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Happy Birthday FIMO – Nächstes Jahr in 2016 wird die Weltmarke 50!

Happy birthday FIMO – in 2016 a global brand turns 50!

Happy birthday FIMO – in 2016 a global brand turns 50!

50 years of FIMO – These are 50 years of joy, inspiration and modelling fun with the oven-hardening clay.

Since then, FIMO has become world famous and the original oven-hardening modelling clay. The traditional brand stands for unlimited modelling fun and writes history. Invented, developed and manufactured in Germany, FIMO has triumphed throughout the globe and has been loved and prized for 50 years.

From September 2015 to September 2016 everything is about the anniversary. A year full of great anniversary offers, products in retro style and a lot of funny FIMO birthday parties around the world.

Today, FIMO is to be found in a range of 115 colours in more than 60 countries worldwide. It is a premium-quality article which undergoes a process of continuous evaluation in order to ensure it conforms to high product safety requirements. Nowadays, the FIMO range includes three different clays of varying hardness, perfectly tailored to the needs of different users: FIMO kids, FIMO soft and FIMO professional.

The „FIMO 50 World Project“

FIMO 50 World Project
FIMO 50 World Project

Be part of the world made with: Love, Passion, Fun, Inspiration, Creativity and Power!

Polymer Clay is about to be fifty years old! FIMO, the brand that started it all, will be fifty in 2016! It is a very special moment for the global polymer clay community, and we want it to become one of those rare ones: a truly once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Everybody around the world is invited by FIMO to mark this occasion in our personal calendar and participate in a whole year of celebrations and events. And we would love you to be part of this celebration.

THE FIMO 50 WORLD PROJECT is a collaborative experience, an international charity action – an art project, that celebrates how FIMO and polymer clay have become such a powerful vehicle expanding and connecting our world, making it ever larger, wider and more beautiful. 

For all of us, polymer clay means Passion and Creativity. At the FIMO 50 World Project we want to fill this meaning with life. 

The FIMO world is united

FIMO 50 World Project
FIMO 50 World Project

We would like to thank you for your sensational participation in the FIMO 50 World Project. We were truly overwhelmed by the huge number of tiles and the creativity you showed. The result is phenomenal - a combined work of art 2 metres high consisting of 696 tiles has been created. It’s really unique!

The polymer clay world has been literally united in this work of art. Participants from 41 countries and almost all continents on the globe contributed to make this a truly world-wide project. We are delighted that the globe has become such a magnificent project.

FIMO 50 World Project
FIMO 50 World Project

The FIMO 50 World was unveiled at the FIMO 50 Anniversary Gala. On this festive occasion we also looked back at FIMO's unique success story. The FIMO Gala was held at the Dauphin Speed Event in Hersbruck in Germany.

The original plan was to auction the individual tiles and to donate the proceeds to charity. However, STAEDTLER has now decided against an auction in order to leave the Globe in existence as an outstanding joint work of art of the polymer clay world for posterity.

FIMO 50 World Project
FIMO 50 World Project

Instead of the auction, STAEDTLER will make a donation to two different charities.  One of these is the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies run by Dr Ron Lehocky in the USA; the other is the Samunnat Community in Nepal.

The total amount we will be donating is 16,008 EUR which is 2 x 8,004 EUR, the article number of FIMO professional.

For all who were not able to be at the Gala in person, a few impressions can be found here.

About the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies in the USA

The Kids Center is a multidisciplinary treatment center for children with developmental delays and/or disabilities in Kentucky, USA. Dr. Ron Lehocky is one of the most respected and popular artists in the world's polymer clay community.

Ten years ago he founded the Heart Pin Project and, to-date, has sold more than 40,000 polymer clay hearts. All proceeds go to the Kids Center where they are used to help children with special needs.


About the Samunnat Community in Nepal

Samunnat Nepal Community in Jhapa, Nepal. Samunnat offers help to women who are victims of domestic violence, offering them protection and the chance for a new life of independence e.g. as polymer clay artists.



FIMO's origins go back to the year 1939

The famous doll maker Käthe Kruse is looking for a new material for her doll heads. At a chemical product manufacturer, she learns about the possibilities and suitable materials for it. A material that has just been discovered at that time, whose usage possibilities and properties are still only known to a very limited extent, even by the manufacturer, is sent to the family firm Kruse for experimentation. The grey clay is called Igelit (product name of IG Farben in Bitterfeld), a waste product from oil production.

At that time, nobody knows the unsuspected possibilities hidden in this material. The first trials in the doll manufacturing workshop are really promising. But in the end it fails because the paint does not adhere strongly enough. The results do not meet the quality requirements of the doll creator, and the container with the remaining material is placed in storage, where it remains ignored for a long period.


