The history of the Company PUSTEFIX
The company PUSTEFIX: A Success Story
People have been playing with bubbles for centuries. They mixed soapy water in a bowl and then used a straw or a meerschaum pipe to make bubbles after bubbles.
Fascinating, but laborious, because the preparation was just that, laborious. This only changed in 1948 in a small suburb of Tübingen…
The 40s and 50s
Poverty and hardship was spread far and wide across Germany there is need, cities and factories lie in ruins. Money is no longer worth much, instead barter is flourishing.
In these difficult times, Rolf Hein, a chemist with a doctorate, experiments with recipes for detergents. He would like to exchange these for food with the farmers around Tübingen and thus provide for his family.
Rather accidentally, he discovers a recipe that produces beautiful rainbow bubbles. He would like to make the colorful shimmering, slightly floating bubbles available to all children without them having to laboriously mix a soap bubble solution beforehand. He thinks about making a ready-made game: soap bubbles at any time and without preparatory work.
When the Deutsche Mark is introduced, the economy gains momentum. And bartering ends abruptly. For Dr Hein, this is the perfect time to realize his vision: a toy production for soap bubbles.
The beloved yellow teddy bear of his children becomes the symbol of the new brand, the soap-blowing bear. The idea of a ready-made soap bubble solution itself inspired the company name PUSTEFIX, made of the German words for “blowing” and “quick”.
The first PUSTEFIX can is made of aluminum. It is labelled and then sealed with a natural cork. The blow ring, on the other hand, consists of a spring wire spiral on a metal pin.
The new bubble game looks nice, but still has two weaknesses: On the one hand, the cork closure is never completely tight, which often leads to transport damage. This is because when the liquid comes out, the label detaches quickly. On the other hand, the soap bubble solution decomposes the wire spiral, just like with a battery. The game isn’t quite ready yet.
The problem was not solved until the end of the 60s with the wider introduction of plastics. From now on the container and the blow ring are made of plastic, but Dr Hein insists that the already well-known shape of the slim PUSTEFIX cans be retained.
Like the cork, the plastic cap should also be smooth on the outside with the new container. For this purpose, an elaborate internal thread is developed. The oval shape of the bent spring wire spiral is also adopted for the blow ring made of the new material.
Thus the PUSTEFIX Classic still presents itself today in a unique, unmistakable design.
The design and the plastic packaging make PUSTEFIX a leading brand. Finally, the bubble solution container is completely sealed and the printed trademark, the golden PUSTEFIX bear, keeps its perfect appearance permanently.
These are ideal conditions to ship PUSTEFIX worldwide.
The ever improving quality of the PUSTEFIX Rainbow Bubble leads to constantly growing demand.
Until now, the bottles have been filled manually or with simple dosing valves; this is no longer possible by the end of the 1960s.
With new filling and capping machines, the PUSTEFIX production is gradually automated.
The 70s and 80s
In 1973, Gerold P. Hein takes over the company from his father. In previous years, the declining birth rate in Germany has affected the sales numbers of the PUSTEFIX games.
Therefore, PUSTEFIX pushes the export business. In addition to growth in neighboring European countries, it is particularly successful in the United States and Japan.
At the same time, PUSTEFIX is expanding its product range. In addition to the original bubble can, a complete assortment of different and completely new bubble games is created.
In search of new sales channels PUSTEFIX is discoverd as a popular promotional product for other brands in 1993. The idea of PUSTEFIX as an advertising medium was born.
Companies can order individually designed Rainbow Bubble cans from the specially founded sales company SUCCESS and successfully advertise themselves using the PUSTEFIX Rainbow Bubbles.
50 years after PUSTEFIX was founded by his grandfather, the management of the company was transferred from his son Gerold Peter Hein to his grandson Frank W. Hein in 1998. The FAN SHOP is launched at the same time as the first PUSTEFIX website during the company’s anniversary.
The FAN SHOP offers a varying collection of different PUSTEFIX fan items. It consists of the on-site factory outlet and the PUSTEFIX online shop, which serves the needs of amateur and professional artists alike with the BUBBLeVENTS offer.
In addition, the FAN SHOP team offers Rainbow Bubble events and company tours and answers all inquiries about PUSTEFIX and soap bubbles. It also coordinates the PUSTEFIX donations to charitable organizations.
PUSTEFIX begins to expand its range of games into completely new areas. PUSTEFIX implements own ideas, but also cooperates with well-known bubble artists such as Louis Pearl and Fan Yang – and develops new game ideas with them. The product range is growing rapidly, above all because globalization is making the production of accessories much easier.
The wide assortment, the outstanding quality and the meanwhile well-known reliable service not only brings PUSTEFIX numerous new markets, but also constantly expands the existing ones. Due to participation in international trade fairs, PUSTEFIX now also sells in New Zealand, Australia, China, Taiwan and India.
After careful consideration and long negotiations, the Hein family decides in 2010 to sell their entire business shares to the Stadlbauer company in Salzburg. The company, which is also family-run, thus incorporates the PUSTEFIX brand into its group of companies and toy brand world, around the famous Carrera slot cars.
The internet is increasingly changing the retail landscape. PUSTEFIX recognizes this development and expands its internet presence with a new website and social media channels. The online shop is also continuing to gain in importance.
The experience and competence of the employees in Tübingen contribute to the fact that PUSTEFIX continues to grow. Increasingly, special editions are being developed, such as, for weddings or celebrations, to complement the classic PUSTEFIX range.
As an enchanting gift idea for children´s birthdays, weddings and many other occasions, PUSTEFIX bubble tubes can now also be individually designed with your own motiv in the webshop.
Just in time for the 70th company anniversary, PUSTEFIX modernizes its factory outlet in Tübingen in 2018. The small Bubble World in the middle of the PUSTEFIX production is an attractive destination for a trip into the world of bubbles.
Since 2019, Carrera and PUSTEFIX have been merged into the newly formed Carrera-Revell Group. PUSTEFIX GmbH remains the undisputed specialist for soap bubbles at the Tübingen location.
In the many years of PUSTEFIX success story, the trademark with the yellow bear has repeatedly undergone minor visual adjustments. The unmistakable character and the high recognition value are always retained.
“In 2022, the PUSTEFIX bear leaves the oval border for the first time, happily blowing. With the gleam in his eyes, he radiates the joy that comes from playing with soap bubbles and encourages people to play along with his active body posture,” explains Managing Director Armin Christian.
The promotional products division – formerly called SUCCESS-promotion – now also appears with the PUSTEFIX logo and creates a clear link between the PUSTEFIX brand and the individually printable advertising medium with the addition of “Promotion Products”.
It is with great pride that the PUSTEFIX Bear can celebrate its 75th company anniversary this year. Tradition, committed to building on the tried and tested, and to successfully lead the company into the future with new innovative ideas and concepts.
In addition to a modern market presence with new bubble games, the company’s long term goals also include modern equipment that is aligned to sustainable and environmental thinking.
In line with this, an additional high-performance machine for decorating the well-known PUSTEFIX bottles will be installed in January 2023, the conversion of the entire company to energy-saving LED lighting will be completed, and a future-oriented energy-saving concept will be developed.