Author Topic: Specials A return  (Read 4026 times)

Offline EDWINMODELS

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Specials A return
« on: August 20, 2007, 21:11:20 »
I know I have brought up this subject before but will keep up banging the drum so to speak until someone takes notice.

My thoughts are quite simple that the specials should be special. IE one of figures that children and collectors will seek out. In the recent collection the puppeter and Cleopatra fit the bill perfectly. but the plumber, BBQ man and child brushing his teeth I really don't get. Playmobil usually do 12 specials a year. If there was say a character from fiction (how about Frankenstein) and a military figure (a kilted highlander/black watch) How amazing would that be. Just two figures out of the twelve each year that are truly special.
For the fiction there is Tarzan, Dr Watson, Frankenstein, wearwolf, Loneranger, Casey Jones, Kind Arthur, Robin hood just off the top of my head. As for the military figures a Napoleonic French/British Guards man, as mentioned the highlander, Rogers Rangers, Pilots, RCMP, Cavilers, Musketeers to name but a few

Offline playmofire

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Re: Specials A return
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2007, 21:41:36 »
My thoughts are quite simple that the specials should be special....but the plumber...I really don't get.

If you've got a 3965 family house with a blocked toilet, then the plumber Special is certainly one you do get! ;D
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Offline Martin Milner

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Re: Specials A return
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2007, 07:01:43 »
I got back into Playmobil entirely through the specials - as you might guess from my avatar. If they had not been introduced, chances are I'd not be collecting Playmobil now.

I think Playmobil intend them to be two things - 1) pocket money toys that a child can buy for itself, whereas almost anything else in the range starts to be birthday or Christmas present material, and 2) a lead-in to a new range, so if you buy a special Knight figure, that might lead the child into wanting more knights to go with it.

Thus a purchase of a special plumber might eventually lead to a whole house and all the requisite furniture and family to live there.

Do Goebra recognise that there are many adult collectors (with fatter wallets) searching the shelves and snapping up products for themselves? If they do, does this affect their marketing strategy and product range, or only in limited cases (such as the Maltese Knight)?

If Playmobil produce a special, it usually fits into an existing range somehow, or is a lead-in to a range they are designing. Several of your ideas do that, though I think they've already done a "Robin Hood" set (3626 & 3627. 3629 would make a good Robin Hood), just not specifically called that. Any kingly figure could be as King Arthur in a child's imagination.

I still like the specials, but I'm only collecting ones that appeal to me or fit into the themes I collect. So far the plumber hasn't made it.  ;D



Offline playmofire

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Re: Specials A return
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2007, 09:01:49 »
I think the Specials also have a third role - additions to an existing theme so the fireman Special, for example, meant it was possible to extend a fire brigade cheaply by adding crew members without buying an extra 3880 fire engine or the extra equipment in the 3881 set.

As regards collectors, I know there are some people who only collect the Specials, either by theme or as a whole.

Geobra's view on collectors as a whole seems to be that mainstream Playmobil is aimed at children but where there is a major adult interest (the Romans, maybe) that is also taken on board while the more specialist collector is catered for through Direct Service (the red and blue houses and the Classic re-releases).  This is just my interpretation of following the discussions on the various Playmobil fan sites and what Geobra has done in recent years.
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Offline Sylvia

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Re: Specials A return
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2007, 13:02:51 »
I really do hope that a short-skirted figure is in the works and I wonder if it might eventually get introduced through the Specials series. :prays: ;)

I think it's about time this was added to the current lineup of lower-body molds in order to fully reflect all the different styles of clothing worn by people in the real world, both in past times and the present day. After all, not all men and women wear/wore trousers all the time! Sure, long skirts and dresses are OK for grannies and formal occasions, but sometimes it's also nice to see some leg! ;)

This body type would open so many new possibilities for figures - the kilted Scotsman as mentioned previously would be just one example. I can just imagine how fantastic that would be. :love:

Do Goebra recognise that there are many adult collectors (with fatter wallets) searching the shelves and snapping up products for themselves? If they do, does this affect their marketing strategy and product range, or only in limited cases (such as the Maltese Knight)?

