Author Topic: Greetings from Indiana, USA  (Read 650 times)

Offline jodawill

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Greetings from Indiana, USA
« on: March 10, 2019, 17:21:52 »
Hi!

I'm brand new to the Playmobil world. I first discovered them at a small toy shop in Ohio when I was a kid, but I grew up relatively poor and my family couldn't afford many toys. I had a couple of pirate klickys my mom got cheap somehow, but that's the extent of my childhood experience with it. But I do remember how awesome I thought they were whenever we visited that toy store.

I've always been a big Lego fan, but now that I'm a parent, I've begun reevaluating my position on them. They were great when I was a kid in the 90s, but almost everything they produce now is tied to some movie or TV show. They do still have some basic building sets, but all of the historical themes are gone. Instead of basic themes that serve as a starting ground to spark a person's imagination, everything is just a scene from a movie that you build and put on the shelf. Additionally, a lot of the shows they promote are completely inappropriate for kids, like The Big Bang Theory, and they even have Duplos for a PG-13 movie now (Jurassic Park).

My son just turned three a few days ago. He loves nautical stuff like Treasure Island, Hornblower, and old pirate Legos, so I looked for pirate toys on Amazon. As far as I could find, Playmobil is the only brand now that makes historical toys that are high quality, detailed, and not heavily juniorized. So I bought him a couple small sets (4548 and 9102), and now he's totally crazy about Playmobil!

Over the past few days, his three kickys have gone on all kinds of adventures. He likes to pretend he's Horatio Hornblower shooting the canon at a French soldier. :P He's even started saving his money for a pirate ship. I made out a chart for him to put a sticker over every dollar he earns so he can visualize his progress. He gets really excited doing chores to earn his ship!

What brings me here today is a few questions I have. I'm a total Playmobil newby, so I apologize if these are silly or easy to find answers to.

1) The pirate from 9102 doesn't seem to be able to keep his hat on. It just sits on top of his head and falls off if you pick him up. It looks to me like the knot in his bandana is blocking the hat from fully clutching to the top of the head. Am I missing something? Here's a picture: https://i.imgur.com/C2Sk16c.jpg

2) I see that Kicklypedia is the "Brickset of Playmobil." Are there any other big sites I should know about? Is there anything like Bricklink? Any good blogs?

3) I found a page on the Playmobil website where I could order extra parts, but when I went through the checkout, I found I had been redirected to the Norwegian site and they don't ship outside Norway. Is there a way to order parts in the US too?

4) What are some of the best discontinued pirate/soldier sets I could easily get for a decent price?

5) What castle or pirate sets are considered to be the best of all time?

Thanks for reading!  :)

- Josh

Offline Macruran

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 18:19:39 »
I've always been a big Lego fan, but now that I'm a parent, I've begun reevaluating my position on them. They were great when I was a kid in the 90s, but almost everything they produce now is tied to some movie or TV show. They do still have some basic building sets, but all of the historical themes are gone. Instead of basic themes that serve as a starting ground to spark a person's imagination, everything is just a scene from a movie that you build and put on the shelf. Additionally, a lot of the shows they promote are completely inappropriate for kids, like The Big Bang Theory, and they even have Duplos for a PG-13 movie now (Jurassic Park).

Welcome to the club. Sadly PM is now heading in this licensed media property direction, and will soon be like L*go in that regard. But there are still a lot of good sets to be found at decent prices, so I think you've made a wise choice!

Quote
2) I see that Kicklypedia is the "Brickset of Playmobil." Are there any other big sites I should know about? Is there anything like Bricklink? Any good blogs?

https://playmodb.org is the essential resource for specific part information and set inventories - it's vastly superior to Klickypedia. Also the webmistress graces us with her presence.
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Offline Rasputin

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 19:16:49 »
Hello and welcome to ..., here

Call 1-800-playmobil in the US and follow the prompts for the parts department

Good deals on classic playmo ships ... local Craigslist/letgo/offeredup

As far as the best pirate ships ... the one you/your kid  like to play with , many members have their favorites for specific reasons but itís for your kid not them  ;)
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Offline jodawill

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2019, 19:34:17 »
Welcome to the club. Sadly PM is now heading in this licensed media property direction, and will soon be like L*go in that regard. But there are still a lot of good sets to be found at decent prices, so I think you've made a wise choice!

https://playmodb.org is the essential resource for specific part information and set inventories - it's vastly superior to Klickypedia. Also the webmistress graces us with her presence.

