Author Topic: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016  (Read 4043 times)

Offline GrahamB

  • Moderator
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2465
  • Gender: Male
    • Playmofanatic
Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« on: June 01, 2016, 10:43:29 »
(This is a long and wordy review, but this first post contains the main points, with more information (if you want it!) in the next three posts).

35 DS catalogues have been issued in Germany since the first in 1983.

Here is a link to a spreadsheet I have created which details the contents of every catalogue. database of German DS catalogue contents

DS catalogues contain two main types of set:

1. Specially-created sets (often simply called 'DS sets') which supplement existing themes, reissues of 'classic' sets, building extension sets, accessory sets and klicky sets. These sets typically have numbers beginning with a 7 (since 2011, numbers in the range 6200-6599 have also been used). 1089 sets (including 3 sets issued in 2 different versions) have been specially created for sale through the DS catalogues since 1983. Specially created sets sometimes appear for just one year, but most are offered for several consecutive years.

2. A further 349 sets featured in the German catalogues are 'standard' sets offered at a reduced price, probably offered as end-of-line/ stock clearance items. (DS ctalogues in other countries often feature different end-of-line sets).

So, a total of 1438 sets can be found in the German catalogues, 76% "specially created" sets and 24% "end-of-line/stock clearance" sets .

38 sets were offered in 1983, rising to 100 by 1995 and over 200 every year since 2006.



One set appeared in all 35 catalogues: 7553 - 2 Axles

40% of sets appear just once in the catalogues, with 75% appearing 4 or fewer times. If you see it featured in the latest catalogue, snap it up, it may not be there next year!





48 sets found in German DS catalogues do not appear in PlaymoDB

77 sets in PlaymoDB which are specially created DS sets (judging by the set numbers) are not found in German DS catalogues, but are presumably found in French, UK, US or other DS catalogues

Collector 3rd edition lists only one DS set: 7411, the extension floor for the Victorian Mansion 5300.
 
52 DS sets reappear after an absence of a few years (4 appear three times); although often described as 'New' in the second or third appearance, only 3 appear to be actually different from the first issue.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 16:08:19 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

  • Moderator
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2465
  • Gender: Male
    • Playmofanatic
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 10:44:28 »
Where does this information come from?

On the German forum  Klickywelt (www.klickywelt.de), gassy has posted scans of the German versions of every DS catalogue issued from 1983 to 2015. This is a fantastic visual reference but it is unfortunately not 'searchable' electronically (nor is it available to non-Klickywelt members). So I have logged the basic information* into a spreadsheet database, available here as a dropbox link (this is a MSExcel spreadsheet, the form in which I created it) or here as a CSV or here as a text document. (CSV/ Text may be compatible with other spreadsheet programs, but only the basic data is included). Let me know if you would like it in another format.

*I logged every set featured in every German catalogue (note that two catalogues were issued in 2006-7) by entering the price charged (in Deutschmarks prior to 2002 and in Euros after this). From this I determined  the year of first release for each set, the duration of each set's  availability and whether a set was issued more than once through DS. For 2016 releases I used the pdf file of the 2016 catalogue at www.pcc.pm, embargoed until today.

The advantages of having data in a spreadsheet include the ease with which it can be searched, sorted or filtered (e.g. to find all sets released in a given year or all sets in a given theme) or exported into other databases. The price charged for a set over 30 years ago may be of limited interest today, but it is interesting to note how few prices remained unchanged from one year to the next! Recording prices helped me to check I was entering the data in the correct cell of the spreadsheet, by comparing it with the previous year's price.



No doubt there are mistakes in the data in the spreadsheet. If you find any mistakes, please let me know! I can easily correct the data, for the benefit of anyone who wants to use it. I may even add subsequent year's data!
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

  • Moderator
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2465
  • Gender: Male
    • Playmofanatic
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 10:45:24 »
More detail about DS sets

Each year since 1983, Geobra has produced a Direct Service Catalogue which offers various items for sale over and above what is in the 'main' catalogues. In recent years these items have also been displayed in the online shop. These items include

•   New sets only available from the DS department.
      o   Most of these sets have numbers in the range 7000 to 7999, but since 2011, set numbers between 6200 and 6599 have also been used (also 6619).
      o   DS sets often closely resemble earlier sets, in some cases a DS set is apparently identical to an earlier set
               (see comparison of set 3627 from 1994 and its DS counterpart 6464 from 2015 here )
      o   For many DS sets the main difference from an earlier set is that they have no klickies included
      o   DS sets often come in a plastic bag or plain brown box, rather than in a full colour carton like regular sets
      o   Some DS sets are released to restricted markets, like the main sets. For example, 7950 does not appear in any German DS catalogue but is in UK versions.

