Stanzel museum

Everyday Adventures: Visiting the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum


stanzel model aircraft museum

Did you know up until the late 90’s there was a toy factory in Schulenburg, Texas? Yeah, me neither! It may not sound that exciting or novel, but Schulenburg is a sleepy little central Texas town with about 3,000 people. I would never have thought of it as a place that had a toy factory. And being a big fan of toys, I had to pay this place a visit!

The Stanzel toy company was founded by Joe and Victor Stanzel in 1930.

Stanzel model plane
Stanzel solid wood model plane kit

Their first product was a line of solid wood model airplane kits.

Stanzel control line plane
Stanzel control line plane

In 1939 they began producing a line of flying model planes that are controlled by a “control-line”.

Tupa control line diagram

Control-line flying is pretty neat. The airplane has a small motor on the front and you can control it via the line that connects from the plane to a hand-held controller. I had never heard of this nor seen one until I visited the museum.


Stanzel toy planestanzel ziroids

In the late 50’s the Stanzel Company shifted its focus from the model airplane kits to battery operated, and plastic toys. They operated until the late 90’s when the company shut down. The Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum opened its doors in 1999.


The museum property actually has three buildings:

 -The museum proper

The museum was quite nice and well put together. It did a nice job of covering the company’s history and the products they produced.

model engine
Museum display showing how the airplane engine works
Advertising art
They had a nice selection of advertising art on display

-One of the old factory buildings
The factory was very interesting. They had some of the old machines they used to make the toys and a lot of signage explaining how they worked as well as the history of the toy company.

stanzel factory
Factory sign
stanzel factory tour
Oven used to shape and dry plane wings
Sample of molded toy parts
Sample of molded toy parts

-The grandparents home of the company founders

The house was a neat piece of history despite not having anything to do with the toy company itself.

stanzel museum
The Grandparents home


If you are ever near Schulenburg, Texas stop by the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum for a visit. It’s worth the time and you’ll learn quite a bit about the history of a neat little small town toy company.

Tupa Stanzel plane

Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum
311 Baumgarten St.
Schulenburg, TX 78956

Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:30am-4:30pm



  1. Chris, I had a few of those control line planes when I was a kid. They weren’t too expensive and they were sold in several stores around Port Lavaca, maybe due to the proximity to Schulenburg. My brother and I had a lot of fun with those until we managed to wreck them, lol.

  2. Wow! Very cool! I need to try and get my hands on one and give it a go. I believe there are still companies that make them.

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