Author Topic: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2  (Read 4117 times)

Offline Rasputin

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2024, 00:26:29 »
The PCC had some great long term benefits.

Yes there are

Thank you for all you did
If you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed, if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family will remain alive. They will be killed by the Russian people. :prays:

Offline Rasputin

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2024, 00:28:48 »
For a short time, Playmobil did have some things produced in China.  One of these was a free, special 25th anniversary torch to go with a set and it was an absolute disaster as the torches didn't work.  There were problems, too, with other items produced for them there.

Yes the limited sets and or parts they made were craaap . It was more of a financial decision though to keep the set price low so they went with low quality. China is fully capable of making high quality if ordered.

Tim Cook of APPLE

“There’s a confusion about China. The popular conception is that companies come to China because of low labor cost. I’m not sure what part of China they go to, but the truth is China stopped being the low-labor-cost country many years ago. And that is not the reason to come to China from a supply point of view. The reason is because of the skill, and the quantity of skill in one location and the type of skill it is.”
« Last Edit: April 20, 2024, 00:34:17 by Rasputin »
If you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed, if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family will remain alive. They will be killed by the Russian people. :prays:

Offline GrahamB

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2024, 09:37:36 »
The PCC had some great long term benefits. The parts ordering system at the European sites is the result of the initial meetings with the collectors setting up the club....

Thank you Tim. I hoped you would add your first-hand knowledge of the PCC to this discussion. And thanks for adding a positive voice. We must hope the company makes some good decisions (outsourcing mould-making was not one of them!) and continues to produce one of the finest toy lines ever.

At that moment the ship suddenly stopped rocking and swaying, the engine pitch settled down to a gentle hum. 'Hey Ford.' said Zaphod, 'that sounds good. Have you worked out the controls on this boat?' 'No,' said Ford, 'I just stopped fiddling with them.' (With thanks to Douglas Adams)

Offline Klickteryx

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2024, 23:15:03 »
The reason is because of the skill, and the quantity of skill in one location and the type of skill it is.”
That's rubbish, wages are still lower there than the West and the cost of doing business there is still much lower. If these factories were in America the same level of skill would surround them. I'm reminded of Disney several years ago making one of it's IT departments redundant and instead filing the roles with Indians on H1bs who had to be trained by the staff being given the boot. It was a cost cutting measure and nothing more.

Offline playmofire

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2024, 10:54:10 »
In mass manufacturing industry it isn't wages per individual that are important  but cost of production per item.
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Offline Macruran

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2024, 18:40:29 »
That was a pretty well made video, fun to watch. Sad to understand though. Ah well sic transit gloria mundi  :-\
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Offline JPSA

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2024, 00:43:56 »
If I may don my armchair-CEO hat, for a moment, here is what I would do to 'save' Playmobil:

PLAN A:

1) New upper management: Obviously, we need new, credible — legitimate — involved upper management.  The toxic atmosphere likely grew from upper management either making inept calls, and/or refusing to make decisions, being too removed from daily operations, thus leaving employees to take initiatives without support, and to fend for themselves, eventually turning on each other.  There is clearly an authority and accountability problem, and this power vacuum must be filled asap.  The old adage "fish rots from the head down" applies, here.

2) More franchises.  Worked wonders for Lego.

3) Enhance in-system construction play:  I'd like Playmobil to pay special attention to the construction aspect, and design in-system — both System-X AND Steck — playsets that are easily expandable.  Extending Steck with new pieces wouldn't be a bad idea, as well ( ex: x2-radius towers ).  ...Enough with playsets that are essentially composed of a few large molded pieces, and which can't be extended easily.  Modularity and reusability should be key.  Example: As good as it looks, can Novelmore's Violet Vale - Wizard Tower be extended vertically, let alone attached or integrated into another structure?  ...Nope!  Can its pieces be used in other sets?  ....Uh, not really, for the most part.  Note: Lego is essentially a construction toy, and returned to profitability by expanding its narrative-play potential ( via franchises ).  Maybe Playmobil can, being a narrative toy at heart, do the converse: expand its construction-play aspect.  The lack of expandability in new sets spurred the previous "What's wrong with Playmobil?" thread, back in 2008 [ which, ironically, included the following, now prophetic, plea from the OP: "PLAYMOBIL WAKE UP ... YOU'RE LOSING BUSINESS (MONEY) !!!" ].