There's no doubt in my mind that they are well aware of the existing large community of adult collectors and that they also see it is growing steadily, day by day. There are many forums in several different languages, and the majority of members belonging to these are adults. In Germany, they hold regular conventions which are attended by fans from all over the world. I think the French and Spanish collectors also hold similar events. 8-)

While Playmobil's main market is aimed at young children, it often appears that they are trying to cater to a much wider range of agegroups and tastes. The cynics might say that this is purely because parents are in charge of buying the toys for their children and handing out the pocket money, but I like to think they are also considering us adult collectors from time to time. As Gordon (playmofire) says, there is some evidence that adult collectors have influenced the release of certain DS items. :)

As for whether the Specials are "special enough"... Hardcore collectors will always feel there is room for improvement, but I think they generally do a good job of representing a variety of themes which each new selection.

It's also possible that we put a bit too much emphasis on the meaning of the word "Special" when considering these sets. It's likely that the name was originally used simply to indicate the sets have a lower price than those in other themes, which puts them into a more affordable category for young children.

Offline Martin Milner

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Re: Specials A return
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2007, 15:43:36 »
It's also possible that we put a bit too much emphasis on the meaning of the word "Special" when considering these sets. It's likely that the name was originally used simply to indicate the sets have a lower price than those in other themes, which puts them into a more affordable category for young children.

True - I see they sometimes boxed in the US as Playmobil Pals. This suggests to me the image of a child (or adult) carrying their one favourite figure around in a pocket all day to play with at a moment's notice. One figure is enough to have a game, after all.

I sometimes feel there are too many bits in the special boxes - e.g. in 4665 Western Cowboy, I'd be happy with the cowboy, clothes & revolver & rifle - there's also a lasso, campfire, frying pan, coffee pot and two mugs.

However as most figures come with less pieces, this may just be a way of filling in gaps in a "thin" range like the current (almost non-existant) Western series. 

Offline CountBogro

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Re: Specials A return
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2007, 21:46:58 »
I agree with Sylvia.

Wilma (my wife) keeps me reminding me what "specials" are all about. She says it reminds her of a "Carnaval procession with everyone dressed up".

I understand where you're coming from, Edwin. For (most of) us collectors a fully kitted (or should that be kilted  ;D) Highlander is much more exciting then the boy with the toothbrush.

On the other hand, my oldest son (4 yrs) made me think. When he was allowed to pick a special for himself, he did go for the boy with the toothbrush. Why ?  ???
I think because he relates to it. It is somethink he understands what it is and what it's about. I doubt he would actually go for the Highlander (well, I would coax him a bit, naturally  :-[, to make the sensable choice).

Bogro

(and can you please stop banging that drum? It's giving me a headache  :lol: )

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Offline tanotrooper

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Re: Specials A return
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 17:36:04 »
the special line is the basis of my collection. How many times have these specials repowered my collecting?

I bought 8 of the roman "centurio" with green shields, before the Roman line was out. The line offers an incredible range of different themed figures, on wich a theme of itself can be build! Sometimes even as cheap as 2€ each, this is a great gift to children or to anyone...

Imagine someone who studies medieval culture and society, you can give him a crusader special, and even if he isnt a playmobil fan, he will like the idea and might consider buying more of it.

Of course playmobil is made for children, but it has such an incredible effort to make it realistic, that parents might even start collecting it.

I agree, the plumber and kid arent really useful but:

-I need some tools for a small scene, where do I get a wrench? You can buy the plumber set for a small price.
-I bought the cowboy. Why? I dont use western, but the campfire, cups and pan are always useful, for example if your Romans/fusiliers/soldiers need to rest somewhere

thats why they are popular, great for clicky parts for customising, great for quickly getting some parts you need...

So concluded, I love this line!

TT
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