•   Re-issues of 'classic' sets, using the same set number as the original (e.g. the Excavator 3001 from 1998 was reissued in the 2011 DS catalogue and the Baron's Battle Tower 3665 from 1993 was reissued in 2004). Many of the reissues of classic sets have been under new numbers in the 7nnn or 6nnn range

•   Accessories such as electric motors, railway tracks, train couplings. quartz sets for RC controllers, as well as add-on sets such as building extension sets, lighting sets, sets of accessories, etc
      o   Most of these have 7nnn numbers but in recent years railway track accessory sets have been numbered 4384 to 4391

•   'Standard' Playmobil sets offered 'while stocks last'. These seem to be 'end-of-line' items and are always offered several years after the original issue. What is offered varies quite a bit from country to country.

•   Non-Playmobil items such as books, cups, bags and T-shirts. Some of these have typical 4-digit set numbers but have not been included in any of the statistics, graphs or totals here.

For some reason, that useful source of information on Playmobil sets, Playmobil Collector 3. Edition does not cover DS sets, the sole exception being 7411, the extension floor for the Victorian Mansion 5300.

PlaymoDB does cover DS sets . I found 48 DS sets not included in PlaymoDB, not including non-playmobil items like books, bags and T-shirts. I also found 77 sets DS sets not in German catalogues in PlaymoDB which aren't in the German DS catalogues. These probably appear in catalogues issued in other countries. I have half a dozen UK DS catalogues but I haven't done a detailed check on the contents compared with the German versions.  What is clear is that some different 'end-of-line' sets appear in UK catalogues.

I found 1438 sets featured in the 35 in German DS catalogues. Of these, 52 were issued more than once. with a gap of 1 or more years between issues. 4 sets were issued three times. Reissued DS sets are often (32 of the 52 second issues and 2 of the 4 third issues) labelled as 'NEU' (new) in the catalogue when they reappear after a gap of one or a few years. In most cases, there is nothing to suggest that the reissue is any different from the earlier issue, but in the following three cases I believe the reissue really was new, in that it was a new version of the earlier issue.

7010 First issue 1983-1994. The 1995 reissue had newer-style sheep
7071 Originally issued 1994-9. The 2003 reissue probably had newer-style fence posts, created for the similar set 7292, available from 2000-2013
7223 The 2000 reissue picture showed a canoe with two paddles but the 1998 picture showed no paddles (the actual set may have had paddles in both versions, or the earlier version may have been issued without paddles in error)

In addition, set numbers 7102 and 7303 were both used twice, for different sets:
7102a (1983) Five Color Figures
7102b (1986) Elephant Trainer Accessories
7303a (1983) Selbstlader
7303b (1986-7) Tractor Trailer

I found seven sets newly issued but without the label "NEU", so a visual search of the scans would miss these as newly issued sets for that year.

5 sets shown for the first time in the 1996 catalogue were overprinted 'Leider ausverkauft' (Unfortunately Out of Stock), so perhaps very few were actually sold (or perhaps the catalogue which gassy scanned  was a version issued later in the year, after stocks had run out).
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

  • Moderator
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2465
  • Gender: Male
    • Playmofanatic
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 10:46:19 »
Can you help?

If you have any non-German DS catalogues and can throw some light on those 77 DS sets not in German catalogues which are listed in PlaymoDB but don't appear in German catalogues I would be interested to hear from you.  In particular, I have been unable to find much information at all on the following 17 sets:  5 of the pictures on PlaymoDB show prices in Francs (clue: France before Euro!)

DS sets with little information available

There are 178 apparently 'unused' set numbers between 6200 and 6549 or 7000 and 7999. Some of these may be non-Playmobil items but some may turn out to be the numbers of sets lurking in DS catalogues: all are listed in the final tab of the spreadsheet.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 08:50:54 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 cheng

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 3310
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2016, 15:44:42 »
Can you help?

