Author Topic: Max Pfannholzer’s Promotional figures catalogue- a review  (Read 486 times)

Offline GrahamB

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Max Pfannholzer from Düsseldorf has published a catalogue (in German) titled Werbe- und Sonder-figuren, Schlüsselanhänger (Advertising and Special figures, key rings). It is a 104-page colour booklet on glossy paper, costing 11 Euro. This is an update of a 2022 version of the catalogue.
I obtained a copy by emailing Max ( and enlisting the help of a German friend to pay the Bank Transfer and provide a German address for delivery.  I don’t know if Max is planning a 2024 update or if he will ship worldwide in future.

Scope of the catalogue

I have some promotional Playmobil items and I bought this catalogue to see what other Promotional figures exist. There are far more than I realised. Looking through the catalogue, I realised that without some idea of what I personally regard as ‘Promotional’ items, I could be drawn into pursuing a very large potential collection! (That’s often a danger for us collectors, isn’t it?). Certainly, different collectors will have different ideas of what might be included under the heading ‘promotional’. The foreword to the catalogue has this to say:

“As early as the mid-1970s, companies and institutions recognized the fascination of Playmobil and the associated image and advertising effects. As giveaways at trade fairs, as a small gift for employees or as compensation for customers in the event of restrictions such as BVG Berlin or Red Cross Hospital Bremen. Many promos from the early days are hardly available anymore and achieve top prices on exchanges or auctions. But even today, special figures are still regularly released to honour special events or personalities. For example, the figure of Martin Luther on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.”
[Google Translate, my italics to highlight some definitions of Promotional items].

This catalogue focuses on figures rather than vehicles or other items which appear in some sets promoting particular companies or institutions. Although the title includes the word ‘keyrings,’ it is only promotional keyrings which are covered (83 entries are keyrings).

The catalogue has 603 entries, all but 16 with its own picture. Many (163) of the pictures show the box or package (OVP) rather than the klickies themselves, a strategy which seems to be popular with many collectors and catalogue-compilers. 23 entries relate to sets of figures, without illustrating all the figures in each set, though these entries are limited to Goody’s sets (one set of 8 figures, one set of 13) and Quick figures (20 sets, ranging from 3 to 16 figures and one entry explaining that full details of the Quick series are beyond the scope of the catalogue).

Here is a double-page spread showing 12 entries:

For each entry, there is
•   a photograph (sometimes two, showing the front and back of the klicky),
•   the name of the ‘herausgeber’ or publisher
•   the year of release (left blank in 105 entries)
•   the country of release (left blank for German releases)
•   a ‘rarity rating’ (ranging from common (1) to rare (6))
•   the Playmobil set number (for 170 entries, with a further 32 which strongly resemble ‘standard’ PM sets) or Schaper set number (5 entries).
•   brief description of the klicky (e.g. ‘knight,’ ‘female clown,’ ‘plumber,’ etc.) or animal
•   description of the accessories in the set
•   description of the promotional printing or stickers on the figure or box
•   sometimes a history behind the figure
•   often, a description of the type of packaging used
•   sometimes, a mention of the mini-catalogue enclosed in the package


There are 218 different ‘publishers’ or ‘sponsors’ included, 133 of these have only one entry, 28 have two, 15 have three and 10 have four entries. Those with 5 or more entries are shown in the chart below:

Year of release

See the chart below. No doubt some of the 105 entries with no year of release were from the earlier years; 14 of the 105 have fixed wrists (dating them as 1981 or earlier).

Country of release

Assuming those entries with no country of origin are from Germany (two thirds of entries), here is the breakdown;

Rarity rating

The foreword suggests entries marked 1 can be bought for 5 Euro, in good undamaged and complete condition. Other ratings are
2=5-10 Euro, 3=10-25 Euro, 4=25-50 Euro, 5= 50-100 Euro, 6= over 100 Euro

Klicky details

Most are males!

Position of printing or stickers

Most- but not all- promotional sets have printing or a sticker stating who sponsored the release. Sometimes this is a logo, often the name of the company. Many are on the back of a klicky, but other locations have also been used. 164 entries had no printing or stickers, even on the packaging, to identify the publisher or sponsor.

Number of klickies included.

Although most entries (518) had just one klicky, 20 had none, 38 had two and 7 had three. All those with 4 or more klickies came from the Goody’s or Quick sets.


All in all, this is a very useful publication for anyone wanting to know what Promotional figures exist, as known to Herr Pfannholzer and his collector friends. I felt a few sets have been omitted; these seven sets probably should have been included in the catalogue (71312 may appear in a later edition).
« Last Edit: April 20, 2024, 09:49:34 by GrahamB »
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Offline tahra

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Re: Max Pfannholzer’s Promotional figures catalogue- a review
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2024, 18:58:46 »
Thank you for the detailed review :)

I believe I have a version of that one - where I found there are TWO BASF klickys - right in time before I put them all in mount 3!

Offline Macruran

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Re: Max Pfannholzer’s Promotional figures catalogue- a review
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2024, 02:36:20 »
Mind-boggling level of scholarship  :(o): :paddy:
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Offline Pynedor

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Re: Max Pfannholzer’s Promotional figures catalogue- a review
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2024, 13:31:02 »
That looks like a very useful tool for research. Thanks for the review! :)