw puzzles and innovative game products.
The company has a concise brand philosophy which postulates to “discover what is really important”. It is based on the core values of the Ravensburger brand – fun, education and interaction – and claims that playing is more than just passing the time, reading is more than just acquiring information, enjoyment is more than just having fun, education is more than just gaining knowledge and being together is better than being alone.
“Enjoyment, education, togetherness, we believe in these values, with passion and intellect, so that children and adults are constantly discovering what is really important,” explains Mr. Neff. Ravensburger stands for more than good games and books. Games, books and art and craft products from Ravensburger not only give pleasure. They are useful, too, and shape hearts and minds.
“While having fun playing amusing games, children learn to think ahead, to accept losing graciously and even to obey rules,” says Mr. Neff.
“Art and craft products and puzzles foster concentration, imagination and children’s joy of doing things for themselves. Picture books train the eye and help toddlers to grasp what they see and learn to talk. Reading aloud and shared activities create a sense of security and belonging.”
Ravensburger also offers more than good content: the company’s products provide meaning and pleasure for life, cater to different age groups, feature clear design and – of course – reject all glorification of violence. The company’s quality commitment also extends to the choice of materials and production methods.
“Ravensburger is one of only a few German game producers that manufacture all of their products themselves,” states Mr. Neff. “We make circa 90% of our products ourselves, in the main factory in Germany or here in the Czech Republic.
Ravensburger always uses superior-quality materials and puts a great deal of attention into the development and manufacture of its products and ensures they satisfy the most stringent quality and safety standards before they leave our premises.”
Ravensburger Karton in the Czech Republic is specialized in cardboard-related products. The company was established in 1999, with 4,000 m2 of manufacturing space. Since then, the wholly-owned subsidiary has grown at a constant pace.
“Today, we have 20,000 m2 of production area, including state-of-the-art injection moulding equipment, and employ 520 to 560 people,” Mr. Neff describes the development. Ravensburger Karton is a pure manufacturing operation; all games and puzzles are developed and designed in Germany.
The products manufactured by the Czech production plant are shipped to group companies in Germany, the UK and the USA. “We produce for the whole world”, says Mr. Neff. “Our export share is 100%.”
Besides manufacturing cardboard products, Ravensburger Karton is also involved in the production of the new digital articles such as the tiptoi® educational game series. “We do not manufacture the tiptoi® pen but are responsible for the pad printing,” explains Mr. Neff.
Ravensburger Karton offers a unique combination of benefits to the parent company in Germany. It is equipped with a highly skilled labour force and the latest production machinery, is capable of supplying a very comprehensive product range and is very flexible in adapting manufacturing technology and working hours to changing requirements.
“Our parent company is very innovative,” states Mr. Neff. “Every year, the product portfolio includes 30% new products.”