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Story of Peter Handstein the founder of Hape

  • 2 min read

Hape is one of the biggest toys manufacturer with sustainable materials. Originally founded in Germany – its founder Peter Handstein’s has expanded the company from a humble wooden toy producer company to an international company with multi country distributions.

Peter’s Story

Hape’s founder, Peter Handstein, was born and raised in a small town in Germany. He was raised with a respect for family, honesty, compassion and a love of nature. Peter began his career as a salesman for an educational toy company supplying German kindergartens. Visiting hundreds of schools and talking with hundreds of teachers gave him a unique understanding of the power of play. Peter created Hape Kindergarten Supply with his sister, Sabine and their close friend, Renate Gies in 1986.

International Growth

This significantly increased Hape’s size. However, the partners knew that in order to be recognized outside of Germany, they would have to grow internationally. With his trademark vision and determination, Peter embarked on the next phase of Hape’s growth, strategically expanding the company country by country. In 1995, due to expansion of the business, he expanded to Ningbo, China, where he created an innovative factory embracing ecological, technological, and efficiency practices.

Discovering Bamboo

Intrigued by the bamboo plants surrounding his new home, Peter encouraged his designers to experiment with this highly renewable resource. This led to an alliance with UNESCO and the first full line of bamboo toys in 2005. The Hape bamboo collection now holds its place along with Hape Eco-toys and Hape line to make up the total Hape brand.

Company Profile

Hape Toys is one of the world’s largest producers of toys made from sustainable materials. Hape toys are both creatively designed and eco-friendly. Neither culture, nor language, nor gender inhibits the intuitive process of play. All of the products meet, and more often, exceed the strictest international standards for quality and safety. But behind the innovative designs and meticulous quality lies the even stronger ethos of Hape.

From the beginning of the design process, through production and delivery, to the final unwrapping of the consumer packaging, Hape toys are a collaboration of global thinking and responsible ecology.
In addition to using particular materials and methods, Hape seeks out people who bring a new sensibility to the process. A collaboration of international and local employees creates a global corporate culture with a particular understanding and respect for the world in which we live. Sustainability, education, innovation and fun. Hape Toys represents the next generation of play.