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General => Report & Review => Topic started by: Timotheos on November 27, 2007, 03:59:53

Title: 4211 Sleeping Princess Fairy Tale Set (Snow White)
Post by: Timotheos on November 27, 2007, 03:59:53
Doesn't look like anybody reviewed the Snow White playset on Playmfriends, so here goes.

In a nutshell, the set retails for $16 in the USA, and with it comes three adult klickies and two children (dwarves), a horse, two gowns, a lot of miscellaneous pieces.  It also comes with a cardboard backdrop, which rests on a cardboard wheel and depicts three different scenes.

Just looking at the box alone, I felt ambiguous about the bang for the buck (value), for a few figures and a lot of cardboard.

But, you have to take it out of the box and make the scenes.  I'm glad I decided to do this review, because otherwise I might have ignored the cardboard setup.  Making the scenes framed against the backdrop is where the imaginative potential really starts to come out.

Bonuses:
1) The evil stepmother, as the hag, comes with three different possible costumes (see photos below).
2) Snow White has at least two maiden costumes (assuming mix-and-match with the hag's costume), plus her "restored to grace" full gown.
3) The apples are interesting.  There is a lot of other miscellany.
4) The dwarves with their tan skin and/or white hair look like real elves.
5) The story book that comes with the set draws on Grimm's fairy tales or other sources, not Disney.  It adds some details that Disney didn't do, like other tricks the hag tried, like giving Snow White a cursed belt and later a poisoned comb.  The water color illustrations are not bad.

Blahs:
1) The mirror, just a sticker applied to the cardboard, deserved to be a real piece.
2) Snow White's broom is an industrial push broom.
3) The storybook is very sparse and sanitized, taking Grimms' original censoring of the tale even further.  For example, the evil step mom only exiles Snow White (no murder is attempted).  Playmobil was hamstrung by having to translate it into at least four (German, English, French, Greek) different languages.  It seems to me PM could have done a better job with story, re-done it with fewer words as a comic, or targeted the language to the geographic release (and made the tale longer). 

But, to end on a high note, setting up the scenes is where the beauty is.  There are a lot of possibilities, and I think a girl could have a lot of fun playing with it (including the different costumes).  For the adults, there are a lot of interesting parts, and Snow White would make a good medieval klickie on her own.
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Timotheos on November 27, 2007, 04:01:36
More scenes and examples of the hag and snow white's costumes.

[Edit: Wait!  Now I understand: the book mentions that the step mother visits snow white three times (belt, comb, and apple), which is why she has three costumes.  I don't have time to re-photograph, but you can see there are three hats, three belts (not photoed), a basket and an alternative shoulder sling, as well as a hunch-back cape and a scarf). ]
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Timotheos on November 27, 2007, 04:03:29
Snow White's full gown.  The book cover and the illustration from the book I liked the best (there are three illustrations total).
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Timotheos on November 27, 2007, 04:05:37
And, finally, the book is ambivalent about the fate of the evil step mother.  I'm hoping that in desperation about no longer being the fairest (I'm guessing the poor woman is only 34) she didn't take the following route, the path to vanity hell:
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Tiermann on November 27, 2007, 05:53:19
Very, er, interesting review.  I actually think one of the best things to come out of this set is the add-on set with 5 dwarves. I like the set but it's down my list after other things I am wanting more. I think it's a great toy for kids though, some guided play but lots of opportunity to imagine on from there.
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Timotheos on November 27, 2007, 13:43:26
Very, er, interesting review.  I actually think one of the best things to come out of this set is the add-on set with 5 dwarves. I like the set but it's down my list after other things I am wanting more. I think it's a great toy for kids though, some guided play but lots of opportunity to imagine on from there.

For my part, I wish some of the klickies were less fantasy. 

Great Klickies: Snow White, Cinderella (I have all three sets), the woodcutter and wife

Difficult Klickies: [Well, OK, I won't list them].  And the mob of handsome princes belongs to the usual gang of suspects.

I do hope PM continues the theme.  As you said, Tiermann, there are a lot of unusual pieces that make the sets interesting.  I get the impression that the backdrop (OK, really) and the story book (weak; I'm not going to read it to my kid; reads like a sappy accessory to a commercial product) eat a chunk of our $16...  Maybe it reads better in German....

But, still, though, I hate sounding so negative when I'm mostly happy with the sets.

[Edit: But golly-gee* could they give the dwarves long sleeves and brown boots?  Who mines in white sneakers?

*I don't say "golly-gee" outside Playmofriends  ;D
-Tim

Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Martin Milner on November 27, 2007, 14:38:27


[Edit: But golly-gee* could they give the dwarves long sleeves and brown boots?  Who mines in white sneakers?

*I don't say "golly-gee" outside Playmofriends  ;D
-Tim



Maybe the Dwarves aren't down the mine, they're dressed up in their dancin' shoes for a night out on the town?
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Sylvia on December 01, 2007, 12:33:12
Thanks for the pics and reviews, Tim. :)

The artwork for the backdrops looks really nicely done and I love some of the new accessories they've included.

The dwarves footwear does seem a bit off. I suppose if you have spare booted child klickies wearing trousers the same colour as the dwarves, you could swap them quite easily. I've never mastered complete disassembly of the small figures but I sometimes exchange their legs. :)
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Richard on December 01, 2007, 13:33:02

Very, er, interesting review.

Hello, Tim (Timotheos) ...

I would like to agree and add to the comment made by Tim (Tiermann): Your review was indeed interesting and it was also quite entertaining ...  ;D

I think that I should add the three Fairy Tale sets to my Playmobil collection.

Thank you for a fun critique,
Richard


Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: playmofire on December 01, 2007, 15:09:38
A great review, Tim, and it looks a great set to me, though it's not going to be on my list as it just isn't my area of interest.

$16 equates to about 8 over here and 5 figures, a horse and other accessories without anything else sounds pretty good value for money, and then there is the book and the scenery.  I think, too, as you found showed in your review a lot of the value comes in the setting up and acting out of the story.

As regards the "censoring" of the story, I think Playmobil are playing it safe because of the large number of countries they are marketing in and the differing attitudes to "violence" in children's materials.  I imagine, too, simplifying the story inevitably means losing detail as the story tends to be brought down to the lowest common denominator.
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: Timotheos on December 01, 2007, 16:15:32
I agree with you completely, Playmofire.  I've re-thought the multi-language books.  On the downside, it consumes a lot of space, and the other hand it exposes kids to a bunch of different languages.

As a kid, I never even suspected Playmobil was a German toy (granted, Schaper's packaging of the product in the states made it seem to come from an American company).

I've never mastered complete disassembly of the small figures but I sometimes exchange their legs. :)

I guess you just poke the little connector dowel out with a pen or something? 

Even with the white shoes, the dwarves do look good.  I didn't like them from pictures, but think they look good when you actually have one in your hand.

-Tim
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: socrates on December 05, 2007, 18:09:52
I've never mastered complete disassembly of the small figures but I sometimes exchange their legs. :)

The spanish way is working, just as for almost all klickies...
:whip:
...but for children one has to be very careful as they have a very fragile neck... 

As for the Snow White Set: I like the coffin and I was a little pi***d off to order the missing
dwarfs from the DS, though.

best,
socrates
Title: Re: Snow White Playset
Post by: core on December 05, 2007, 18:56:49
Thanks for the reviews of the playsets!

It also comes with a cardboard backdrop, which rests on a cardboard wheel and depicts three different scenes.

A pity imo, the backdrop/wheel should have been printed on something with a little more wear-resistance than cardboard (plastic card comes to mind); cost-cutting is the major issue I'm sure ...