Playmobil Toys for Eternity

My son helped me clear out our attic and I managed give away my children’s Care Bears, Barbie dolls, Little People, Little Pony and Pet Shop toys, but I cannot part with Playmobil. Designed for children ages 4 to 12, kids never outgrow them. The way my memory is going, in a couple of years I will have regressed enough to enjoy playing with them again. Playmobil Toys for Eternity.

Hans Beck, (1929-2009) trained as a cabinet-maker, pitched his mobile airplanes to the Horst Brandstatter Company headquartered in Zirndorf Germany. Instead of planes, the owner asked him to develop figures for children. Beck, who became known as the « Father of Playmobil,» designed 3 inch tall human like figures along with buildings and vehicles made of hard plastic. In 1974 Playmobil launched the original series, which included sets of Native Americans, construction workers and knights.

If you are looking for a perfect gift for a child or grandchild, Playmobil fits the bill.

Though expensive, Playmobil are well worth the price because they last forever. Precise craftmanship developed hands that hold objects and pivot at the wrist. Detailed accessories fit to a theme and add authenticity to recognizable time periods. Knights snap on capes and hold shields, cavalry carry holsters and guns, skateboarders wear knee pads and elbow guards.

Playmobil themes include a school, a farm, a zoo, medieval castles and houses. Buses, airplanes, ambulances, cars, service trucks, cranes and boats come with fixtures, workers and passengers.

The intricate detail includes a hospital complete with an operating table and IV lines, a fort with artillery that project cannon balls, and a circus with a disappearing lady in a box.

As Nic and I emptied shoeboxes across the living room floor, my children’s youth flashed before my eyes. When my kids were little they spend hours weaving elaborate stories about the lives of the little figurines.

Nic’s favorite was the western fort with a stagecoach, wagons, and soldiers, and the Native Americans series with tepees and painted ponies.

Playmobil forever“These would be great for teaching history,” he said assembling the pirate ship.

Our daughter loved the hospital set. Who knows? Did Playmobil help motivate her to pursue a medical career?

After sorting and setting up Playmobil resurrecting our collection of memories, Nic filmed our handiwork for fun and send it to his sister. Instead of being amused, she texted back in alarm, “What are those toys doing out of their boxes? You aren’t selling our Playmobil?”

No, never, dear daughter. I could no more part with Playmobil than I could give up the priceless memories of your childhood. These magical toys inspired the stories that became your lives.

Posted in family, relationships.

18 Comments

  1. Oh, what a beautiful post! I’m enjoying morning coffee and my quiet time, knowing the grandkids are coming for their monthly sleepover in a few hours. I just went through their toys and sorted. A couple of new Lego boxes sit unopened, ready to cycle into the mess. Rich, rich times. Thanks for putting it in context. (Are you okay, Pat? The photo of you lying down…?)

    • With your joie de vivre I bet you enjoy playing with those Legos as much your grandkids. My son who has a wonderful sense of humor thought it would be funny if I am posed as sick for the Playmobil hospital scene.

  2. Oh, what a beautiful post! I’m enjoying morning coffee and my quiet time, knowing the grandkids are coming for their monthly sleepover in a few hours. I just went through their toys and sorted. A couple of new Lego boxes sit unopened, ready to cycle into the mess. Rich, rich times. Thanks for putting it in context. (Are you okay, Pat? The photo of you lying down…?)

  3. I think I may have missed some Playmobil opportunities. I certainly remember some but not all the ones you’ve mentioned. But I totally understand your desire to never part with them. Interesting to think that perhaps toys children play with in childhood may lead them to their life’s passions. I had the same feeling as you with their childhoods passing before your eyes as you pulled the little pieces from the box. I was just going through the costume box deciding what hubbie and I might want to take with us in our golden years to our new active adult community. The three girls’ antics as they prepared for Halloween or theme parties in high school and college flashed before my eyes. Uncovering hidden treasures certainly make for some great reminiscing. Thanks for this beautiful article.

    • I am not as adept as weeding out things as you are. Once I open the box and the reminiscing begins, my mind is triggered and I am off and running on another story idea. I seriously do believe that I will be playing with those Playmobil in old age. Why not? Coloring books for senior citizens has become vogue.

  4. Oh Pat, I love this post! It reminds me of that saying ,”play is the work of children”. I never heard of Playmobil but you show how toys can help shape children’s interests and imagination. There are so many priceless childhood memories associated with toys..my kids still talk about their Matchbox cars and Cabbage Patch doll.

  5. How wonderful. Such fun to reminisce and get the old favourite toys out. My mum still has our toy farm in her attic and I have my dolls house from the 1960s in my UK attic. The girls brought their favourite toys to Australia with us, despite my moans and groans about cost and space in the shipping container. Don’t get Imara to have a clear out as she spends a whole day in memory mode and we don’t see her. No throwing out ever seems to occur! This tells me we all have an inner child and I read somewhere recently that in times of stress, young people will often regress to earlier carefree times and watch old childhood movies and get old toys out. This is apparently a great mental health improver. So, justification like this could always be used as an excuse when we blow off the dust from the toys, but who needs it? Just live and let live, embracing who we were and how we got to be who we are, toys and all. Love your article ❤️ xx

    • I think you are right we all need to nurture our inner child. Just think if more people de-stressed by dancing and playing with toys our society might be a whole lot less violent. Shall we propose a new movement? haxxx

  6. How wonderful. Such fun to reminisce and get the old favourite toys out. My mum still has our toy farm in her attic and I have my dolls house from the 1960s in my UK attic. The girls brought their favourite toys to Australia with us, despite my moans and groans about cost and space in the shipping container. Don’t get Imara to have a clear out as she spends a whole day in memory mode and we don’t see her. No throwing out ever seems to occur! This tells me we all have an inner child and I read somewhere recently that in times of stress, young people will often regress to earlier carefree times and watch old childhood movies and get old toys out. This is apparently a great mental health improver. So, justification like this could always be used as an excuse when we blow off the dust from the toys, but who needs it? Just live and let live, embracing who we were and how we got to be who we are, toys and all. Love your article ❤️ xx

  7. Aw, this is just so doggone cute, Pat! I’m not familiar with Playmobil. Domer had Legos. Boxes and boxes of them. Sometimes alone and sometimes with friends, he’d spend hours building with those plastic bricks. I recently cleaned out the storage shed and rescued many a plastic box filled with them. Of course, he wanted them, so on one of his treks downstate, we loaded up his car’s truck. Nice to know the kid in him is still alive and well!!

    • Isn’t it funny how our kids want to hang on to their favorite toys? I agree wholeheartedly I think it is reassuring in the electronic age that Playmobil and Lego still hold a special place in our children’s hearts.

  8. I am not as adept as weeding out things as you are. Once I open the box and the reminiscing begins, my mind is triggered and I am off and running on another story idea. I seriously do believe that I will be playing with those Playmobil in old age. Why not? Coloring books for senior citizens has become vogue.

  9. Isn’t it funny how our kids want to hang on to their favorite toys? I agree wholeheartedly I think it is reassuring in the electronic age that Playmobil and Lego still hold a special place in our children’s hearts.

  10. Some toys span generations, and this is one of them. Your son has a wicked sense of humor, Pat! Love it!

    • Yes, our son has a wonderful sense of humor and he has kept us smiling since he was a little tyke. Did your children have Playmobil growing up? I know you can find them now, but I don’t think they were available in the states when my kids were young.

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