About Us

If we had to describe Elbenwald in five words, those would be “enthusiastic”, “daring”, “cheeky”, and “banana”. Wait, those were just four words! We should have thought before hitting the keys…

Because we are fans

Anyway: We do all the stuff you do too: get up at night to watch the latest episode of our favorite series, speculate years ahead about what will happen in the over-over-the-next Marvel movie, question the Hogwarts curriculum along with its security concept, have entire conversations solely with movie quotes, just one more round of gaming, and fill our shelves with cool stuff.

Because we are fans, we sell merchandise that we ourselves find awesome; a not-so-small part of it, we even produce ourselves! And so that you don't just admire all that stuff on the backlit display of your choice, we have more than 30 stores in Germany, Austria, and now even in the Netherlands, where you can inspect your favorite merch IRL.

Cool merch. Online shop. Retail stores. What's missing? Actually, nothing is missing! Since 2018, we've been hosting the Elbenwald Festival every year, the coolest summer party – with bands, stars, authors, live film orchestras, workshops, and a thousand other things. You're welcome to take a closer look here.

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This is what we do

  • Curate our range with love
  • Watch too many series and movies
  • Have fun while working
  • Take feedback seriously
  • Create fan theories
  • Achieve even the most bizarre achievement in our favorite game
  • Watch bonus material on Blu-rays (including commentary tracks!)
  • Paint board game miniatures

This is what we don't do

  • Give up
  • Ignore others' opinions
  • Think in hierarchies
  • Iron T-shirts
  • Consider dog ears as suitable bookmarks
  • Fool people
  • Use walkthroughs
  • Leave the cinema when the credits start

Elbenwald over time

Still here? Who actually reads the "About us" page of an online shop until the end? Hoping for a cool joke at the end? Do you simply have too much time or more important things to do but lean towards procrastination? Or do you actually want to know more about Elbenwald?

The epic Elbenwald time travel

Choose your time machine



Sometime in 1999

The student apartment where it all began

Three Men High

The three future ex-students Alex, Dirk, and Jens start an adventure much like Bilbo once did! Yes, it's overstated, but the first slide (who the hell still calls it a slide today?) should be exciting. Anyway, Dirk had tinkered around with software for online shops for fun, so they decide to do that. But what should they sell? Socks? Shower curtains? Aprons?* No! Because the three are total Lord of the Rings nerds, and there isn't any cool merchandise for it in Germany, they decide on that. Isn't a movie being made about it as well?

*By the way, you can find all that stuff at Elbenwald...

November 15, 2000

The first Elbenwald website, 2000

We embark on an adventure!

The Elbenwald website launches. With its pure Lord of the Rings online shop, the three reach an astonishing turnover of a whopping 800 marks by the end of December! Now that's a groundbreaking success...

December 10, 2001

Apartment as Storage, 2001

Movie History #1

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring celebrates its world premiere and becomes the second most successful film of the year – and a catalyst for Elbenwald. Suddenly, the shop is swamped, at the end of the month, there's suddenly a turnover 625 times higher than the previous year! And because the boxes in the student dormitory soon pile up to the ceiling, and the three slowly fear they won't be able to use the bathroom anymore, they rent a small apartment.


Jens and Dirk in front of Harry Potter cardboard figure, 2004

We solemnly swear that we are up to no good

So, The Fellowship was the second most successful film of the year 2001. However, the most successful film (that's not a word) was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Alex and Co. also notice this, so they decide not to limit themselves to Middle-earth any longer. The inclusion of Harry Potter among the new themes was possibly the most important business decision of their career.

February 29, 2004

Screenshot: Vanity Fair '11 Oscars to Rule Them All' Image © Vanity Fair

Movie History #2

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King makes film history and is awarded eleven Oscars. Peter Jackson's epic conclusion won in all nominated categories. To this day, the film holds the record for the most Academy Awards (tied with Titanic and Ben-Hur), and it was the first fantasy film to win the Best Picture award.

February 11, 2005

World of Warcraft Cover, © Blizzard Entertainment

The Great Distraction

World of Warcraft launches in Europe. Alex, Jens, and Dirk are thrilled! However, it would take Dirk nearly a year to reach the max level. Yes, back then, things took much longer. Not like the softened addons we know today. You had to invest real time for leveling up, mounts, and so on!

