Richter's Anchor® Stone Building Sets

Richters Anker-Steinbaukasten

(Vol. 5, # 8)

I made an error last month when I identified these buildings.  They are found in Münster, Germany, not Frankfurt am Main.  I thought they were part of the Römer; I should have checked.  The building on the right is the Rathaus in Münster.  For those who did not see last month's builder's page, I should mention that the buildings on the left were built by Wilhelm Kottwitz.  The photograph was found in the Richter factory archive.

As I have done a few times before, I am not putting any pictures on my own page. I am using all of this room for pictures by this month's builder, Manfred Reiffenstein.   As last month, these pictures come from the former Anchor factory archive, which is now held by the Spielhausverein, Richters Villa e.V. in Rudolstadt.

If you have only a  limited amount of time to spend looking at the Anchor web site, I urge you to at least go to the builder's page.  This web page features Anchor buildings by Anchor people from around the world.  The pictures are changed every month.  

Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets (Richters Anker Steinbaukasten) were the world's most popular construction toy from the early 1880s through W.W.I.  These building stones were made in Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany, (and at the company's branches in Vienna, New York and, possibly, St. Petersburg, Russia).  Starting in 1880, Richter's Anchor building stones were covered by international patents and trademarks.

Today, there are many collectors and builders using Anchor Stone Building Sets.  These collectors often participate in setting up Anchor displays at various exhibitions.   A number of them are members of the international Club of Anchor Friends (Club van Ankervrienden), a Dutch club with members from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and the USA.

Over 600 different Anchor Stone Building Sets were produced in a number of different series.  In addition Richter offered other "stone" products such as puzzles and laying games.  Information on these building set series is provided here, but one can e-mail me on other Richter products.  People who would like to know more about a specific set, including value, or are only interested in additional general information are urged to contact George Hardy (This page usually shows some of my buildings.) by e-mail.  All e-mail questions will be answered, to the extent of my knowledge.

Sets and puzzles are being produced again!  The quality is high.  I urge people interested in starting Anchor building, and those who want to provide their educational benefits to their children, to consider buying new puzzles and sets.  Also I may have available a limited selection of old sets, including a new set and some special prices.  Anchor Stone Building Sets are great presents, and the supplement sets make wonderful follow up gifts.  These new sets recently won the 1997 Parents' Choice Gold Medal.  In 1999, the Anchor sets won the National Parenting Publications Award.  For an 1880 toy to win in 1997 and 1999 says a lot about the quality of these sets and Anchor in general.  These sets are a perfect supplement to computers.

For those who are really interested in Anchor stones, I have written a book about them.  (I just got tired of either looking up the same information again and again, or trusting my memory on specific details such as dates and names.)  It is expensive, $70 (or 100 DM) ppd, because I print it myself on my PC and color ink is expensive.  The book undoubtedly contains far more information about Anchor stones and sets, the Richter company, etc. than you'll ever want to read.  This book is a lot of work to print (I print about a dozen at a time, in either English or German, and it takes a week, full time.), so please don't think I am urging you to buy one.

The CVA has published its Stone Catalog, which covers all of the stone shapes Richter made, plus shapes made by other innovators.  Metal parts and most other accessories are included in the catalog.  The contents of the sets are also listed.  No more catalogs will be available until the new printing in early 2001.  All Anchor people need, and will want, a copy.  

Web Page Notes:  Most subpages do not change from month to month.  I will try to remember to add the note "(new)" after those subpages which have undergone major changes recently.  The "builder's page" and "my page" are revised every month.  A few people have asked me to number the "issues" of the Anchor page.  Well, they started in August, 1996, (with Vol. 1, # 8, to keep the number of the month the same as the issue's number).  The number of this "issue" is shown at the top of this page.  I can make a CD-ROM of the old pages for anyone who wants it.  (Remember, each month you hold off on this purchase adds yet one additional monthly web pages.)  In addition, two standard CD-ROMs are now available.  # 1 contains the GK-NF building, layer and packing plans; # 2 contains the KK building layer and packing plans, plus more packing plans.  If you want to buy one of these CD-ROMs, please send $4.  

Please note that this home page is revised monthly.  Most of the graphics are JPEG, which improves quality and reduces file size.  The URL name -- -- indicates that this site is the official web site of the Club of Anchor Friends.

