An unknown maker, or at least; we know it because it marked all its stuff with a very distinctive logo, but it's unidentified, in that we don't know the whole name of the company, or whether or not it's extant like Blue Box, or gone for good like Lucky Toys?
A year ago I still thought they might be an East German outfit, as they were always turning-up in Germany, and seemed to have a Soviet-bloc 'quality' to them - i.e. better than Hong Kong, but not up to the mark of West European toy finishing.
They also copied the cowboys (see the Figuren Magazine link at end), and I suspect knights? I've also read/heard somewhere that VEB Plaho might have been similarly plagiarised by ZZ, but have seen no evidence?
In addition they made farm and zoo animals taken from Britains' 1:32 scale range and Elastolin's 1:25 scale range, along with some unique designs (see also the STS link at end). I suspect from the logo's on the cards that they were premiums for the chocolate brand; Riesen [Giant, Colossal], but due to the size of each carded bag, possibly a mail-away, or token-save exercise to be exchanged at the retail outlets counter? If not; they were definitely trying to link themselves to the - rather lovely - chocolate-coated toffees. However, they were also distributed in the USA by R. Dakin and Co., San Francisco...claiming to be a product of West Germany? And Skyline of Milwaukee "Made and hand-painted in W. Germany"
I also have two (or three?) small tin-plate toys with the mark on, basically either copies or modern designs of old penny-toys, one is an airship, the other a WWI type 'plane and there may have been a third, but I might have let it go as being well outside the collections range (interactive toy? clicking frog? something like that), but they are in storage so we'll have to look at them another time, the thing about them though, is that they seemed brand-new about 6 years ago, and it's very hard to fake newness with tin-plate, you can fake age, but that shiny, mint paint is err...shiny and 'mint'! So they may well still be manufacturing, now 'Chinese' not Hong Kong per se, but Google's no help.
Couple of Links
German language Figures Journal page - the 54mm mounted Indian with base and bag of Cowboys near the bottom of the page are probably not ZZ originals, they're more common Hong Kong 'generic' figures.
Riesen Zoo and Riesen Farm on STS Forum
Can anybody add anything to what's been found on the two links? It may well be that they ARE a German company, copying animals from closer at home, while buying-in the Cowboys & Indians, and sourcing the tin-plate from a third company? But then why the ZZ logo on the HK bases? I think they've got to be HK and the Dakin packs were (deliberately?) misleading...help!
The Oscars, Pistorius and de la Renta.
26 minutes ago