General > Report & Review

70894 / 5320 Dining Room Comparison

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The re-released Victorian sets have been going in and out of stock on the US website. The house and bathroom have yet to make an appearance. I finally managed to catch the bedroom and the dining room both available at the same time. The dining room box was squashed and had popped open, so I went ahead and assembled it (to make sure it was okay!), even though it's midnight. :lol: So here's a quick comparison to the original set.

First off, the 70894 is suspiciously cheap, $16.99. I remember the dining room being a comparatively pricey furniture set, so that was unexpected.

The vintage 5320 is on the left; the new 70894 on the right.

- I'm not sure if you can tell in the photos, but the new furniture is a slightly darker brown.
- The upholstery of the new couch is hard plastic, rather than that waxy stuff. Mine has a fingerprint-like impression right in the middle.  ::)
- The armchair is comparable, although you may notice that the waxy plastic has developed a white "residue" on the vintage pieces.

The small pieces

- Again, we see a color difference. The print on the original table is brown. It's yellow (supposed to be gold?) on the new table.
- The golds on the clock and tea cart are also different. The vintage pieces have an, appropriately, antique gold. The new pieces are more brassy.
- The whites in the vintage set have yellowed. It's subtle until we get to the maid's apron. That looks terrible. I may see if I can order her a new apron.
- Printing! The printing of the new table is off-center. The printing on the old clock is very slightly off-center; the printing on the new clock is just embarrassing. The framing makes it super obvious.

The rugs

- It's the same print, but the shade is different. The vintage rugs have something of a pink hue.
- Now for the big WHY? The new rugs are cardstock! They look like bootlegged rugs that a collector might make to replace a missing or damaged rug. Will not withstand 30 years of tea parties. I'm not sure what the vintage rugs are made of, probably some sort of compressed synthetic. However, I literally soaked them not too long ago, so they can survive tea.

The misaligned prints are a disappointing mistake. The intentional choice of perishable material for the rugs makes me upset. I was planning to order some replacement rugs (particularly the bathroom rugs) because mine have yellowed over the years, but what's the point if they are cardstock? Textile printing is more accessible now than ever. How much money are they really saving with this idiocy?

Recently, I used some public domain images to custom a pile of rugs in assorted sizes. The two largest ones (and their babies - one upside down, so you can see the back) are in the second photo. These are cotton-linen canvas with cotton interfacing fused to the back. It has texture, which you can't really see in this tiny pic. The edges fray a weensy bit because I used two woven materials, but that allows for drape. The adhesive will prevent major fraying. If it annoys me too much, I can fuse a stiffer melded polyester interfacing to the back.

I am very happy that Playmobil has renewed their interest in historical sets and BROWN furniture. There are some lovely and usable pieces in this set, like the china cabinet and the bookcase. They brought back the tea cart, which I'm mildly obsessed with. The maid is nicely dressed in black and doesn't have ridiculously colored shoes. However, they went too cheap and ruined several of the best pieces. I would have paid $10 more to have it all perfect. And the rugs, the rugs are stupid and not fit for use. I should be able to keep them in okay condition for awhile, but PM's target market is going to destroy them. They should really test their products at an 8-year-olds birthday party.

Anyhow, those are my late night/early morning thoughts. Happy Friday!

Thank you for the detailed review.

We plan to pass on this one, since we have the old one (and not core!)... I did order a few of the cabinet doors, since we were missing at least one.

I had no idea about the paper rugs. That is VERY lame.

The misprinting, unfortunately is way common.  :(

Thanks for the comparison, Ismene.
Really well done and well writen - makes it very clear to me that I might order some parts, but otherwise I will stay clear of the new set.

--- Quote from: tahra on March 25, 2022, 08:47:08 ---... The misprinting, unfortunately is way common.  :( ...

--- End quote ---

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Playmobils Quality Control has been dropping a lot lately.
Generally, I don't go for "all-was-better-in-the-olden-days" sentiment, but for Playmobil this seems to be the case.

That makes me really sad  :'(



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