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Distler Tinplate Lorry

Johann Distler & Co

Johann Distler & Co, whose full name was KG Metallwarenfabrik Johann Distler, was founded in 1895 in Nuremberg, Germany. Prior to the first world war, Distler was famous for making penny toys. By 1914, the company mainly produced small cheap toys without drive mechanisms.

Johann Distler makers mark

Johann Distler & Co Makers Mark

In the 1920s and 1930s, Distler expanded its product range considerably and began to produce more sophisticated toys with a clockwork drive. The most popular toys were the cars, although aircraft and mechanical figures were also produced.

Between the First and Second World Wars, Distler employed between 50 to 120 staff and they produced around 800 different items.

After the Second World War Distler produced a toy Porsche 7500 which was a commercial success. In 1955, the company produced a model of a Porsche 356 which was a convertible vehicle with ignition key and remote control with wire spiral (steering wheel and with reverse gear). This is now a well sought after collector's item.

Distler & Co ceased production in 1962 and the manufacturing plant and trademark rights were sold to Belgium, where some items, including the Porsche model, were produced until 1968.