Saturday, June 11, 2011


I found this corporate character, pictured above, on a flea market in Zürich last weekend. He looked smart in his felt suit and suitcase, but it was the pipe that did it for me. I just have a thing for smoking characters. Back home Google master and Zürich pal José discovered this was the mascot of the Leipzig fair back in the DDR days and was practically named the 'Leipziger Messemännchen' which can be translated into 'the little man of the (Leipzig) fair'.

Creator of this little globe guy was the award winning director and (puppet) designer Gerhard Behrendt, who also made the Sandmännchen for the DDR state broadcasting. Between 1964 up to the end of the DDR in 1990, the Messemännchen has been the Leipzig fair mascot, and an army of more than 400.000 'männchen', ranging in size from 6 inches to more than 5 feet, were produced to promote the event.

There is no doubt about the Messemännchen's background. His suit and suitcase and his over-sized globe head tell us he does business all over the planet while the colours blue and yellow stand for his home town Leipzig. Like the (traveling) salesman he is he now found his way to Amsterdam. I only wish mine didn't loose his blue hat somewhere along the way.

Source & photo below: Wikipedia and the DDR museum.

1 comment:

  1. He looks a little like Mr. Peanut's more ambitious cousin. Maybe it's the briefcase that gives him that aire of accomplishment.