In the 70s, when I grew up, the new toy on the block was Playmobil (curiously, Brandstätter, the German makers, decided they had to make smaller toys because of the ongoing oil crisis and the rising prices for raw materials), they did not have as much as they do now, but it was quite popular. Their pirate ship was totally awesome.
My friend Marc had one and he was making a big deal about it.
Rich kid show-off.
My (poorer) parents then chose to buy me PlayBig, the knock-off copy cat (which was actually more exact in details and proportions of the figures). They had to stop production a few years later. The Playmobil man is in the middle with the dumb but steady smile because he knew he would win – big time.
I believe I had gotten this set with the road construction. I wasn’t too thrilled. Fortunately, my brother had lots of Lego and matchbox cars, and it did not really damage me for life. I have actually grown up to a person who tries to be unimpressed by brands and ‘originals’ which is basically what you have to do when you don’t have enough cash to always get the latest thing in fashion. Now that is something I will try to transmit to my son.
Or make lots of money soon.
Fast forward .. 30 years (yep!). Playmobil is hard to get in Australia.
After seeing how happily my boy played with an old Fisher-Price fortress and the knights that my husband found in his shed from his now teenage son, for his 3rd birthday, he got him this :
It was the beginning of a love/hate relationship with the “Imaginext” line of Fisher-Price for me. Over time, we bought him – or he made us buy – the following sets all themed on emergency and rescue :
My fav’ is the police horse, just check out this face – it means business !
So I love these toys it because :
my son would spent HOURS playing with his “little men” – even without me, and i finally got stuff done for myself. Toddler’s mum in heaven.
they would not break easily (at least not at first)
they were themed on emergency and rescue professions, something my son was – and still is – very interested in, bless him
the details and the facial expressions were kind of cool (raised eyebrows, sunglasses.. ) – much better than the Playmobil idiot smile.
But I hate them because
we kept losing the removable jackets and other accessories and this caused tremendous distress and drama. I have lost many hours of my life searching for them (allowing him to take 3 firemen on an overseas journey was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made)
different to the old knights that are simpler in conception but survived years of play and then more years in storage, they are now losing their arms and I keep having to repair them with superglue. and then repair them again because he takes them into the bath. The printed on faces also come off. The are now a miserable bunch of disfigured amputees really
you just can’t always get the set you want in Australia it seems..
instead of expanding the city theme, they have broadened their range of toys first to to superheroes, robots and merchandising stuff (toy story3) like everybody else. there are also knights and pirates now, but I would have liked to expand the collection on more contemporary – and real life – stuff. (there is already a lot of superhero stuff going on in my son’s life anyway.)
But he still plays a lot with them and we have started building stuff ourselves to enrich the experience (i make a ‘cheap as craft post’ about it)
And now I see they have come up with this :
A-dorable aliens ! I want them. But I can’t have them.
Because my son would take them from me.
Because he is totally mean and takes all MY toys.
What’s your toy story ?
Any toys that mean a lot to your child AND to you.. ?
PS : I do not want to withhold two curiosities I found while researching pictures for this post.
This dad posts about a campaign by UNICEF. I feared this was part of the now huge range of Playmobil series, but I think it’s a good idea anyway :
The operation scene seems to be one of the more recent conceptions. I thought this website was rather curious…http://www.dimensionsguide.com/dimension-of-a-playmobil/