If you have any non-German DS catalogues and can throw some light on those 77 sets which are listed in PlaymoDB but don't appear in German catalogues I would be interested to hear from you.  In particular, I have been unable to find much information at all on the following 17 sets:  5 of the pictures on PlaymoDB show prices in Francs (clue: France before Euro!)

which 77 sets? what additional information?
what other information on the 17 sets? (visual inspection? but they are the same photos....let me see if I still have non-German DS catalogues, maybe I'll understand what you seek when I see those sets  8}

Online tahra

  • Playmo Guru
  • ******
  • Posts: 13188
  • Gender: Female
    • playkingdoms
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2016, 18:05:49 »
That seems an AMAZING amount of work GrahamB!

Thank you for sharing it with the world :)
Tahra

Offline sbblabotw

  • Mistress of PlaymoDB
  • Playmo Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • Gender: Female
    • PlaymoDB ... the UNOFFICIAL online database for Playmobil® toys
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2016, 18:09:12 »
Tremendous work, Graham! This is just the kind of detail I would love to dig into for PlaymoDB but just can't manage it. Well done!

I have scans of two French catalogues, 1992 and 1995, which is where most of PlaymoDB List - DS sets with little information available came from.  You can see that they're cropped from catalogues.

7610 - Stewardess Keychain was from 2002 Canadian DS (81075) - she was a freebie for an order of $30. I have to add the pilot, 7611.

My notes say that 7944 - Black Dragon was released in 2008/02. I'll try and find the source for that info.

I expect blue policemen are from non-German DS's.  7693 - Traffic Control is German, though. Since instructions for 7692 - Police Officer & Motorcycle were printed in 2007, I expect 7693 is from the same year.

I will certainly add the sets on the last tab! I downloaded all of gassy's klickywelt postings, so I should be able to crop set pictures from there.

Now, to see if I can somehow get this into PlaymoDB. I put catalogues in as parts, since they have part numbers (some part numbers are 5 digits, while some are in standard form). I recently tidied up the part names so that the DS catalogues can be found more easily.
PlaymoDB Parts Containing "catalogue ds" (in English)

Of course, there are are lots more to enter, but until now they weren't something anyone else was looking at. I can make a crosslink between sets and the catalogues they appear in, with all of Graham's lovely data - It'd be helpful to have the part numbers of the catalogues, though. The scans of more recent catalogues, PDFs straight from Playmobil, are large and clear enough that the part number is easy to read. Older ones, not so much. The ones in the DB are, by and large, ones I own and can peer at with a magnifying glass. I'll probably need some help with that from people who own paper originals. Meantime, I can use temporary part numbers.

I'll see what I can do with this - although best laid plans. Just getting all 42 of the brand-new instruction thumbnails into the 2016 DS sets is gong to keep me busy for a little while.

PlaymoDB.org has catalogued over FIFTY-FIVE THOUSAND parts in more than 6100 sets. Come and visit to find any set or part numbers you need to know!

Offline Tiermann

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 8266
  • Gender: Male
  • Playmosaurus friendus
    • Animobil
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 19:23:43 »
Wow Graham that's a ton of work. Thanks for that. I will have to go back and check to see if I am missing any animal add-ons in my main spreadsheet. Probably am since up to now data for older DS was harder to get.

Offline Hadoque

  • Capitaine de la "Licorne"
  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 4009
  • Gender: Male
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 21:28:43 »
Thanks for all the effowts Gwaham!

Fwom 2002 to 2012 pwices have almost doubled.
I wish my salawy would have doubled as well... ::)

(I´m still in "I have a fwiend in Wome" mood)
"Resistance is futile, you will be boarded!"

Offline cheng

  • Playmo Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 3310
Re: Contents of all DS catalogues, 1983 to 2016
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2016, 00:57:58 »
GrahamB, Heather has somewhat explained what 'additional information' you meant but I probably dont have enough resources to gather these other addtional info'
anyway my only non-German DS catalogue is a UK 2011, which is many of you have, so I'm sorry I'm unable to add any info here....i will just watch and read this thread in awe....probably not understanding half of it  :P
fantastic work, Graham! Keep it up!