June 15, 2006

Elbenwald Spectacle 2006

Elbenwald IRL (OR: The Elbenwald Spectacle)

The first of five Elbenwald Spectacles kicks off! In its inaugural year, 210 fantasy enthusiasts gathered for a wild weekend at Burg Bilstein. It included loads of cosplays and even a real-life Quidditch variant developed by Alex, which wasn't too dissimilar from the later "real" sport.

October 8, 2006

German Fantastic Prize 2006: Elbenwald.de website

German Fantastic Prize

The German Fantastic Prize is awarded at the Buchmesse-Con. For some reason, Elbenwald is awarded as the best website! The other nominees, Fantasyguide.de, Gabriel-Burns.de, Maddrax.de, and even Stephen-King.de, are left speechless. (We assume.)

March 24, 2007

The Mysterious Ticking Noise Video Screenshot

What’s that mysterious ticking noise?

The Mysterious Ticking Noise video is released on YouTube. We've watched it approximately twelve thousand times since then. Just watched it again now. And you're watching it now too, aren't you?


Alex, Dirk, Jens (from left to right)

There was still something...

The three of them realize they are still enrolled at the university. And they change that.

November 2007

Elbenwald Catalog Winter 2007/2008

The unofficial Christmas note

Do you still remember the huge Otto catalog that, due to its weight, could have deserved a place as a murder weapon in a Clue game? Well, in November 2007, Elbenwald released its first major comprehensive catalog (smaller "magalogs" existed earlier). It wasn't quite as heavy, but for about 15 years, it became the unofficial birthday and Christmas wish list for generations of enthusiastic nerds.

May 20, 2009

The first Elbenwald Facebook post

Pleasant Ascension Day

Elbenwald publishes its first Facebook post. In hindsight, it turned out to be not worth showing off, especially since the author of these lines went to a completely inappropriate amount of effort to track down the post. Only to then realize that it simply wished all the readers (there weren't many) a pleasant holiday (Ascension Day). Five likes and one comment ("Thanks, likewise") say it all about this disappointing piece of history.

September 2010

The first Elbenwald Store - Alexa Berlin

The first Elbenwald Store

Elbenwald opens its first store in Berlin's Alexa. Finally, the capital's nerds could get a hands-on experience with the bestsellers from the online shop. The idea of having a physical store was initially a shot in the dark. No one would have thought that we'd eventually talk about more than 30 stores at home and abroad.

April 17, 2011

Game of Thrones - Iron Throne bookend

The Game of Thrones begins

An unassuming fantasy series, which would play a significant role at Elbenwald later the same year, airs for the first time on HBO: Game of Thrones. Nice, although we blame the series for the need to put a spoiler warning before any tiny piece of information today. (In the end, the Iron Throne is destroyed. Sorry. Not sorry.)

October 30, 2012

George Lucas, Photo: Nicolas Genin, Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0 Photo: Nicolas Genin, Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0

Film history #3

Fans around the world feel a disturbance in the Force. Disney buys Lucasfilm along with the rights to Star Wars for 4 billion dollars. We still feel the effects of this today.

November 11, 2014

Youtube Screenshot Wand Giveaway

A Mega Campaign…

Elbenwald gives away all the Harry Potter wands on YouTube. Creators and participants are thrilled.

December 16, 2014

Youtube Screenshot Wand Giveaway Winner

... goes wrong

Elbenwald embarrasses itself to the bone by publicly announcing the winner of the wands on YouTube and asking them to get in touch. Only to have, in what we would now call "predictably," a lot of people claiming to be the winner. Silly. It took more than a week to determine the correct winner...

April 7, 2015

Elbenwald's first Instagram Post

Long live His Majesty Joffrey

Elbenwald publishes its first Instagram post. With a few Funkos. Not that important. But hey, His Majesty Joffrey of Houses Baratheon and Lannister, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm takes the spotlight.

July 13, 2015

Zukunftspreis Brandenburg 2015

Zukunftspreis Brandenburg

Elbenwald is awarded the Zukunftspreis Brandenburg (Future Prize Brandenburg). As part of the prize, they received, among other things, an image film. We checked it recently (November 2023) to find out that it has a whopping 424 views, three likes, and exactly one comment. Well. (The award is still great, especially since the plaque looks nice.)