Sofie, the daughter of Käthe Kruse, discovers the material one day in 1941 while tidying up and restarts experimentation. She incorporates paste (plasticiser) and bright colours until an easily mouldable clay results, and forms vases, mosaics, pictures, miniatures, shoe soles, figures and toys from it.   

Mosaic made out of FIMOIK

Miniature picture made out of FIMOIK

Shoe soles made out of FIMOIK


The market entry

Using the motto "Moulding is an innate human impulse, to grip the beloved and malleably build it up", Sofie Rehbinder-Kruse got to the heart of her philosophy and developed a modelling set in 1954.

She creates the brand name "FIMOIK" from her nickname "Fifi", modelling clay and the mosaic work that she loves. The toy trade has the best contacts through the doll business, and so the first and only colourful modelling clay that can be hardened in a simple household oven was successfully introduced in the market, supported by the compelling slogan "Käthe Kruse's oven clay". The colours are in the shape of rods, and there are also craft packages with instructions and accessories for buttons, jewellery and miniatures.

From the workshop

A view of the new production areas in Munich (1954)

Wall panel from Sofie Rehbinder-Kruse – constructed in 1954

Materials: FIMOIK, Chipboard

Technique: Inlaying on marbled background, surface partly scratched and filled with black modelling clay, smoothed and polished, hardened on glass

Mural in classic 50s style: Sofie Rehbinder-Kruse perfects the inlay technique and produces murals in classic 50s style according to artists' drafts, which were incorporated in schools, public offices, cafés or even in house façades within the "Art in Architecture" project.


Sofie Rehbinder-Kruse at the large convection oven with her son Torsten (left), daughter Gundula (centre) and daughter Angela (right) in their workshop on Nymphenburger Straße in Munich (1955)


The new material in practical tests in schools

Sofie Rehbinder-Kruse does not leave anything to chance. In the 50s, she gives the new material to the Winthir School in Munich to be tested in art and craft lessons. The girls carefully design murals with the inlaying technique. In addition, chains and hangers are created from the colourful modelling clay, which are proudly and beamingly tested.


Newspaper article on FIMOIK oven clay, FIMOIK balsam and FIMOIK "I" from the magazine "Frohe Freizeit", 1961


Successfully established

Aside from the famous "Käthe Kruse dolls", Sofie Rehbinder-Kruse personally presented the properties of FIMOIK to visitors to the toy exhibition in Nuremberg. 

Käthe Kruse – the ideal ambassador

The FIMO brand is created from FIMOIK

The company Eberhard Faber acquires all rights and licenses. The company, which was founded in 1922 in Neumarkt, belongs to the company STAEDTLER from 1978 to 2009. 


1965 is used in order to develop the new concept for the logo, packaging and marketing in collaboration with a Munich-based agency. Internally, work is done on the optimisation of the formula and the production machines are set up. 


With the new format, improved quality and the short and concise name "FIMO", the successful marketing of the colourful modelling clay starts in 1966. This selection starts with 15 colours in two block sizes, two material sets and a sales display. From the start, the market presence is international. The opening for the specialist shop takes place again at the toy exhibition in Nuremberg. The FIMO block is put into the race with a final sale price of 1.00 DM. The modelling clay is immediately categorised as an exemplary toy and receives the "Spiel-gut mark".

Extract from price list from 1966**

Advertisement for the new product

The advertising motif in the February 1966 edition of the PBS specialist magazine gets to the heart of the advertising message. A new modelling clay, which is baked in the oven.


The first FIMO book, the FIMO Primer, with many further suggestions and instructions, is published in 1967. The whole experience and ideas of Sofie Rehbinder-Kruse flow into the 60 page booklet, and it contains topics for children and adults. The palette ranges from miniatures, modelling, jewellery, sculptures, pictures, home decoration, buttons, hand puppets, reliefs, picture frames and containers to impressions of historical objects. The FIMO Primer is not only available in German and English, but also in all main European languages.


FIMO is already on sale in many countries and continents, the brand is particularly well established in New Zealand and Switzerland. 


A large television advertising campaign even takes place in 1974. The 30 second commercial reaches 11 million viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. After the television commercial, the demand once again increases enormously. FIMO is first shown in Paris in the "Salon du Jouet" and successfully introduced at "Au Printemps" in Paris. 


6 new colours are introduced into the selection: Porcelain, gold, light blue, leaf green, caramel, burgundy. For the first time there are also rhinestones for designing jewellery, the FIMO Primer appears with new content and a new design. More FIMO books – including from other publishers – come onto the market.


The neon colours are presented: Pink, yellow, red and green. Luminous FIMO is a special effect colour that still enjoys a great deal of popularity.


The selection is greatly expanded with further accessories. The large FIMO boom with brooches, hangers, chains and belt buckles reaches its peak and brings FIMO to an even greater level of popularity. By now, the FIMO brand has become a synonym for oven-hardening modelling clay. 