4) Not just themes, worlds! Bring in external toy designers, with fresh artistic ideas and visions.  Note: This did wonders for Lego when they brought in art director Christian Faber — Bionicle's designer — in the early 2000s.  The Bionicle theme may have been a radical departure from the brick system, but the point is that, being an earnest and compelling paracosm, it did provide a much needed financial boost to Lego during their transition — buying them time — and may also have spurred internal designers to be more creatively ambitious, and design toys kids would actually want to play with ( ex: Chima, Ninjago, Nexo knights, Friends, ... ). New PM sets need to be 'paracosmic': enticing children to want to create ambitious, in-system WORLDS.  ...Which comes back to the previous point: elements need to be expandable and combinable into a greater, cohesive whole, that evokes a story.  Playmobil is first and foremost a narrative world-building toy.  The 'building' part actually matters.  Note: With some of the new Playmobil sets, it's hard to even know what you are looking at, which, to me, speaks of poor design ( ex: Sal'ahari Sands - Sand Stormer, Dino Mine )!

5) Tone down the political correctness, and conspicuous progressivism.  Boys are boys, and girls are girls, and their play-patterns are naturally different.  Also, I personally don't care about "biodegradable" plastics — it's just greenwashing.  Playmobil is not in business to save the planet, or to convey ideological / moral messages to kids.  At least, they shouldn't be, imo.  That's parents' job; let them make those decisions.


...Or, PLAN B:

Get the Star Wars license!  :D  ( ...whatever the cost, as it will have a halo effect across PM's entire catalog )


Either way, I believe the financial situation will likely have to grow from bad to worse, before we see any improvements at Playmobil.  They need their time of ashes, if they are to be reborn.  ...It is, however, an opportunity — should they choose to adapt and innovate — after they've put their house back in order.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 12:59:59 by JPSA »

Offline Rasputin

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2024, 03:23:13 »
The build-ability of playmobil has been talked in great length. When Playmobil started with stecks it was considered the golden years. The medieval, western and safari sets to this day are quite the collectors choice. Then slowly Playmobil went for systemX which in my opinion worked great for modern theme sets.

Then some paper pusher , sharp pencil numb nut decided to go for (as Tahra calls it “system y”) the modular, un-expandable hunk of junk that seemed to appease some lazy parents who were too concerned with no wanting to spend 30 minutes with their child and build a set. “Let’s dumb down the whole brand for a few lazy parents” was probably the marketing pitch.

Luckily someone recognized the blunder and we thankfully were given the re-releases.

I honestly like most of the offerings currently in the catalog , I just think the economy is killing the brand. sometimes you just have to batten down the hatches, throw dead weight overboard and ride the storm out

If you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed, if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family will remain alive. They will be killed by the Russian people. :prays:

Offline JPSA

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2024, 04:22:31 »
When Playmobil started with stecks it was considered the golden years. The medieval, western and safari sets to this day are quite the collectors choice. Then slowly Playmobil went for systemX which in my opinion worked great for modern theme sets. . . . Luckily someone recognized the blunder and we thankfully were given the re-releases.

I get the point of both construction systems, too.  System-X is definitely better for some use-cases ( like: building a spaceship! ), though I do think Steck has a lot of untapped potential, and could be developed a lot further — maybe even partially integrated with System-X ( as seen here ).  ...The medieval re-releases, with its multi-colored houses, are beautiful; I almost pulled the trigger ( and now wish I had, as they are no longer available on the US website )!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2024, 14:43:24 by JPSA »

Offline Macruran

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Re: What's wrong with Playmobil? 2
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2024, 04:26:38 »
I almost pulled trigger

tahra's wallet only has emotions - JPSA's has a gun!  :captain:
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