Author Topic: Playmobil Vans  (Read 791 times)

Offline GrahamB

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Playmobil Vans
« on: February 24, 2021, 12:32:46 »
I’ve been collecting early Playmobil ‘vans’. Between 1977 and 1990, Playmobil released 15 sets containing vans, all of which are constructed on a similar pattern. This includes one set from Playmobil (USA). At least another 41 sets containing vans were released by other licensees and subsidiary companies, but I haven’t included those (see here for the full list). The vans included below are ambulances, police vans, camper vans, school buses, TV vans, an airport transport van and a post van. The internal layout and stickers differ according to the different purposes for which the vans were used.




The accessories differ from set to set, but there are essentially 12 different vehicles in the 15 sets.

In theory all parts are interchangeable with corresponding parts in other vehicles. Each vehicle consists of 14 or 15 parts:



a.   2 pairs of wheels on a metal axle, 5 sets (all pre-1981) have grey wheels, 10 sets (all post-1981) have black wheels with white hubs
b.   a windscreen, the same on all models, clear but often showing yellowing and distortion with age
c.   a black steering wheel, the same on all models,
d.   a grey steering wheel holder, the same on all models,
e.   a front bumper (fender), black on all but one set, where it is orange,
f.   a rear bumper (fender), black on all but one set, where it is orange,
g.   a piece forming the two headlights and the radiator grill, black on all but one set, where it is orange,
h.   a base, white yellow or blue,
i.   a mid-section which forms the seats and dashboard as well as a ‘stripe’ around the vehicle, blue, yellow, red, orange, green and white. The same mold was used for all except the US schoolbus, which has a different arrangement for holding the klickies in the front seats,
j.   a roof, white yellow or blue, in one of three types (see below),
k.   a ‘liner’ with seats and other interior furniture, one of 8 types (see below),
l.   an upper rear door, the same colour as the roof,
m.   a lower rear door, the same colour as the mid-section.

Additional parts on some vehicles include:
n.   warning lights (2 blue or 2 yellow or 4 yellow or 4 orange) on the roof,
o.   decals/ stickers on the outside of the vehicle,
p.   a table (usually green) on liner types B and C,
q.   a sign across the front of the roof,
r.   a camera platform.

The three types of roof are;



Type III roofs (on camper vans) are in two sections:


The ‘liner’ which fits inside the rear part of the vehicle comes in one of 8 types.  Each of the seats in the liner, as well as the passenger seat in the front, have a small prong which holds the lower edge of a klicky’s torso when they are seated there (but in the schoolbus 3521, the seats in the back of the van have prongs positioned to fit into the gap at the top of the child’s legs, so adults sitting in these back seats are not held in place. In schoolbus 3170x, the seats do not have prongs; the front seats have blocks which hold the feet and the back seats (liner type E) have arms which the klickies can hold onto.




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 GrahamB

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2021, 12:35:55 »
The following pictures show all the vans in the 15 sets, with pictures of set contents.

Ambulance. White van with a red stripe, grey wheels, Type I roof, Type A liner

White’AMBULANCE’ stickers with black lettering.  Red Cross stickers (red cross on white).

Found in sets: 3254x version 1 (1977), 3157x(1978), 9950 (1982?)




   
3254xv1 set contents


3157x set contents


Set 9950, about which little seems to be known, also contains this van. The box picture shows it with grey wheels, a roof sticker (black lettering ‘RKN BG14’) and ‘Malteser Hilfsdienst’ stickers. Those stickers don’t seem to appear on the 3254xV1 or 3157x vehicles, but they do appear in the set below.


Ambulance. White van with a red stripe, black and white wheels, Type I roof, Type A liner

Found in set 3254x Version 3 (1982?)

This version appears to have been issued with a different set of stickers from Version 1 as well as black and white wheels, free-wrist klickies and an orange stretcher. On Klickywelt it is called version 3 (pictures of the set contents including sticker sheet): this set version is not featured in Collector, although the vehicle (with black and white wheels) appears frequently on eBay.

White ‘AMBULANCE’ stickers with black lettering.  Red Cross stickers (red cross on white). Also supplied; clear roof sticker with black lettering ‘RKN BG14’, clear sticker with white Maltese Cross on red shield, white stickers with red lettering ‘Malteser Hilfsdienst’.

Malteser: “The Maltese are an international Catholic aid organization. We help people in need, regardless of their religion, origin or political conviction, in Germany and worldwide. Almost 50,000 Maltese volunteers in Germany. With almost 31,000 full-time employees, Malteser International is also one of the largest employers in the health and social sector. In particular, the close cooperation between full-time and volunteer positions is what sets us apart.”





3254x Version 3 set contents




Police van. White van with a green stripe and grey wheels, Type I roof, Type B liner.

Found in set 3253x (1977).





3253x set contents


Police van. White van with a green stripe, black and white wheels, Type I roof, Type B liner.

Found in set 3155y (1979). Set contents:




TV van. White van with a blue stripe, black and white wheels, Type I roof, Type F liner.

Found in sets  3530 (1978), 3188x (1979) and 3468 (1984)






3530 set contents




3188x set contents



3468 set contents




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 GrahamB

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2021, 12:37:46 »
Schoolbus. White van with an orange stripe, black and white wheels, Type II roof, Type A liner.

Found in set 3521 (1982)

This vehicle is the only van with orange (not black) bumpers and radiator grill.


Alternative registration plates:

Alternative stickers:


Contents of set 3521


The orange signs clip onto the front and rear bumpers:


Here the van is full of children. Adults can sit in the back, but the seats there are designed to hold child klickies in place, not adults. The size and position of the prongs on the seats fit the hole on a child klicky’s bottom:





Camper van. White van with a yellow stripe, black and white wheels, Type III roof, Type C liner
 
Found in set 3258 version 1 (1979)






3258 version 1 set contents




‘Lufthansa’ Airport van. Yellow van with a blue stripe and grey wheels, Type I roof , Type G liner

Found in set 3255y (1977)





Contents of set 3255y




The van gets very crowded when its full!




Post Van. All yellow van, grey wheels, Type I roof, Type H liner

Found in set 3235x (1978)





Contents of set 3235x



The addresses on the 24 letters (I only have 23, I think the missing one may be Antex in Argentina) and 8 small parcels include many of the international companies licensed to produce their own Playmobil sets in 1978. Maybe the less familiar companies below were ones where Playmobil was in discussions to promote marketing: 




Postamt = Post Office.
Kassenbücher= Cash Books
Briefmarken= Postage Stamps
Banknoten= Banknotes.


The four blue cylindrical objects are franking stamps, which fit in the counter at the back of the van:


Members of the public can access postal services from the back of the van and the postal worker sits behind a counter.



Schoolbus. All yellow van, black and white wheels, Type II roof, Type E liner

Found in set 3170x released by Playmobil (USA) in 1986.





Contents of set 3170x



The two blue road signs in my set appear to match real-life Japanese road signs, so this was perhaps an export version with different stickers. Here are the stickers from the US version.


The schoolbus full of passengers:




The front seat passengers have blocks which hold their feet


The children have handles to hold in the back

« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 09:48:43 by GrahamB »
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 GrahamB

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2021, 12:38:45 »
Camper Van. Yellow van with an orange stripe, black and white wheels, Type III roof, Type C liner

Found in set 3148 (1990)





Contents of set 3148





Camper van. All blue van, black and white wheels, Type III roof, Type C liner
 
Found in set 3258v4 (1987)





Contents of set 3258 version 4

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 GrahamB

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 12:40:23 »
And finally, some hints on taking the vans apart and reassembling them (special care needed for steps 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8):

WARNING: Don’t try to remove the steering wheel, bumpers or lower rear flap until later!

Tools: a medium-sized flat-head screwdriver (a pair of narrow-nosed pliers may help too).


Even working carefully, it is easy to break off tabs (especially in steps 2, 5 and 8). If in doubt, don’t do it!

1.   The top section lifts off

2.   The upper rear window comes off (if you need to) by carefully bending the upper edge


3.   Windscreen: lift front and slide forward (if it is firmly fixed, miss this step out until later- see step 9)





4.   Wheels pop out (lever with a screwdriver if necessary)



5.   Remove the liner by inserting a flat screwdiver head into the small rectangular slot in the base. Insert on the side nearer the back of the vehicle and carefully lever the tab forwards. Lift the front end of the liner and slide forwards.



6.   Remove the rear bumper (fender) by carefully levering each rounded tab (black in the pictures below) upwards over the wedge-shaped piece on the base (white).  Slide the bumper backwards.





7.   Insert a screwdriver between one pair of clips at the rear of the mid-section and carefully twist to separate the clips. Repeat with the other pair of clips.


One pair of clips released


Both pairs of clips released


Lift the rear of the mid-section slightly away from the base to release the lower rear door.



8.   The front end of the mid-section is clipped to the base at the front. Two slots on the underside give access to the clips. Insert a screwdriver into one hole and twist gently.


Separate the two parts slightly, then repeat with the other hole. The mid-section should now part from the base.

9.   If not already done so, remove the windscreen from the mid-section by inserting a screwdriver behind each tab and gently twisting. Once the two tabs are unclipped, slide the windscreen forwards to separate it from the mid-section.



10.   Remove the steering wheel by carefully pushing the clips of the grey mount together on the underside of the mid-section. Pliers may help with this.



11.   Prise up one of the prongs behind the headlight with a screwdriver and pull the front bumper piece forwards slightly to stop the clip going back into place. Repeat with the other headlight clip and remove the front bumper. The radiator piece now comes out.





Reassembly
1.   Put radiator/headlights piece in place and hold while doing step 2

2.   Front bumper (without a centre ‘peg,’ the upper one in the picture below) slides in until two clips engage


3.   Put lower rear door in place, checking it is the correct way round:


4.   Clip mid-section to base

5.   Put liner in, rear end first and clip into place

6.   Put steering wheel into mount and slot into place

7.   Replace windscreen (rear corners first)

8.   Rear bumper (with the centre ‘peg’ pointing up, the lower bumper in the picture below) slides in until two clips engage


9.   Reassemble upper rear window into roof piece; check it is the correct way round with vertical ridges at each side on the outside (see pictures below), fit one peg into place, bend top edge slightly until second peg fits into hole.
Correct                                                           Incorrect


10.   Clip wheels into place

11.   Fit roof

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 tahra

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2021, 14:21:15 »
Wow. :wow:

Thank you so much for this - also for the instructions!

I may add that my wallet started to curse as soon as I saw the recent post list on the homepage... and I may add... it was right - now I want them ALL. :P

Again, thank you so much for all the detailed work :love:
Tahra

Offline Luftgaengerin

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2021, 22:29:48 »
Amazing as always, Graham!
Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pictures, for all the amazing information, details, and know-how about the tools and how to dismantle the vans!  :)9

I don't have a single one of these (I don't collect cars/vans, and my modern vehicles I can count them "with the finger of one hand", as we say around here) but even so it was a very interesting read.

The little blue envelopes: I was pretty sure I had one of these somewhere and went looking through the boxes, hoping it might be the one you miss... But no luck here, it was the "Gruppo italiano/Firenze", what a pity. The letters are so small I really had a hard time...  :-[  :lens:

I keep being amazed with your expertise!  :*)
"Give me that man that is not passion’s slave" - Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Offline Macruran

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2021, 02:05:16 »
 :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow: :wow:
"We like things in little." - G. Stein  
 :roman:

Offline Birdie

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2021, 09:59:16 »
Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for all the photos and details  :love:

Offline GrahamB

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Re: Playmobil Vans
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2021, 10:12:24 »
Thanks for your comments!

I would have said I don't collect modern vehicles too, Lufty. But I seem to have an awful lot of 'em! I am really NOT a petrolhead, far from it. My wife says "Oh, look at that lovely 1968 Volvo Springbok with turbo-charged running boards" and I say "What colour is it?".
I just bought the stretch limo 9227 from ebay. People will offer these things for sale!

Thanks for looking for the missing letter. Perhaps someone has a MISB set and can scan the stickers for me  ;D The addresses are hard to read, I had to peel the stickers off and scan them to get a decent image!
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)