Author Topic: Geobra redundancies and outsourcing, restructuring Playmobil (Autumn 2023)  (Read 7852 times)

Offline tahra

  • Playmo Guru
  • ******
  • Posts: 14765
  • Gender: Female
    • playkingdoms
With the job cuts, the group said it aims to transform into a "lean and powerful, internationally well-positioned company" with strong investment in its core brands.

Really? Will they actually serve the rest of the world? Will the well positioned company finally grasp the concept of printing a label with.. GASP .. a foreign address  :o

In contrast to Playmobil, Lego saw three years of record-breaking sales boosted by lockdowns during the Covid pandemic, a feat attributed to the success of its "Star Wars" and Lego Icons lines."

Right. Boggles mind that playmobil didn't come out winning out of that one. Oh, wait. They don't want to sell.


(...) which must have demanded a sea of specific moulds never to be used again.

Maybe they figured out system WHY is lame, and pointless, and does encourage LESS sales? Those huge useless bases also...

Same, perhaps, with the in-house franchises: Novelmore and – more risky – Duck on Call – huge number of new moulds not easily offset by profits.

I think all the stuff in novelmore or dragons (the non system WHY) can be easily reused in their "worlds"...

Now.. Duck on Call... before seeing the price, I had doubts. After seeing the price, I believe my cats knew it wouldn't work, right?  Question is... why did ANYONE think it was a good idea? Same people who thought it AWESOME to make the silly everwhatsit themes, WAY overpriced and worse, with that.... packaging (that I can't think about without becoming furious  >:( )? Or the ones that thought it was a good idea to just scrap the one good theme from those, AFTER it was announced?

Agh. I better shut up.  :'(

(why doesn't the sad smiley work?)


Offline Rasputin

  • The Mad Monk
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 9499
  • Gender: Male
Idiots at the helm

What happens to a beloved toy with international attention run by a shrewd businessman partnered with a toy making genius handed over to a board of director lawyers ?

Fail !

Go woke go broke

Should have stuck to the basics
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 Pynedor

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 3856
  • Gender: Male
Well, this is certainly quite sad. :(

In the best possible world, Geobra will now focus on its back catalogue and continue with releases of the Steck and System-X classics, as we have seen and enjoyed recently.

Yes, that would be the best scenario, but it seems unlikely.

All that remains is laying on the old moulds once again, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially as new colours and prints leave ample scope for innovation. Just think of the Greek Gods: not a single new mould but, by the gods, what a wonderful series of great products!

Very true!
~Pynedor~

Offline StJohn

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
  • Gender: Male
What happens to a beloved toy with international attention run by a shrewd businessman partnered with a toy making genius handed over to a board of director lawyers ?

Talking of whom:

In the light of recent events it is ironic that there is a video on youtube with Hans Beck in the 1990s showing his models that were never put in production, holding up the Mississippi Steamer and recalling, with a hint of regret in his voice, that "we couldn't decide to put it into production. The moulding costs are so high and we then have to reckon with the fact that the thing doesn't pay off." [Wir konnten uns nicht entschließen, das in die Produktion zu bringen. Die Formkosten sind so hoch und wir müssen dann damit rechnen, dass die Sache sich nicht amortisiert.]

https://youtu.be/yKT5CYHvpo4 [from the 16th minute]

In hindsight, I think it would have paid off. :-[

Offline Macruran

  • desperate but not serious
  • Moderator
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 3655
  • Gender: Male
  • Hiya!
    • my incomplete collection spreadsheet
Yes, the hula hoop was what made the money initially.

Ah thanks, I read that sentence as meaning geobra INVENTED the hula hoop, which I know isn't true
"We like things in little." - G. Stein  
 :roman:

Offline Oliver

  • Playmo Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 729
All very good questions, bogol. I don't have the answers but suspect that it actually is a good thing. What it means, I think, is that the have just announced the end to the licensing and franchise business, which must have demanded a sea of specific moulds never to be used again. Just think How to Tame Your Dragon and that swarm of creatures that were demanded for it, plus Berk. If sales then disappoint, then I wouldn't be surprised if they actually make a loss, also considering the licensing fee. Same, perhaps, with the in-house franchises: Novelmore and – more risky – Duck on Call – huge number of new moulds not easily offset by profits.