I read some posts on this forum before I joined where people were complaining about the licensed stuff and the new castle/pirates. Thatís very unfortunate. But at least we all seem to be in agreement here. LEGO has been pushing the licensed stuff for so long, even most of the adults only buy those and not the historical themes. And from what I saw on eBay and Amazon it seemed that most discontinued Playmobil sets sell for very reasonable prices, unlike LEGO. Maybe thatís because Playmobil sells their sets for much longer periods of time. LEGO is usually only a year or less.

Thanks for the website recommendation. Iíll check that out!

Hello and welcome to ..., here

Call 1-800-playmobil in the US and follow the prompts for the parts department

Excellent! Thatís awesome. I want to order a bunch of extra weapons.  :)

Quote
Good deals on classic playmo ships ... local Craigslist/letgo/offeredup

As far as the best pirate ships ... the one you/your kid  like to play with , many members have their favorites for specific reasons but itís for your kid not them  ;)

Iím sure most kids are just happy with whatever they get. I think we just get more cranky and particular as we get older  ;D

Offline tahra

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2019, 19:59:31 »
Welcome from Portugal :)

That pirate seems to be a victim of the non-existing design department. I mean, SERIOUSLY do they TRY these things? Just change the hair, is what I think...

As to favorites, like Rasputin said, we all have our own... For me, the best pirate ship is 3940, but I have none of the newer molds... I believe the last one I bought was the one with the red plastic furled sails... and I think that is the "normal" old type.

As to medieval - I don't think there is much dissent there (amazing, uhm?) - 3666 castle and "surrounding" sets and the following magic theme is probably the golden playmobil age....

Hope to see pics/reports of your growing collection here too!

Tahra

Offline GrahamB

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 08:19:54 »
Welcome from Stroud, UK!

It's great to hear how your son loves PM and how he is saving towards his first pirate ship (well done with helping him earn this!).

Two questions not yet answered by other PFs:

Though I don't have set 9102, sometimes hats don't fit properly on klicky heads (klicky= PM figure btw) and sticky putty is probably the best answer (e.g. Blu-tac, but brand names will differ in the US).

The nearest thing to Bricklink for PM is Mundobil, where you can buy some discontinued parts. But it's not a patch on the Lego sites, simply because Lego's popularity is much, much greater than PM's. It's based in Belgium, so shipping to you will be costly.

If you are searching for specific parts (e.g. to complete sets bought secondhand), I suggest you use PlaymoDB to find out the part numbers you need, then 'Find Spare Parts' on playmobil.co.uk* (scroll to the bottom of the home page to find the link, under 'Spare Parts Service') will help find if the parts are currently available as spares. Try ordering from US spares service (Known as 'DS' or Direct Service) as Rasputin said above. If they can't supply a particular part, ask a question here on PF and someone will be able to order them from one of the European DS departments.

* several European countries' Playmobil websites have the Find Spare Parts feature- it's not on the US site - and the U.K. site has most part names in English, which can be helpful! Orders made through the U.K. site are supplied from Germany and some parts not even available to German customers (such as some klickies) can be got this way.

If any of this is unclear, just say!

Oh and the Lion Knights Castle 4865 would be my recommendation for a castle, lots of nice features, should be available secondhand quite easily.
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Offline Tiermann

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 18:48:08 »
Welcome from Oregon!
Most of your questions have been pretty well answered at this point. I think the more recent castle theme sets have been pretty good, but it looks like in 2020 they will be doing a revamp with some more fantasy based ones. In general the company has been moving away from historical accuracy and towards more fantasy based. This is mostly due to the public doing the same. With shows like Game of Thrones being huge they are less concerned with the real middle ages. Most ships are stand alone and are fine by themselves, but the castles fall into three different building types with the older classic ones much loved by collectors being a system called Steck. Then there is a system called System X that uses separate connector pins. Recently they are tending towards larger less modular pieces with a different connector system. For play value I wouldn't worry about it but jut get whatever shows up at a reasonable price. Once you have one castle you can figure out if it is expandable and which additions to get if you decide you want to go bigger. There are usually at least a few add-on pieces to make expanded walls available from the company.

