Author Topic: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL  (Read 44589 times)

Offline Richard

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 15:15:12 »

Hello, Timmy ...

If Playmobil scraps its modularity in favor of Hasbro-style Star Wars buildings it will be losing a piece of its pie.

AMEN, BROTHER !!!


Offline Richard

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 15:24:32 »

Hello again, Gordon ...

Maybe, though, we already have a suggestion of where Playmobil might be heading, at least in the modern themes:

http://www.playmofriends.com/forum/index.php?topic=1933.0

I think that I referred to you on that thread as our "resident optimist," Gordon ... ;)


As for the fiasco over the exchange of the Romans, that's hardly Playmobil Germany's fault. rather Playmobil USA.

THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS, GORDON !!!

Hate to burst your bubble of "knowledge" about Playmobil USA, Gordon. It is an absolute fact that Playmobil USA is nothing more than a puppet satellite of Zirndorf. Playmobil USA doesn't even dare sneeze without first asking Father Geobra for permission. Playmobil USA has zero autonomy! I repeat ... ZERO AUTONOMY !!!

All the best,
Richard



Offline playmofire

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 15:46:57 »

THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS, GORDON !!!

Hate to burst your bubble of "knowledge" about Playmobil USA, Gordon. It is an absolute fact that Playmobil USA is nothing more than a puppet satellite of Zirndorf. Playmobil USA doesn't even dare sneeze without first asking Father Geobra for permission. Playmobil USA has zero autonomy! I repeat ... ZERO AUTONOMY !!!

All the best,
Richard


So they get permission from Zirndorf to make mistakes and send the wrong figures?  And suggesting that a customer ORDERS replacements for faulty parts hardly reflects Playmobil's policy I hope; if it does, then Lego here  come!
“Today well-lived makes every yesterday a day of happiness to remember and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

Offline Richard

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 16:04:18 »
Hello, Gordon ...

So they get permission from Zirndorf to make mistakes and send the wrong figures?  And suggesting that a customer ORDERS replacements for faulty parts hardly reflects Playmobil's policy I hope; if it does, then Lego here  come!

Reads like you're getting your knickers in a twist, my friend (not good at our age) ... :lol:

BTW ... rather than "merging" two different topics, I answered your question on the ROMAN ARM SWAP topic ... ;)

All the best,
Richard


Offline playmofire

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 16:15:46 »
Hello, Gordon ...

Reads like you're getting your knickers in a twist, my friend (not good at our age) ... :lol:

BTW ... rather than "merging" two different topics, I answered your question on the ROMAN ARM SWAP topic ... ;)

All the best,
Richard

Well, this gets more worrying.  Playmobil Germany tell their US branch to send an entirely inappropriate figure (or at least, supply them with it), and the US branch sends it!   8}
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Offline Indianna

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2008, 17:09:46 »
My 2 cents about what's wrong with Playmobil:

I believe that Geobra desperately wants to crack the US market.  They are already very successful in Europe where Playmobil seems to be available in a wide variety of stores at (mostly) reasonable prices.  They look at the US toy market and see several trends:
 - lots of money spent on toys
 - among toy buyers for mid-age kids, say 6 to 10 years, less interest (seemingly) in traditional toys and more interest in electronic gadgets
 - among toy buyers for younger kids, toys like Fisher Price Imaginext and Lego Duplo are big sellers

I use the term "toy buyers" because I think that a lot of toy purchases are made by people who don't really know/care about the toy itself.  Often these are parents and other relatives who are trying to buy what they think the child will want without thinking about long-term play value.  Kids ask for what they see on TV ads and they like the idea of toys that are based on the movies and TV shows that they watch.  Some of these toys can be great (my daughter had a Sesame Street playset that she loved, my son loved it and now my little 3 year old niece loves it too) but so terribly many of these toys are pure crap that often barely get used because they have so little real play value.  But with the combination of relentless advertising and conspicuous consumption here in the US, these are the toys that sell.  The small percentage of parents who buy high quality toys with lasting play value are probably already buying Playmobil but Geobra is trying to reach all those other people who buy the crap toys and, IMHO, that is their mistake!  In order to appeal to the crappy toy buyers, Geobra is making its own version of its competitors' crappy toys (the take-long castle and take-along houses and the various supersets - some of which admitedly do have actual uses for the serious Playmobil enthusiast, as Little Jo's fabulous lighthouse proves.) 

