The History of the DUZI

In the year 2010 the DUZI celebrates its 28th anniversary. So, what happened in over 20 years? First I have to say: A lot more than this short text can tell.

It all began in 1983 in the "Freizeithaus" of the "Revierpark Mattlerbusch" in Duisburg.


That's how the name came to be: "DUisburger ZInnfigurenbörse" or "DUZI" for short. A manageable almost "familial" setting with 15 commercial and some private exhibitors, but nevertheless they came from all over Germany. 2 years later, when the location was about to be rebuild, a true odyssey began. From northern Duisburg to Dinslaken, then back to Duisburg. These were hard times, especially in the years five and six we almost lost our courage and were about to put an end to the "DUZI". Only the support of the flat

Duzi 2010
Golden Duzi
miniature manufacturers kept us going on. After that we went down to southern Duisburg, which surely was an event to remember (not only because of the janitor).
The next stop on our trek was Oberhausen. For a few years the "Revierpark Vonderort" became our home and finally our hard work paid off. The number of visitors constantly increased, which is still the case today, and the number of exhibitors grew as well, which finally led to new problems. The venue became too small and thus we had to move once again. We decided to go to the city hall of Oberhausen. Unfortunately this wasn't the best choice to make, because only one year later the hall was rebuilt and we were forced
to look for a new location - the nineth! Well, we found the city hall of Wesel and, knock on wood, we are still there.
It has always been interesting to see how the quality of our event constantly improved - the variety of exhibitors and exhibits of all kinds, the events during the shows and last but not least the competitions that got better and more colourful year by year. Another great thing to see, has been the constant rise of young and talented painters, challenging the "veterans" and professionals.
All in all the "DUZI" has become an institution with about 85 exhibitors each year, where we are able to welcome not only regular guests but "newbies" as well. And there is still room for more...

DUZI 2010
09. & 10. October '10
Niederrheinhalle Wesel

21 years DUZI

An impressive achievement in times of the economy down, vanishing retailers and a generally decreasing scene. To be successful under these conditions not only makes us proud, but inspires us to take a little look back at the beginning.
Everything started in 1983.
The "DUZI" opened its gates for the first time in the "Revierpark Mattlerbusch" in Duisburg. At that time there already existed an event like this in southern Germany, in Kulmbach to be precise. It took place every two years giving credit to this special hobby - and it had proven, that people were interested in an event like this.
Of course the first "DUZI" had been quite small, but it had been quality rather than quantity and it already had, what would be distinctive for all the future "DUZIs" to come. An international audience, exhibitors and visitors alike as well as stunning exhibits and performances. In 1983 people could have a look at the battle of Waterloo, rebuilt with about 1000 tin soldiers.
Due to ingredients like that, only one year later the "DUZI" had become the second largest event of that kind in Germany - and nobody was disappointed. Workshops, slide shows, historical battle scenes and a camp of some samurai warriors from Düsseldorf left nothing to be desired. In 1985 the "DUZI" moved - something that would happen several times during the following year.

However, it did not affect the people's acceptance, since the high level of quality could not only be saved, but even increased, as the following examples may prove. In 1986 there was the battle of Alamo, consisting of approximately 4000 miniatures. In 1988 the mayor of Duisburg gave credit to the event, as he honoured the winners of the various painting competitions.

In 1989 you could take a look at the battle at Solferino with 4000 miniatures placed on a battleground of 6 squaremetres. All of these events had one thing in common: they left the audience totally astonished. But they did not only show a deep affection for detailed work. There was a new trend on the way. More and more the miniatures left behind the uniformity of the classic tin soldier and began to cover a wider range of motives.
Everyday life in a Roman tavern stood next to christmas ornaments and mighty dragons, which were surrounded by actual celebrities out of history, e.g. Napoleon, Hannibal or Alexander, The Great. However, not only the motives showed a great diversity, but the types of miniatures, too; 3-dimensional or flat miniatures (so-called "vignettes"), dioramas (entire scenes with tin miniatures) or busts - everything highly detailed and accurate as the highlight of 1990 proves: