Richard Sieper founded Siku in the German town of Ludenscheid in 1921. Richard was born in 1880 and had been working as a toolmaker in various firms of the metal and plastic industry. Following World War I, in 1921, Richard began producing aluminium cutlery. In the twenties and thirties, step-by-step, the factory was built up, initially producing tools, and in 1933 the range was expanded with the production of military badges and decorations, belt buckles and buttons.
Both Richard’s sons Werner and Kurt entered the company, now called Richard Sieper & Sons. In 1937 the first new building was erected, which by 1939 had to be further enlarged. Another important step in their development was the processing of thermo-plastics, of which they became a leader in this particular field. In 1943 another plant was built in Musen, and in 1950 the registered name became SIKU, formed from the first two letters of Sieper, and the first two letters of Kunstoff, which is the German for synthetic material or plastic.
In 1955, the first Siku models to 1/60th scale were produced, and in 1963 toy production changed from plastic to metal. In 1970, more than three hundred workers and about one hundred out workers were employed to meet the increasing demand. Additional buildings for both production and management had to be built.
After the 50th Anniversary in 1971, Kurt Sieper left the company making Werner Sieper the sole owner, and at the same time the company name changed to ‘Sieperwerke.’ In 1972 Volker Sieper (born in 1941), a son of Werner, entered the company, and became manager in 1978. Two of Werner’s other sons Harmut and Wieland took charge of the plant in Musen. Werner Sieper retired in 1978 transferring his shares of the business to all his four sons and daughter, thus handing over to the next generation and maintaining the company in family control
In 1984, Siku took over the Wiking Company of Berlin, thus continuing the expansion. The company suffered a major setback in 1986 when a major fire occurred, and production halls had to be rebuilt.
Today Siku is a World leader in the manufacturing of die cast models, producing over three hundred models and exporting to nearly one hundred countries.
What's your Siku worth? Here are some recently sold items.
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