My feeling is that these types of sets do not encourage people to buy more Playmobil.  If these sets are the only ones that some people see, they will not be impressed with the high quality and wonderful detail that make the true Playmobil product line so appealing to both children and adults.  My advice to Geobra is to stick with the high quality and modularity of the traditional line and stop making these icky self-contained sets for quick sale at Target and Toysrus and find better ways to educate more consumers (and children) about their products with the understanding that their target consumer group is probably rather small but will buy lots and lots of stuff  (Lego seems to have already reached this conclusion.)  They could do better in the US if they did a better job of supporting the small independent toy stores who take the time to show people how great Playmobil is by setting up displays and play areas.  They could also advertise more.  And they could use their own online capacity to generate interest in their products with stuff like birthday clubs (which they used to have,) more and better add-on sets, fan clubs, etc.

Basically, if they just copied Lego's new USA playbook, they would probably do very well!   ;D


U.S.A.      Massachusetts

Offline Richard

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2008, 21:38:23 »


Hello, Gordon ...

... if it does, then Lego here (I) come!

I still have ALL my old Lego, as well as ALL the Lego that I've added to it over the years. One must always leave one's options open ... ;)

All the best, my friend,
Richard



Offline Richard

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2008, 22:07:19 »


Hello, Anne ...

My 2 cents about what's wrong with Playmobil:

My advice to Geobra is to stick with the high quality and modularity of the traditional line and stop making these icky self-contained sets for quick sale at Target and Toysrus and find better ways to educate more consumers (and children) about their products with the understanding that their target consumer group is probably rather small but will buy lots and lots of stuff ...

They could do better in the US if they did a better job of supporting the small independent toy stores who take the time to show people how great Playmobil is by setting up displays and play areas.

They could also advertise more.

And they could use their own online capacity to generate interest in their products with stuff like birthday clubs (which they used to have,) more and better add-on sets, fan clubs, etc.

HERE ... HERE ... :clap:

After Schaper and Mattel failed miserably to promote Playmobil successfully in the United States, the franchise returned to Geobra. Playmobil Deutschland created Playmobil USA and hired the well known toy business expert Alan Hess as the president of Playmobil USA.

Alan was a toy marketing genius. He did exactly what you suggested, Anne!

For almost seven years, Playmobil was an exclusive product sold only by small independent toy stores in the United States. The name Playmobil became synonymous with the word quality. Playmobil slowly built a fine reputation and continued to grow an expanding and loyal customer base.

Unfortunately, Zirndorf seemed to want a faster growth cycle as well as more control over their US retailers.

Two disastrous events occurred. The McDonald's debacle and the US Federal Government's charge of price fixing ... :(

There is a possibility that had Playmobil USA been able to grow slowly (like Germany) that neither of these events might have taken place. Regardless, they did. Alan Hess left Playmobil and Playmobil USA has "enjoyed" all the "benefits" of absentee management ever since ...   8}

BTW ... For all you Brits ... The Norman Brown story is somewhat similar to the Alan Hess story ...  :'(

All the best,
Richard


Edit: Misspelled Schaper ...
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 22:20:09 by Richard »

Offline Justindo

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2008, 22:10:22 »
Regarding the lighthouse, I agree that it's a shame it's not System X, as it could be part of a pretty neat "Lighthouse Fortress" if the same off-white walls were available from Direct Service.  That said, I will probably buy it and use it as an independent structure for both the Pirate and Roman themes.

Regarding the Roman arms, it was Zirndorf's fault for even producing the cheap, lousy printed arms in the first place!  The moulded Roman arms should NEVER have been permitted into the $2.99 pirate and medieval blister packs if Playmobil couldn't keep up with demand for klickies for their brand new theme and the theme for which the arms were originally designed.

:egypt: :roman: :viking: :knight: :arrr: :indian: :cowboy:

Offline Janice

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Re: WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLAYMOBIL
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2008, 02:16:28 »
I have to jump in here and say that if Playmobil wanted in the American market so bad then why did they pull one of their large retail stores out of Orlando??  You can't tell me that the one in North Miami did more business than the one here.  I wondered if the mall rent got to be to much but even if it was they surley would have looked around and found another site first rather than just loose so much business.  It has been over a year and absolutely not a peep about a replacment store.  I asked Playmobil USA direct sales if they knew if there would be another store and they said no-sure of it.

Janice