They don't seem to be stepping back from licensing - though who knows if it makes a profit. I remember reading an article about the guy who saved Lego, and he said when he came in that they didn't know how much it cost them to make a set, and then it turned out they were selling some of them at a loss.

I must admit I've never quite understood the need for the frentic pace of new moulds/new ranges, so maybe that will slow down.

The problem is always that we don't have an insight into sales figures. I'd assume that the modern life stuff does OK - it's always in production and probably is an increased proportion of the range, plus it can be produced with minimal new moulds.

The collectable cars presumably are a success?






Offline Ismene

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
  • Gender: Female
I do think they've been releasing too many licensed themes one right after the other, but I worry that this will affect other themes (ex: molds for new animal species). Also, 700 is a lot of people to lay off.


Offline Redmao

  • Playmo Lover
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Gender: Male
  • Playmo adventurer
Sad indeed.
The pandemic changed a lot of things and now the global economy is in shamble. Prices are quickly rising on pretty much everything, including toys. This is where the problem is, kids already are abandoning toys in profit of online entertainment and parents wont buy toys as they are getting more expensive, so to reach their sales numbers to please their shareholders they raise the prices again so companies are actually shooting themselves in the foot. Toy makers are turning towards collectors and the nostalgics.

Without knowing the numbers, I can't say if the various licenses are actually helping like they do for Lego.

Offline playmovictorian

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 5506
  • Gender: Male
  • Happy Little Victorians
    • Playmovictorian
"With the job cuts, the group said it aims to transform into a "lean and powerful, internationally well-positioned company" with strong investment in its core brands.

It said it would work with labour representatives to minimise the impacts on employees by encouraging early retirement or transfers to other business divisions within the group."

Quote from the following similar article https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20231002-crisis-struck-german-maker-of-playmobil-toys-cuts-jobs

I am extremely saddened by the 700 employees about to lose their jobs and we will be the witness of what its strong investment in its core brand will produce in the years to come.

The news hit me like a freight train last night but Playmobil is still very much alive and I hope that it will still be in my life span as theses little figures truly brought enchantment into my world  :love:

If only they would one day consider producing new additions to the Victorian theme, yes one can day dream sometimes  :cloud9:
La, tout n'est qu'ordre et beaute, luxe, calme et volupte. L'Invitation au Voyage. Charles Baudelaire.1857.

Offline playmovictorian

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 5506
  • Gender: Male
  • Happy Little Victorians
    • Playmovictorian
I am afraid that the following article from the Sud Deutsche Zeitung does not paint a very positive picture of the company from an internal perspective  :(

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/playmobil-entlassungen-spielwarenindustrie-brandstaetter-1.6267820

"What has persisted since Brandstätter's death, however, are complaints about a corporate culture characterized by a lack of appreciation. Employees complain about rude behavior and mistrust; The announcement of the job cuts via the media on a day when the entire company is on a mandatory bridging holiday and therefore no one in charge and not even the head of communications can be reached by phone "fits into the devastating picture," says an insider and adds : "The conditions at Playmobil have long since had nothing to do with the ideal play worlds that Playmobil stands for as toys."

"According to critics, this also affects the creativity and commitment of employees. Employee representatives have been complaining about bullying, arguments and intrigues for years. The works council recently criticized in an internal newsletter that "fear and humiliation are the order of the day" and that, for example, young mothers returning from parental leave are being harassed. The company always rejects all allegations as false, but the complaints keep coming up."

"The management consultancy McKinsey has been with the company since March. Insiders attribute the fact that things are not going well economically and the working conditions are so worthy of criticism to the internal balance of power. The company belongs to a foundation founded by Horst Brandstätter during his lifetime and headed by Marianne Albert, a former personal assistant to Brandstätter. Before his death eight years ago, she held no significant management positions in the company; The company remains stubbornly silent about her professional career and qualifications."
La, tout n'est qu'ordre et beaute, luxe, calme et volupte. L'Invitation au Voyage. Charles Baudelaire.1857.