Offline Macruran

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2019, 00:40:22 »
Maybe thatís because Playmobil sells their sets for much longer periods of time. LEGO is usually only a year or less.

PM set turnover speed seems to have increased in recent years. There also seems to be more expermentation with different sets for different countries. All in all a move towards less stability and consistency.  :-\

Though I don't have set 9102, sometimes hats don't fit properly on klicky heads (klicky= PM figure btw) and sticky putty is probably the best answer (e.g. Blu-tac, but brand names will differ in the US).

The problem pirate in question looked like a bun issue, but I'd like to second Graham's point here about hats sometimes not fitting properly. It can be rather irritating to get one of these - my samurai (the original Special one) has a loose helmet and when I pick him up by it he falls out.  >:(  L*go machines their parts to very high tolerances, why can't PM? Another common flaw is loose hips, so that a klicky will bend forward slightly and be almost impossible to keep standing straight.  :(
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Offline jodawill

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 02:36:59 »
Sorry, it's taken me a long time to respond here. I've read everyone's comments, and I appreciate all of the help I've gotten from you all.

My son and I have been having a lot of fun with the two small sets I bought him for his birthday. We have a chart hanging on the refrigerator to help him earn his pirate ship. I printed a photo of the set with 40 table cells for him to put a sticker every time he earns a dollar. He's been doing several chores every day, and he's almost reached his goal. I bought a soldier ship for myself too that I can't open until he earns his ship, or else he'd just play with my ship instead of earning his! :lol:

That pirate seems to be a victim of the non-existing design department. I mean, SERIOUSLY do they TRY these things? Just change the hair, is what I think...

That's not a bad idea. I didn't like his coat either, especially because the sleeves pop off every time you move his arms. So I just took the coat off and I think he looks better like that. Maybe I'll eventually buy a lot from eBay that has some extra hair pieces I could use. I'm not really a fan of that pirate, though. It's way too fancy. I bought the set for the soldier, the boat, and the cannon.

As to favorites, like Rasputin said, we all have our own... For me, the best pirate ship is 3940, but I have none of the newer molds... I believe the last one I bought was the one with the red plastic furled sails... and I think that is the "normal" old type.

That one looks amazing. Too bad I can't find it anywhere online, except for a ridiculous amount on Amazon. I'll have to keep an eye out for it. As big as it is though, I bet they didn't sell a lot of them, especially in the US.

The nearest thing to Bricklink for PM is Mundobil, where you can buy some discontinued parts. But it's not a patch on the Lego sites, simply because Lego's popularity is much, much greater than PM's. It's based in Belgium, so shipping to you will be costly.

That site is awesome. Too bad there aren't many items available there. But it has a great catalog. I'm sure I'll be using that a lot. I was just able to use it to verify that the gun from 4548 is still in production.

PM set turnover speed seems to have increased in recent years. There also seems to be more expermentation with different sets for different countries. All in all a move towards less stability and consistency.  :-\

It's fortunate for us all that Playmobil ever produced sets for a large number of years. Lego has never produced sets for more than a year or two, except the very expensive sets (like $300+).

I spent all of my personal money from our budget this month on Playmobil, and I sneaked it into a couple other categories as well. :lol: I'm just surprised by how cheap the old pirate sets are, and I've been buying things here and there. It's awesome that I can buy a 20 year old, medium sized pirate set brand new in the package for less than the original retail price. With Lego, it would probably cost 10x the original retail price.

Offline playmovictorian

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Re: Greetings from Indiana, USA
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2019, 10:26:15 »
Greetings from Marlow, England  :wave:

Thank you very much for taking the time of sharing a little of your story with us  :thanks:

Wishing you a great time in this wonderful forum  :**:
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