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PIC-R    Robbe / Maag


The story begins in 1961, the year Fritz Wagener founded the RIWA company in Nuremberg. RIWA produced and successfully sold plastic items for the photo industry such as slideframes and fans. Due to the success, RIWA outgrew their original Nuremberg location and moved to Dietenhofen, about 30 kilometers from Nuremberg, in 1965 where a new 1.000 sqm factory had been built.

Also in 1965, Mr. Wagener bought Herpa, a Bavarian company that was founded in 1949 and produced accessories for modelrailways. The name 'Herpa' (Hergenroeder Patents) was derived from the name of the founder, Mr. Hergenroeder, and the word Patents. After Herpa bought the company they introduced several successful series of products. In 1967 for instance, Herpa was the first German company to produce accessories for slotcar racing tracks and in 1968 Herpa presented the first plastic kits in 1/160th scale. 

Since Fritz Wagener wanted to expand his business he introduced car models in 1/87th scale. The first Herpa carmodels appeared on the market in 1978 and entered a market that had been dominated by one manufacturer (Wiking) for years. The new models were well received and because Herpa found new ways to style the models, one of these being spraypainting the models with metallic laquer, they soon had a considerable number of fans. The truckmodels, which were introduced shortly after the first carmodels, were also well received by the market because of their detail and exact reproduction of the prototype. Herpa soon added functionality to the truckmodels, like the steering frontwheels for instance. 

Herpa-letter.jpg (78190 bytes)

Herpa1978-sheet-1.jpg (248414 bytes)

The introductory letter The first models

Both of Mr. Wageners sons, Claus and Dieter, who are currently in the Herpa management, continued to expand the model car series. In 1979 Herpa switched to snap-in technology for their carmodels ( avoiding glue) which made the models very popular among modellers. Herpa also started a new series of model cars in 1/43rd scale, introduced series like the ‘Private Collection‘ (models in display cases) and added vintage cars and high-tech models to their line of contemporary 1/87 models. Later on the airplane models were added under the ‘Herpa Wings‘ label. By that time the models had also become the main product at Herpa, and the RIWA products were gradually phased out. Today Herpa is one of the major manufacturers of 1/87 models and employs over 500 employees in the Dietenhofen factory and it's Eisfeld branch. 

Since Herpa is one of the major manufacturers of 87th scale models, we thought that, instead of listing all models Herpa ever made, we'd focus on the the models that are a little different like for instance the special editions, and on series like the Motorsport series.

A (near) complete summary of the models Herpa released can be found on the CD-rom 'Herpa Archiv CD' which contains a full listing of the models Herpa made from 1978 onward plus a lot of pictures of these models. The CD-rom is available from hobbyshops or can be ordered from Herpa directly.

Model listings available on this site:

Daf 95

Other information:

A Herpa model that wasn't released....  Iveco with 'René Bihan' print which was not realized. (Herpa picture)

5 generations of BMW 5-series

2003 Mercedes-Benz Viano

2005 Mercedes B-class

Mini Cooper (2006 facelifted version)

4 generations of BMW M3 models

Herpa - Brabus EV12 (Brabus promotional)

Herpa - Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004 Mercedes-Benz promotional)

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