|Toy Brands and Manufacturers
Faller Bros. (Gebr. Faller) was founded by brothers Edwin Faller and Hermann Faller in around ~1946, initially to make simple wooden model building kits. The brothers moved from Stuttgart back to their home town of Gutenbach to set up their factory, and focused on creating distinctively detailed and intricate designs for their new plastic models and kits that tried to reflect "Black Forest" toymaking traditions, regardless of whether the buildings being modelled were "modern" European, or "historical".
This rejection of the "bland" and focus on more intriguing structures led to Faller becoming known for their specialised range of fairground and funfair pieces (including children's playgrounds).
Faller Car System
With the appearance of slotcar systems, Faller saw the opportunity to expanded their range of layout accessories to include working roadways, and produced Faller AMS (Faller Auto Motor Sport), based on a model vehicle motor design based on similar lines to the Aurora slotcar system sold in the US. While Faller did also produce slotcar racing systems with racetrack-style accessories, their range's most distinctive feature was its support for building working town- and cityscapes, making its closest counterpart Tri-ang's Minic Motorways system, which also supported urban roadways as well as racing sets, but was aimed at British-format 00-gauge (1:76) model railway layouts.
Faller's slotcar range was followed by the Faller Car System, which used battery-powered cars with a steel guide wire embedded in the roadway, which the car followed by means of a guide magnet attached to its steering mechanism. This avoided the need for obtrusive slots to be cut into the roadway, and allowed for a more realistic "flush" road surface.
The Faller Car System acquired more sophosticated features and sensors allowing cars to stop and start at junctions, and is now sold alongside a fully computer-controlled system.
Faller currently have ranges supporting H0, N and Z gauge model railway layouts. With their takeover of Pola in 1997, Faller also now sell the Pola G G-scale range, still under the Pola name (with Pola's products for other scales now incorporated into the broader Faller-branded range).
For a while (1950-1970s?), Faller also produced a range of plastic model aircraft kits in an unusual 1:100 scale. Although perhaps not as finely finished as some other plastic model aircraft ranges, they were popular with "kit-hackers" who would use them as the starting point for models of other variations on the basic core designs.
Starting in the 1970s, Faller also has a gauge 0 toy train for children, Faller Hittrain (in the UK, Tri-ang did something similar with the Big Big Train ). Hittrain was followed by a range with oversized superstructure closer to gauge 1, Faller Playtrain, that could take Playmobil figures. This was then followed by Faller eTrain, whose brass-railed track was suitable for garden railways as it wouldn't rust. The idea of using brass gauge 0 track with oversized locomotives and rolling stock as a suitable format for garden railways had previously been explored in the UK by Bowman Models.