Kosen History

Kosen toys have been produced in Bad Kösen in Germany for over 100 years. It was Käthe Kruse who founded the company in 1911/12 as a doll-making workshop, where about 100 employees produced her world-famous dolls. In 1949 Käthe Kruse left Bad Kösen to set up a new company in Donauwörth together with her children.

After a brief post-war period of administration by the state, the company was nationalised in 1953 as People’s Enterprises (VEB) Doll-Making Workshops, which continued producing traditional dolls. 

The first plush animals were exhibited together with dolls at the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1958. These plush animals proved so popular that production was increased to meet demand. Doll production, however, ceased in 1964. 

In 1969, the company was renamed VEB Kösener Spielzeug. At this time up to 80% of the plush animal production was exported and the number of employees, mainly women, grew to 195.

For ten years, the company had close ties with Burg Giebichenstein, the College of Art and Design in Halle. This relationship led to not only many creative products, but also to some of its designers working for the company. 

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 led to the company’s markets disappearing virtually overnight and VEB Kösener Spielzeug was left with almost no hope of survival.

Dr SchacheAwaiting privatisation under the Treuhand Agency, Margarete Steiff GmbH initially showed an interest in acquiring Kösen, which led to two years of co-operation and a sharing of knowledge. In 1992 when Steiff decided not to buy Kösen, the local family business Schache stepped in to prevent the demise of the company and to protect its long toy making history. At that time Dr. Schache was the mayor of Bad Kösen. 

From this moment on Kösen focused on producing high quality, lifelike plush animals. The company developed its own distinctive style as it developed new designs and today the Kösen collection of lifelike plush animals is rightly regarded as one of the finest in the world.

In 2000, Kösen acquired the Silke brand, a collection of high quality textile dolls and animals for infants and toddlers. Production was relocated from Munich to Bad Kösen where the collection was further developed. Silke toys perfectly complement the true to nature plush animals, as the products are nearly exclusively made of natural materials according to old traditions.

Many of our products have received design awards and have been awarded "SPIEL GUT" distinction (these are marked with an asterisk * in our catalogue).

When deciding about materials and production, we place great emphasis on quality and safety. We firmly believe that only the best is good enough for children and collectors. Our products comply with EN71 and carry the CE mark. TÜV Thuringia carries out stringent tests, not only of our products, but also of our manufacturing processes. All our materials are sourced in the EU and all our products are still 100% made in Germany. 

factoryOur plush Kosen animals, dolls and baby products are all washable. Obviously the gentlest treatment is washing by hand at 30°C, but our baby products are machine washable up to 60°C. Washing temperatures are indicated on our labels.

Mutiger Ritter hotelWe hope that you will be enchanted by our world of Kosen animals and dolls, which are hand-made with such care and attention to detail at our factory in Bad Kösen.

If you come to the local area please do come and visit us, as you will be able to enjoy a tour and see the magical journey that our animals and dolls take as they are brought to life! If you decide to stay in the area for a few days then you can do no better than to stay in our beautiful hotel The Mutiger Ritter, which is ideally located for exploring the town. The hotel is also adjacent to the factory, so is perfect for visiting production.