Author Topic: 4212 Magical Woods Fairy Tale Set  (Read 6601 times)

Offline Timotheos

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2007, 16:53:56 »
However, why does Playmobil have to be so politically correct? Is it only because they are a German company? If our little Klickys had originated in some other country, would we have some different themes?

Hmmm ... Different themes without any fear of having to be politically correct?! Now that would open up some interesting possibilities. But, do we even dare discuss (here at Playmofriends) what those themes might be?

Be careful! Pandora's box might be filled with a giant "can of worms" ...  ;D

Hi Richard
Whenever I'm in China I scour the toy shelves hoping to find high-quality toys of local history.  I don't even find low-quality ones.  South Korea makes a Lego knock-off set in modern military themes (mostly American weapons).  I haven't been to Japan since 2001, but its exports that hit China are mostly science fiction or Hello Kitty cute toys.

So, to take your idea into serious speculation:
===========================================
If Playmobil were a Japanese company:
Themes would go heavy on modern life.  There might be a western theme (Asians, as Europeans, seem to be intrigued by our wild west).  There might be a Sci-Fi theme, or a stronger space theme.  I bet Japanese Geobra would avoid WWII also.  I doubt they would release a samurai theme.  Kids there don't seem to be interested in the past, though a few popular mangas prove me wrong.  In the 1970s, Samurai was pretty popular, but I think that faded out. 
=====================================
A Korean company:
We'd see modern life and probably a modern army theme.  Period soap operas are very hip right now.  Maybe we'd see a cool Korean theme, like about the Admiral Sun who beat the Japanese (he had an immensely popular two year mini-series a few years back).  On the other hand, toymakers don't seem to invest heavily in the past, so a medieval Korean theme is still doubtful to me--but I haven't been back since 2002, and all I know is what I see in Chinese up-market stores).
======================================
Chinese company:
Chinese toy labels don't have the sophistication yet to produce high quality toys like PM or equivalent from Japan.  (I think the problem is that only the export market supports expensive toys, though this is changing)

But, let's pretend they did:
I think we'd see modern life for certain.  China also would not shy away from modern military.  Chinese are more "into the past" and proud of their history, so I'd put money on there being a monkey king theme or a gung-fu theme (what we call Kung-Fu here is in China a genre, that includes Taoist sorcerers, demons, and a wild-west like environ of wandering freelancers).  I say this about gung-fu and Monkey King, yet looking through the toy stores I don't even find hints--TV does the past, but not toys.
===================================
If the USA had done Playmobil, I think we'd see modern life, modern military, and possibly a knight's theme and pirate theme.  ACW and Westerns aren't terribly popular here.  I think the American company would not be as experimental or risk-taking as the Germans.
===================================

In conclusion:
I think Germany was the ideal breeding ground for Playmobil.  There is something about the Northern European imagination that you don't find anywhere else in the world except Japan.  It isn't a coincidence that Schleich, Playmobil, and Lego all come from Northern Europe.  I bristle like Richard at PM's apparent drift toward Political Correctness, but the risk-taking that inspired it to create controversial toys in the first place might be unique to Germany (or at least Hans Beck).

Offline Timotheos

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2007, 17:13:45 »
Wait a minute, Richard was just joking about politically incorrect ideas that might surface....

If South Korea or China were the creators of Playmobil, and they did an outdoor meat market, you would probably find dog or mule.  We Americans are sensitive about dog and horse meat (yet ironicly remain astounded that Hindus won't eat cows!).

I don't think you'd find wildly un-PC ideas, though, like say a prison firing squad set.  Maybe a medieval torture chamber would slip through the cracks. 

Well, OK, Richard--if China did an ACW theme, I bet you'd find a Southern Mansion complete with, uh, "involuntary labor". 

Heh, heh, an Indonesian or Saudi Playmobil with the "king and his five wives" would be hilarious.  Of course, it would hit our shores as "the king with his wife and four daughters".
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Offline EDWINMODELS

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2007, 10:40:51 »
Thought I would add my thoughts to this.

I have seen what the Japanese do to comic books and are happy to make plastic figures of the various characters. But that said Noch (a German company) do a line in N and HO scale figures for railways/railroads that you wouldn't give little Johnny for his Christmas Train Set.

