Arnold Co. founded in 1906 in Nürnberg, Germany, made toy trains, model ships, doll house items, the famous MAC 700 motorcycle and other tin toys like model steam accessories. The company introduced the Arnold Rapido gauge 'N' model railroads in the 1960s.

Model ships

K. Arnold & Co. began its life producing tin toys and related items. They produced an extensive line of model ships, doll house items and other toys. In 1935, K. Arnold & Co. hired Max Ernst as their managing director. Ernst, not to be confused with the German realist artist of the same name, was a significant factor in the future of Arnold.

Postwar production

Arnold toysNürnberg was number one on the hit parade for allied bombers during World War II, and, at the end of the war, all of the Arnold facilities were in ruins. Postwar production continued at a facility in Upper Pfalz, with the company beginning its slow recovery with the manufacture of window hardware.

The postwar operation of the company was under the direction of Ernst Arnold, son of Karl, and Max Ernst. The factory buildings in Nürnberg were rebuilt and the Arnold Company continued to grow.

Although Karl Arnold's son, Ernst, was involved with the company, several sources cite the presence of Max Ernst (who remained as Managing Director for over forty years until 1976), as the prime mover behind this new product line. Ernst has been described as a dynamic businessman, the person most responsible for the introduction of the Arnold Rapido product line.

Karl Arnold passed on in October, 1946, leaving his son and Herr Ernst as principals in the Company. Much later, an Arnold Sales Manager, Ferdinand Graef, would marry Max Ernst's daughter, Sonja, keeping the Arnold company as a family operation. It would continue to be so until 1995, when Arnold went into bankruptcy and was sold to Rivarossi (Italy).

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Comments (3)
Antony - November 29, 2018
hello i have rare 6 piece arnold 0138 reingold matt purple set 1998 70 year anniversary i read the only 10 out of 700 survived due to a fire at nuremberg factory , what are these complete sets worth i would love to know
Pat - May 6, 2018
Sue - December 27, 2010
My husband just acquired (a present from our 10 year old grandson) an Arnold - looks like it says FORMAT. It says HP (highway patrol?) on it with a license plate reading KB 2900. It reads made in US Zone - Germany. We would like to read more information on this, my husband loves to have info on things like this. Can you help us? Thank you.
Difficuly, but try searching in for example Google for: Arnold Format, you might find some info.