September 19, 2015

Elbenwald Store Vienna

Across Borders

Elbenwald opens its first store abroad. Well, in the "small" abroad. More precisely, in Austria. Even more precisely, in Vienna's Donauzentrum. Elbenwald openings are always awesome (which is probably mainly due to the 40% opening discount for costumed attendees). But what went down in Vienna was beyond our wildest dreams.

November 6, 2015

100,000 Fans on Facebook

Exemplary Winners

Celebrating our 100,000th fan on Facebook was such a joy that we decided to raffle a €500 voucher. However, the winner didn't want it and preferred to donate everything to the patients at the Children's Ward of Charité Hospital. So, together with the winner, we went there and distributed child-friendly merchandise worth €1,000. It was beautiful!

May 2016

Screenshot German Quadball Association: Main Sponsor Elbenwald

German Quidditch National Team

Elbenwald becomes the main sponsor of the German Quidditch National Team (now German Quadball Association). In the same year, the Quidditch World Cup takes place in Germany for the first time, and unexpectedly, the Australians defeat the heavily favored USA in a thrilling final.

March 22, 2017

Elbenwald's Harry Potter board game, unreleased

It wasn't meant to be

Elbenwald starts developing an incredible Harry Potter board game that looks so beautifully designed, packed with tons of inside references (especially the "Oliver Wood" event card) and is incredibly fun. Unfortunately, the product will never hit the market.

June 26, 2017

Facebook Screenshot: Harry Potter Live Reading at the Cottbus Store

Reading Without Permission

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Elbenwald hosts a massive live reading at the Cottbus Elbenwald Store and broadcasts it online without authorization. Legal departments of several companies are appalled.

February 21, 2018

Facebook Screenshot: Announcement of the first Elbenwald Festival

The Elbenwald Festival

Elbenwald announces the first Elbenwald Festival, the quasi-successor to the Elbenwald Spectacle! Some highlights of the lineup: Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter), Jamie Campbell Bower (Stranger Things), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter), Coldmirror, Dr. Mark Benecke, Wolfgang Hohlbein, David Nathan, and so many more!

August 4, 2018

Mannheim24.de Screenshot: Elbenwald Store Opening Mannheim

Chaos in Mannheim

Elbenwald causes chaotic conditions in Mannheim. For the opening of the newest store, so many fans show up that the police have to intervene and even reroute the tram. Amazing!

November 5, 2018

www.thebestsocial.media Screenshot: T&Cs you should really read

Be a Good Person

The page The Best Social Media shows good taste and praises our terms and conditions.

April 22, 2019

Poster: Avengers Endgame, Image © Marvel Studios/Disney Image © Marvel Studios/Disney

Movie History #4

Avengers: Endgame celebrates its world premiere in Los Angeles. Still one of the best cinematic experiences we've ever had.


Facebook Screenshot: Reopening of stores during the pandemic

It's like in the great stories

2020 is a year when our Muggle world really could have used some magic. But instead of being able to bring cheer with a flick of a wand, our staff had to exchange their wands and lightsabers for masks and disinfectants to face the pandemic.

"It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the story be good with so much bad happening? How could the world ever go back to the way it was after all the terrible things? But in the end, it's just a passing shadow. Even darkness must pass."

Thank you, Sam, for those uplifting words. But most importantly, we thank all our staff and the fans out there! Through the strong community and the shared love for fantastic worlds, we made it through this dark time.

1st September 2022

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Image © Amazon Studios Image © Amazon Studios

The Rings of Power

The presumably most expensive TV series production of all time begins – The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Whether it's fantastic or not can't be conclusively judged yet, but one thing is for sure, it looks stunning.

29th July 2023

Elbenwald Store Opening Amsterdam

Elbenwald Goes International

Elbenwald opens its first store in the Netherlands, specifically in Amsterdam! Three months later, the entire Elbenwald website becomes multilingual. In addition to German, it now supports English, French, and Dutch.

to be continued

Marty McFly takes off his sunglasses and says 'Whoa'
The Tenth Doctor takes off the 3D glasses and looks surprised

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