I remember Playmobil when I was growing up-- smiley-faced people I could put in several different scenarios ranging from life-like wildernesses to fantastical fairytale lands'??German manufacturer Playmobil has been around for more than 35 years distributing these happy toys. There are now several different sets called '??Take-Alongs'? which can be easily transported, perfect for vacations. Since June is travel month, this toy is ideal for car and airplane rides and most fit in your carry-on.
Keeping up with tradition, their characters are still offered in the same ways, but with a modern twist. If you plan to travel, pack one of the Take-Alongs. There are far fewer parts and everything stores inside. The Knights($12.99) versions is a particular favorite.
These small versiosn are nice, but what kids really crave are the big expensive sets. The recently acquired Wildlife Care Station($69.99) from the African Wildlife catalogue comes with two figures and a plethora of animals which you get to mend and heal. There are stickers and plastic bandages and you can even '??fix'? the wound of the injured giraffe by rubbing it (the heat makes it disappear).
While the picture on the box looked awesome, the plastic bags filled with tons of tiny parts did not. I assumed there would be some sort of order to these little baggies, but I sighed heavily with the discovery that parts were scattered haphazardly forcing me to open each one and sift through the teeny plastic parts until I found the one required for specific assembly.
After spending about 45 minutes constructing the station, carefully placing stickers on tiny '??medicine'? bottles (there'??s even a mini laptop), and placing the animals in just the right positions, I was left to watch as the medical center crumbled in less than 2 minutes. Barreling through the wonderment of the accessories and layout, the hut I had so neatly put together was already coming apart as excited children explored it'??s possibilities.
I'??m not one to nit-pick, but I had expected it to be relatively stable. Regardless, this toy has already provided a multitude of entertainment and even Polly Pockethas gotten in on the fun. But be warned- this is not a toy recommended for children under 3 years old- there are SO many little pieces it would be easy for one to go in the nose, ear, mouth'?¦etc.
On an adventure through town, it just so happened that a store had a complete display of Playmobil kits assembled. I went in to ask the shopkeep some questions about the products and needless to say he felt the same way I did- lots and lots of parts. However, he also said sales are booming. So, if you'??re willing to put up with all the parts for the joy of your child, Playmobil is perfect for you.
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