In 1938, businessman Eugen Habermaass formed two companies in Bad Rodach, Firma Anton Engel with Anton Engel and Wehrfritz & Co. with Engel and Karl Wehrfritz. Two years later, Engel and Wehrfritz left the partnership and Eugen Habermaass took over management of both companies. He ran the companies until his untimely death in 1955, always with active support of his wife, Luise. She would shepherd HABA on after the death of her husband, becoming a rare example of a woman running a major company. She would continue to play an active role in HABA even after her son, Klaus Habermaass, took over management. She passed away in 2003.
HABA made its first appearance at a toy fair in 1950, later publishing a German-English catalog and extending operations into Switzerland and the Netherlands. It was during this time the “HABA” abbreviation became the established brand name for the company.
Sabine, Heike and Volker Habermaass are the third generation of the family to manage HABA and are prepared to lead it into the future. While maintaining the standards of the past – a focus on craftsmanship and natural raw materials – they also keep their eyes on the future. Their focus remains on children and families and how HABA can enrich their lives through play.
Bad Rodach, Germany
The HABA FAMILYGROUP headquarters are located in Bad Rodach. The company started life being operated out of the Habermaass family home, with Plant I located next door. The house was demolished in the 1970s to make room for Plant I’s expansion. The company would continue to grow, adding Plant II, Plant III and the Elsa warehouse over the years.
The current state-of-the-art headquarters is located opposite Plant I. Boasting a natural and colorful design, the facility consists of two connected buildings, Brauhof and Leschenhof.
A Legacy of Quality Design
From the start, HABA has combined creativity, high-quality materials and safety in our toys. That legacy continues today.
HABA FAMILYGROUP Timeline
- 1938: Eugen Habermaass forms two companies with partners Anton Engel and Karl Wehfritz.
- 1940: Habermaass become sole managing director of both companies, assisted by his wife, Luise.
- 1955: Luise Habermaass takes over management following the death of her husband.
- 1961: Klaus Habermaass joins the firm, eventually progressing from operations assistant to managing partner.
- 1978: The company grows to 300 employees.
- 1980: HABA FAMILYGROUP takes over Skaneateles Handicrafters in the US and renames it T.C. Timber. The name was changed in 2002 to HABA USA.
- 1987: JAKO-O joins the HABA FAMILGROUP, presenting its first full collection in the 1995 catalog.
- 2000: The company motto, “Conceived by Parents – Made for Children,” first comes into use.
- 2001: Construction begins on a new office building (completed in 2006).
- 2003: Luise Habermaass passes away. The nursery for children of employees will be named after her. HABA FAMILYGROUP receives the “Work and Family” Award.
- 2006: First Qiero and FIT-Z catalogs are published.
- 2008: The company now has 1600 employees (with over 2000 today).
- 2009: HABA FAMILYGROUP acquires a stake in project GmbH in Eisleben.
- 2011: Klaus Habermaass celebrates its 50th anniversary with the company.
- 2012: Construction of the company headquarters is completed. The complex is DNGB-certified (German Sustainable Building Council).
- 2013: The company celebrated its 75th.
- 2015: New Heldbergs online shop debuts.
- 2018: HABA FAMILYGROUP celebrates its 80th anniversary with 80 good deeds.
- 2019: HABA FAMILYGROUP established the “doing good together” initiative to promote employee commitment.
- 2020: HABA Digitalwerkstatt becomes a fully owned subsidiary of HABA FAMILYGROUP.
- 2022: Wehrfritz and project become HABA Pro.
- 2023: HABA will celebrate 85 years!
HABA USA is the exclusive American distributor of HABA toys and games. In 1980, Habermaass Corporation, Inc. purchased Skaneateles Handicrafters, a small wooden toy company in Central New York State accredited for making the first wooden toy trains in the United States in the mid-1930s. Skaneateles Handicrafters became TC Timber and continued to manufacture wooden trains until 2002. Today, HABA USA is part of the HABA FAMILYGROUP and is still located in Skaneateles, NY.