Since its formation in 1928, Johann Gg. Schopper has been producing an array of metal products. Today, the company from Zirndorf near Nuremberg is loved around the world for its vintage children’s kitchen units, doll’s cookers and matching metal dinnerware. In addition, Schopper has become a leading supplier of metal cases for the international stationery industry since the 1960s.
After initially focussing on aluminium household products, the company quickly set itself apart from the large number of metalworking factories in and around Zirndorf near Nuremberg by successfully filing an array of patents. One of the key innovations of this period was, for example, the first metal coffee filter. After the war, Johann Gg. Schopper began manufacturing household toys, and the older readers among you may also remember Schopper’s patented box featuring a blackboard cleaner sponge. In the 1950s, production partially changed from aluminium to electrolytically tin-plated sheet metal that, thanks to technical progress, could be printed and decorated to a high standard.
The early 1960s saw the next step towards expanding the business model. Alongside toy manufacturing, the production of metal cases gradually became the main pillar of the company. In close partnership with renowned manufacturers of lead and coloured pencils – including Staedtler Mars, A.W. Faber Castell, Lyra, Pelikan, to name just a few – Schopper became one of the world’s leading suppliers to the stationery industry.
The spirit of innovation has also been a main principle throughout the company's history and always helped to drive it forwards; as demonstrated by the company’s involvement in patents for hinged metal CD cases.
Today, the family-owned business is in its third generation and has abandoned the production of mechanical (i.e. friction-driven) metal toys. The vintage metal money boxes are the exception. Other items that have stood the test of time are children’s kitchen units, doll’s cookers and metal dinnerware with a vintage twist. They are available from Schopper in two sizes for doll’s houses as well as for dolls and bears measuring up to approximately 30 cm in height.
And it is not just children who make use of them, the vintage cookers are becoming increasingly popular with adults, too. Be it as an individual decorative feature or as part of a whole collection, the fully functional vintage cookers, which can be heated up using ESBIT solid fuel cubes, are a particular hit with fans – worldwide. A proper collector’s scene has sprung up in recent years, especially in the USA and Japan. Accordingly, the cookers are available in two versions: on the one hand for discerning enthusiasts, featuring a full-metal and hand-painted design. And, on the other hand, as a value-for-money children’s toy, featuring a few plastic parts (for example the guard rail). Schopper also offers an extensive range of matching pots, pans, cake pans, milk churns and much more besides. Materials such as sheet metal or aluminium are used for cake pans, high-quality plastic for mixing bowls and cookie cutters, and top-quality beechwood for wooden spoons and rolling pins.