Elastolin

The story of the Plastic Elastolin Miniature
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History

Hausser
The Hausser firm was founded in 1904 by Christian Hausser and his sons Otto and Max. The factory was situated in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart. They made all kind of toys and from 1912 also toysoldiers. These were made of ‘Masse’. Although there were all kind of figures, the toy soldiers were the most popular. The numbers were enormous: In 1938 only, they made 3 million toy soldiers. In the most productive time Hausser had 1400 employees.  

Plastic
In 1939 Hausser starts to experiment with plastic. It will last until 1955 before the first polysterol plastic miniatures are introduced and sold. From then on it goes rapidly onwards. Many figures with all kinds of themes are made. In 1970 the first soft-plastic miniatures are made. They will never have the success of the hard plastic Elastolin figures.

Decline and the end
From 1970 profits of Hausser are rapidly going down. All miniatures are hand-painted so costs become very high. The soft plastic miniatures of for instance Timpo Toys are much cheaper. Hausser can not cope with this and has to stop production in 1983.

Preiser
The Hausser Moulds were bought by the Preiser firm. They are well known for the small scale scenery miniatures. Until today they have some Elastolin in their catalogue. Canons, carriages and siege equipment are no longer made. Although under the socle of these new figures you still can read
Elastolin these are Preiser-made figures.
Masse
Masse is a material of mainly sawdust and glue (mostly called elastoline). This material was pressed in a mould with iron wire inside that hold the material together (and functions as a kind of skeleton for the miniature).  Hausser made these Masse figures until the 60’s of the last century. There are still a lot of collectors of these figures. There are not many collectors who collect the palstic and the masse miniatures.  This website is only about the plastic line.
The name Elastolin
De miniatures got the brand name Elastolin.  This name is now used for all kinds of ‘Masse’ figures. The name Elastolin stands also for the hard plastic figures from Hausser.  You can read Elastolin on all the socles of the plastic figures. The name of Hausser can be found at most of the plastic canons and siege equipment.
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