It’s not only Christmas time again, every year end (when our children celebrate their birthdays around the holidays on top of all excitement at this time of the year) we have the blast to find “the perfect gift” again for them. Being a German family we have kept most of our cultural and historical roots and habits alive and so our love for Playmobil toys carried on while residing in the United States, fortunately the German company has expanded to the States and the huge success proves the perfect concept for their toys. See company facts and interesting background information at the end of the review.
2. What you get
3. What it is!
5. Additional Resources
1. Introduction (being repeated in all my Playmobil reviews)
If you have children between 3 and 10 and want them to explore the world and develop fantasy and craft skills with the help of their favorite toys, consider Playmobil as a serious option. Although it’s a bit of a pricey undertaking, especially if you want to add on to existing sets (which is, by-the-way, one of the beautiful and impressive options with Playmobil), the quality and fantasy of these sets in all sizes is unmatched. Not only will you find countless options within the sets to re-assemble them one way or the other, thus constantly change landscapes, but you will find your children stick to their series like treasures. Playmobil has managed to offer little toy worlds out of reality and fantasy to meet extended educational and fun attributes while providing the perfect environment to pick up craftsmanship, motor and concentration skills at the same time as loads of fun and excitement to share among friends and siblings.
The quality is outstanding, every single piece fits perfectly, all parts are exchangeable to open up countless possibilities. The material is un-destroyable by ordinary play habits. All plans and manuals that come with the toys are extremely well drawn and understandable by all kids of the assigned age groups. We have never found a box or set with missing or not fitting parts! The great love to the detail is what makes this series so attractive and beloved by so many children around the world.
2. What you get
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If you think about Playmobil’s police series (police station with number 3957, or police car set 3904, or the adventure set police station 3085 (see my earlier review), you certainly need to consider the Helicopter Set as it completes any police environment perfectly and puts another dimension into the game (air control).
The little sets consists of the helicopter body with rotating rotors and glass cover (removable) that have to be assembled. The fire extinguisher is the same you get for the adventure set police station and is again a wonderful example of their intention to match reality perfectly – very detailed work!
A German Shepherd, marked as police dog that can move all legs and the head up and down and the pilot and another policeman complete the set with additional items like a hand-map that fits into the hand of either the pilot or co-pilot. Additionally there is a ladder that can be hung onto the helicopter for rescue operations.
All parts fit perfectly together again, assembly took about 6 minutes. Regardless when and where you buy some other components of the police series, (if you buy them in the States, because other countries feature different colors and programs) colors and options fit perfectly together, even across series.
3. What it is
This set is a wonderful smaller gift as a standalone set or additional component for existing police environments. The helicopter is big enough to fit in two figures and massive in material, yet not too heavy to carry around. All assembled parts stay in place even with heavy play.
Since all figures and parts can be used separately or together with the helicopter in a mission, the toy can even be shared among several children. But as usual with Playmobil stuff: if you got more sets and environments there are infinitive possibilities to conduct missions with this helicopter set on a farm, hospital, combine with a fire fighter mission or even (you know kids) arrest some pirates off-shore. I am sure our son is going to rescue the princess from the Fairy Tale Castle (#3019 - see older review) several times after Christmas.
Founded as a small German company that focused on compatible vehicles some 27-30 years ago, the concept of offering smaller toys to be matched together to whole environments (LEGO has been doing this as well) has been expanded and made perfect in quality, marketing and strategy over the decades. Meanwhile the company has sold some 13 billion (!!!) pieces of little plastic dolls, vehicles and parts and develops new little worlds every month. You can find hospitals, farms, pirate ships, castles and many other environments with thousands of add-on sets that all match together in size and type of assembly.
Playmobil’s homepage (http://www.playmobil.com) gives you a pretty impressive start by switching heads of all available dolls when viewing their collection. On top of the wonderful toys they offer Fun Parks in Germany, Greece, the United States and France (check their web site for details). You will find Playmobil a company with great dedication and strong focus, a very aggressive (smart) marketing concept that does not allow to copy or abuse their branding concept and tight guidelines for dealerships and online sales. The quality they offer is dedicated to meet the most important goal a toy manufacturer should have: to provide a long lasting fun and educational experience for children of all sorts and ages.
5. Additional Resources
Playmobil interactive, fun web site, featuring Playmobil interactive games and software:
Retired Playmobil items:
Playmobil motorcycle fanclub, features new, current and retired items and discussion groups:
Here is a web site from a Japanese Playmobil collector, pretty funny and impressive:
Regardless of the environment, helicopter missions fit into any action scenery. The details and options (with the rescue ladder, fire extinguisher, dog and the helicopter itself) make this set a perfect vehicle of children fantasies again. Playmobil very well understands the “hands-on” importance of their toys, the possibilities are endless again.
After I put the helicopter together I asked my wife last weekend: “Why, the heck, can’t we be kids again?”
Please, dear parents, do your kids the favor of their and your life and think hard about the signal and effect any toy might have on their development. Buy your children toys that support their positive development and enable them to view and influence their environment with optimism and joy, fantasy and creativity, respect and love.
If you want to do something heroic this Christmas, invest a couple of bucks into a useful, positive toy and give it to a child with little hope for the future. You might end up changing the world with this little gesture!
Desiree (dndn4kidz) posted a comment onto my last Playmobil review and I think it is that important to repeat it at this point (thanks Desiree!):
“ZanyBrainy.com...if you've never checked them out, they only carry educational, non-violent toys! In fact, I think it's every year(if not on a running basis) that they do a toy exchange and exchange a non-violent toy for every violent toy you turn in to them. Pretty cool concept :)
Great Epinion, as always :)
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