The big FIMO boom with brooches, pendants, necklaces and belt buckles reaches its peak resulting in good sales revenues for the sector as a whole and an even higher degree of awareness for FIMO. FIMO has become a synonym for oven-hardening modelling clay both at home and abroad.


The FIMO brooch is definitively over and new themes must be provided. 

Snowballs are loved by old and young alike, because individual fantasy worlds can be perfectly staged with FIMO. For this reason, they are also called "dream balls" and come in the selection with plenty of glitter, snow and everything else that you need, in many shapes and sizes.


In 1996, FIMO soft is born. An additional, softer quality for children is presented for the first time. In order for small children's hands to be able to mould easier, FIMO soft is now available in 12 colours on blister card and 3 beautiful craft sets.

FIMO soft block from 1996**


FIMO becomes FIMO classic in 24 colours with practical 8 part portioning and colour mixing tables. This is harder than the comparable FIMO soft clay, and is very suitable for fine details, keeps its shape particularly well and is therefore the ideal clay for professionals, artists and those wanting to become one.

FIMO soft is presented with an improved formula in 48 colours including effect colours. There is a total selection of 72 colours.


Clever FIMO techniques such as "Millefiori", "Mokume Gane", "Kaleidoscope", "Mica Shift" or "Skinner-Blend", inclusions, screen printing and many more are developed by American artists and finally find their way to Europe. Imitation precious stones, effects with screen printing, ink, patinating, impressions, transfers and much more make FIMO into an incredibly diverse material.

Art from the artist Sarah Shriver - shows the application of the Millefiori technique


FIMO liquid is included in the selection. The liquid, very transparent gel opens up completely new usage options for special techniques.



European law requires that all polymer clays must be converted to phthalate-free formulations. FIMO is the first modelling clay on the market to implement this requirement and even removes the permitted phthalates long before this is required by the law.


FIMO receives the "Creative Impulse Lifetime Award" for the unique product history, as no other product brand has existed worldwide in the industry with a similar high profile and popularity for over 40 years.


The effect colours are removed from the FIMO classic and FIMO soft selection and receive their own line. The different product qualities now appear as FIMO classic, FIMO soft and FIMO effect, each with 24 colours, as independent product lines, accompanied by a beautiful selection of tools and accessories.

FIMO soft block from 2008**

FIMO classic block from 2008**


From 2010, FIMO is managed under the STAEDTLER brand. Over time, a modelling clay has appeared that has become more adapted to the requirements and wishes of users. The FIMO brand is included in the definitive work "Marken des Jahrhunderts" [Brands of the century]. One of the 300 strongest German brands – lighthouses on the sea of brands.


FIMO goes app!

In 2011, the first official FIMO app goes online – of course this has many ideas and instructions for creative design. The children's modelling line "Kits for kids" is successfully presented and distinguished with the industry prize "Creative Impulse Award".


Jewellery design is back in fashion! A completely new colour range with double effect is developed: the softly shimmering precious stone colours ruby-quartz, blue agate, citrine, rose quartz, ice crystal blue.

FIMO on the move: The first FIMO symposium is started and takes place in Nuremberg, the headquarters of STAEDTLER: Artists and professional users meet to work and exchange experience under the direction of leading international artists. 


Finally, professional users and children have their own product lines - FIMO professional and FIMO kids. The relaunch of FIMO classic as FIMO professional is accompanied by a professional range of tools. In parallel, FIMO kids, a new clay specially for kids, is developed, which incorporates the results of the market research specific to the target group.

FIMO kids block, 2014


The selections FIMO soft and FIMO effect contain the same reclosable foil technology as FIMO professional and FIMO kids, but are in the usual weight class of 57 g (2 oz). A completely new range of sets and accessories are available for the new presentation of the whole FIMO selection – always perfectly adapted to the respective target groups.

FIMO soft block, 2015

To be continued ...

* With friendly support from the Rehbinder-Kruse family 

** Eberhard Faber and EFA have been registered trademarks of Faber-Castell AG since 2009

The FIMO world today – a clay for every user

FIMO kids – for super-soft modelling fun

The soft, comfortable feel of FIMO kids is specially designed for small hands. 24 bright colours offer kids endless modelling and gaming fun, and promote fine motor skills and visual thinking at the same time!

FIMO soft – fun for all creativity types

The smooth, soft dough is perfect for beginners and hobbyists. Whether creative home decorations or trendy jewellery, FIMO soft can be instantly moulded into unique and colourful creations.

FIMO professional – for delicate modelling and the highest demands

With its professionally prized quality, this clay has a stable consistency and therefore keeps its shape particularly well, making it ideally suited for fine details and extravagant techniques. Thanks to the pure pigments, the colours can be mixed precisely and are the perfect tool for artists and professionals.