Pros:durable, fun to play with, good for developing skills
Cons:small pieces get lost or eaten
The Bottom Line: Mom's having too much fun buying Playmobil stuff - you're not allowed to grow up!
One of the last toys I bought in the Playmobil line was the Playmobil Safari Set. I think its my last purchase for some time as my son has finally become the victim of the marketing strategists and asked for Spiderman and Transformer toys for his seventh birthday. Well too bad, kid, I already bought this set and youd better like it!
Recommend this product?
The Playmobil line of toys has really become a favorite of mine through my sons growing years. The toys are always high-quality and durable, something I can appreciate. The minus is the small pieces which frequently come with the sets and get lost or end up in the vacuum (or dog). Also, some of the more extravagant playsets require a lot of assembly and can be frustrating.
I liked the Playmobil Safari Set when I first laid eyes on it and thought it would go quite well with the Playmobil Small Zoo I had given him at Christmas. The Playmobil Safari Set includes a jeep, two safari guides, a safari lodge, and animals such as zebras, lions, giraffes, elephant, monkey and vulture. There are also trees and scrub to make any play area seem more like the brush.
The hardest part of the set was assembling the lodge, and that didnt take much time at all. I have had an issue with the directions that come with the sets, but when its something small like the lodge I found it pretty easy to figure out. Either that, or I am very adept now at figuring out what all the diagrams included with the Playmobil sets mean. The jeep snapped together pretty quickly and there were some stickers to apply. All in all, I would say it definitely took me less than a half hour, probably more like twenty minutes.
Like most of the sets from Playmobil, the Playmobil Safari Set is incredibly detailed. The lodge is set on a raised platform with steps leading up to it. A door leads in that will swing open and close, as do the shutters which close up the windows at night. A small table and two chairs can sit on the deck and the tools the guides use can be hung inside or out. The roof is green and the idea is to look thatched, but its one time when I felt like the designers at Playmobil missed the mark with how they conceived this building.
The jeep really works with wheels that turn. It can be pushed along the floor and rolls just fine. I wouldnt take it outside as it wont work in sand. Trust me, we already found that out. The windshield can be straight up or folded down on the hood of the jeep. Theres a place for both guides to sit as well as for storage behind the seat. I do appreciate the attention to detail that comes with many Playmobil toys, and the jeep is no exception in this set. Most manufacturers would just stick a jeep in there for the figures and not think about a detail such as a grill on the front to protect the headlights.
The two figures have various pieces of gear to carry with them, as well as clothing such as hats and vests. They move at the arms and their heads swivel on their necks in addition to being able to sit. This might be a bit limited in terms of mobility, but its enough for a child with imagination. The animals are pretty much the same, moving in the head and neck area and legs. The ones who have tails can also move those.
The Playmobil Safari Set is brightly colored like other sets and made of the same durable plastic that has a certain degree of give to it. This helps prevent breakage when played with. At the same time, there are no rough edges at seams. The toys have been crafted quite well and manage to give quite an authentic feel to the toys. The set is definitely higher quality than other sets Ive seen where the colors fade or arent consistent.
For my son, the sets in general have been a pleasure. Hes been diagnosed as mildly autistic, and one of the issues the therapists were concentrating on was his pincer grasp. All of the small pieces which come with the sets have been very helpful in this regard, forcing him to work with the accessories which are usually tiny pieces. At the same time, these sets facilitate imaginative play rather than having him zoning out in front of the television or playing video games, making me feel good about his developing cognitive skills. Indeed, this past year has been his best developmental-wise and I believe its due to his playing more with the toys like this weve had in the home in addition to the work theyve done with him at school. These sets are all interchangeable, meaning the people from his construction set can decide to go on safari and hang out with the guys in this set and use their tools. All of the hands are curved the same way and can hold each others accessories. The safari guides can decide to visit their new friends on a city construction site and learn how to work the machinery. All of them can go have a medieval experience and hang out with a bunch of knights and dragons. Theres no limit to what a child can imagine.
Sadly, though, they grow up. While I have enjoyed the sets and seeing him play with them, he seems to be gradually outgrowing them. Playmobil has a recommendation on these toys for ages 4 and up. I have no problem with that since the small pieces would be very bad around children younger than that who are prone to putting things like this in their mouth. At the same time, it seems that 7 might be the upper limit for when they are truly interested in the toy. I dont know that I would buy any more without taking him in the store with me to see if he has a genuine interest first. He has used the Playmobil Safari Set since he received it on his birthday, but its not with the enthusiasm he once had for all things Playmobil.
I do take comfort that the toys are durable and last. Once I see that he is definitely through, they will be keepers that I put away in a box to take out one day when the grandchildren come around. I know they will be just as fond of them as my son has been.
Other Playmobil toy reviews:
Playmobil Small Zoo
Playmobil Compactor ~ Playmobil Crane ~ Playmobil Dump Truck ~ Playmobil Excavator ~ Playmobil Forklift
Playmobil Black Lion Leader ~ Playmobil Cannon Guard ~ Playmobil Captive Prince ~ Playmobil Dragon Attack Cannon ~ Playmobil Dragon Troops ~ Playmobil Evil Knight ~ Playmobil Fierce Knight Leader ~ Playmobil Gold Dragon Leader ~ Playmobil Knights Duel Advent Calendar ~ Playmobil Knights Tournament ~ Playmobil Red Dragon ~ Playmobil Rock Castle ~ Playmobil Three Black Lion Knights ~ Playmobil Three Fierce Knights ~ Playmobil Three Gold Dragon Knights ~ Playmobil Treasure Transport ~ Playmobil Viking Boat
© 2007 Patti Aliventi
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Amount Paid (US$): $29.99