My e-mail address is  That address is an alias for my 'real' e-mail address, which is  But if I ever change the ISP for the web site -- -- my 'rlc' e-mail address would change, but my 'ankerstein' e-mail address is (more or less) permanent.  

Another web problem connected with the change of ISP has been the loss of a reference on most of the search engines.  I am putting the page back up, but it takes time.   

Many new graphics, and additional text, are uploaded once a month, as close to the first as possible.  I do not change the full set of graphics, as most people never read beyond the first page.  If you only have a little time, I urge you to take a look at the "builders" page.  And please plan to drop by monthly to see the new pictures.  In the restricted space of my home page, I can provide only a limited view of the wonderful world of Richter's Anchor stones.

Other web sites with Anchor pictures and information:
         new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, (in German and English);
         a German retailer of Anchor sets, (in German);
         an American retailer of Anchor sets, (including the small sets #s 4 &  4A, which are not offered here);
         an English retailer of Anchor sets;
         German Museum in München, (in German);
         Stephen Wessel's Anker page, (in German);
         Construction Toys;
         Lego on Long Island;
         Architectural Toys;
         the puzzle web page is a must for all puzzle collectors, although not much on Anchor puzzles.

For the month of August, 2000.  

Anker-Steinbaukasten, auf deutsch.  

Anker-Steenbouwdozen, in nederlands  (und auf Deutsch).  

Anchor Stone Building sets, in English.  (You found it.)

Notes on Looks at this Web Site

The full service counter now gives us a lot of information, which I will update here in future months.  In the last eleven months, August, 1999, through June, 2000 (335 days), there have been 15,112 "sessions", or about 45 sessions per day.  Because I sold some Anchor items on Ebay, the statistics changed.  Fully 50% of all referrals came from Ebay.  Thus the percentage of people looking at only one page increased from the usual 70% to 76%; 19%, instead of 25%, looked at 2 - 5 pages; 5% continued to look at 6 or more pages.  About 60% of all sessions are identified by location.  There have been viewers from the following countries:  Australia (60), Austria (95), Belgium (15), Brazil (1), Canada (282), Chile (2), China (2), Columbia (2), Cypress (2), Czech Republic (8), Denmark (2), Finland (10), France (11), Germany (250), Greece (1), Hong Kong (2), Hungary (2), India (7), Israel (1),  Italy (4), Japan (68), Korea (6), Kuwait (1), Luxemburg (2), Malaysia (3), Mexico(2), Morocco (1), Netherlands (220), New Zealand (4), Norway (12), Pakistan (1), Peru (1), Philippines (3), Portugal (7), Singapore (14), Slovenia (1), South Africa (2), Spain (11), Sweden (9), Switzerland (61), Taiwan (1), Thailand (3), United Arab Emirates (2), UAR (Egypt) (5), UK (175) and USA (6,217); plus Tonga (236).  (Tonga sold its identity to the "European Regional Internet", so these sessions are not really from Tonga.)  

If there is interest, I will add a full page with more information.  It is interesting.  For example: replaced Altavista as the most important referring web site.  In order, the referring sites were deja, altavista, the puzzle site of John Rausch, msen, google, the new Anchor factory in Rudolstadt, Germany, geocities, lycos and yahoo. I happen to like, but often have more success at, and altavista.  Netscape and MSIE are really in a dead heat.  This month, another reversal: MSIE 34%, Netscape 28%, AOL 22%.  Operating systems: Win98 40% ( steady increase), Win95 18%, WinNT 11%, Win3.x 6%, Mac 6%.  

From the first appearance of the Anchor home page, August 30, 1996, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of people accessing it.  This site has been updated every month since August, 1996.  I can supply a CD-ROM of all of the past web pages if you want one.  If you want one, to cover the cost of the blank CD and postage, please send $5.  Remember, each month you hold off on this purchase adds yet another of the monthly web pages.

Thank you for visiting the CVA "Anchor" web site.

or you can write to:

George Hardy
1670 Hawkwood Ct.
Charlottesville, VA 22901

Tel: (804) 295 4863
Fax: (804) 295 4898



No Java.  No music.  No moving icons.  No garbage.  Ever.  Just Anchor.