I guess we could expect from China a Peoples Liberation Army figure in the green suit with cap and AK47 and propably a huge red banner which would be nice. But would they make a Chinese railroad worker from the 1800's. However Preiser (a German company) make a set in HO and G scale of a Chinese worker and a redheaded Irish Navigator.

And from my own country (UK) would we get a Beer Belied Skinhead Football Hooligan. Which Eurostar (The Channel Tunnel passanger service) are using as an advertising gimmick in Belgian

I guess what is or isn't acceptable will always differ from country to country just check out Ms Gillian Gibbons and the Teddy Bear.

Craig

Offline Richard

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2007, 13:01:35 »

Hello, Craig ...

I guess what is or isn't acceptable will always differ from country to country just check out Ms Gillian Gibbons and the Teddy Bear.

Should Playmobil quickly create a figure of the "detained" school teacher holding a Teddy Bear? And, maybe a larger set with diplomats visiting with government officials from the Sudan? Or how about an angry crowd of protesters in the streets of Khartoum? Maybe an SAS team standing by with helicopters ready to extricate Ms.Gibbons if diplomacy fails?

Interestingly, this entire scenario would be quite easy for Playmobil to make, as they have already produced ALL the figures and accessories (even the Teddy Bear).

This would certainly not be politically incorrect ... unless of course the SAS team left a lot of "collateral damage" behind as they whisked the jailed teacher off to safety! (But, that would really be up to the "children" playing with this timely theme, accurately representing "current events") ... ;)

Thanks for your comments, Craig!

All the best,
Richard





Offline Timotheos

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2007, 15:13:54 »
After reading Craig and Richard's comments, I agree and changed my mind.  Playmobil as a Japanese company (Hans Beck = Abe Hachiro!!!) might have brought the most fun / risque combinations. 

At the same time, though, if there is a Japanese children's toyline that features historical samurais, could somebody tell me?  I see a lot of fantasy figures, but few historical ones.  I went on a scavenger hunt through Tokyo and Kyoto in 2001 but only found sexy samurai warrior women and elaborate comic book characters.

In the early 80s, I collected a line of samurai plastic miniatures, but these weren't children's toys, but plastic models you cemented together and painted.

It has been my extreme disappointment not to find historical toys over there, like a Playmobil of the east. 

-Timmy

Offline Richard

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2007, 15:35:09 »


Hello, Timmy ...

After reading Craig and Richard's comments, I agree and changed my mind.  Playmobil as a Japanese company (Hans Beck = Abe Hachiro!!!) might have brought the most fun / risque combinations. 

At the same time, though, if there is a Japanese children's toyline that features historical samurais, could somebody tell me?  I see a lot of fantasy figures, but few historical ones.


A few years ago, the UK/Japanese/Hong Kong company, Dragon Models Ltd. made a group of Samurai "minis" that were exactly the same size as Playmobil. Here are some examples ...
Edit: Updated info on Dragon Models, Ltd.

please see attachments
« Last Edit: December 02, 2007, 15:48:13 by Richard »

Offline Timotheos

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2007, 16:19:38 »

Hello, Timmy ...


A few years ago, the UK/Japanese/Hong Kong company, Dragon Models Ltd. made a group of Samurai "minis" that were exactly the same size as Playmobil. Here are some examples ...
Edit: Updated info on Dragon Models, Ltd.

please see attachments

Those are interesting!

I did more searching off the web.  Unfortunately, those appear to no longer be available, but I found an odd site that sought out Asian characters or influence in toys.  Unfortunately this site provides no pictures and mainly points to fantasy, but...

http://lorenjavier.com/toychest/asian/ethnicity.html

The attached photos are what are still available from Dragon Models Ltd USA.  The girl is kind of cute. 

Offline Richard

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Re: Hansel And Gretel Playset
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2007, 16:54:26 »


Hello, Timmy ...

Those are interesting!
The attached photos are what are still available from Dragon Models Ltd USA.

The Dragon Minis were NEVER available through DM USA.  However, there were a couple of dealers selling them on the "World Wide Interweb" ...

The Dragon Minis were a very large and varied theme. A while back, I bought some WWII Dragon Minis from Legends Toys and Hobbies. (You might want to ask them what they still have in stock.)

Good luck and all the best,
Richard