Monday, February 4, 2008

Weekends = Playmobil

What follows is more than you ever wanted to know about my obsession with playmobil toys.

This is my personal set. I think of it as a wizard’s inn/tavern/school. It is hacked with a mash of barbarian sets, bunnies, nativity, random characters and a little from here and there. My kids are trained on what to look for among their own sets and give to me.

Here is the wizard’s tower where two of the wise men are hard at work doing marvelous experiments. They created a lovely stout last month that brought the inn much fanfare all around the kingdom.

I bet you never knew what the wise men did on the off season, did you?

And here's the daycare for the patrons of the inn. The standing baby is Trouble O’Mally. He is powered by a four year old kid, speaks in a squeaky voice and pretty much trashes the joint when I am not looking.

Here is the garden. Created by Nina, the cool chick who runs the kitchen. It is tended by gnomes who bite.

Here is an air view of the kitchen and garden.

The guy sitting in the chair with a mug of coffee is Wizzy the owner of the place. Stupid name, smart wizard. I mean, he’s got a pretty good gig going and pretty much gets to hang out all day, drinking coffee and ale and visiting. Notice Joseph is the coffee guy. He doesn’t have to be, he just likes it, as he gets a kick out of serving people their morning “Joe”. Ha, get it? Yeah, I know, he has a sort of dorky sense of humor. But we like him anyways.

This is Mara the young apprentice. She runs the school where the local kids come to learn about evolution and other mystical evil stuff like that. And a little quantum physics for kicks. Simone is beside her. She is a powerful sorcerous and is married to a guy named Marcus (who can’t decide if he is High King or a Pirate.) That bugs her.

This is Marcus in pirate form. (My husband and son alternately trade castle set and pirate sets, hence his career indecisiveness.) Marcus is also under the delusion that the chick next to him is his wife, not Simone since she actually looks more like the “real” me. And he claims she lives to swab the deck. Don’t ask, he’s sick. And he is wrong since I am the Cleopatra-looking sorcerous dammit. My playmobil set. Mine.

This is Nina in the kitchen. (Yes, Nina and Simone, like the singer, but more like from the campy movie Point of No Return.) Nina dresses like a belly dancer and has a non-playmobil son named Wolfgang (hanging in the babycarrier around her neck). She found Wolfy under a rock with his brother Amadeus, but sadly Amadeus disappeared. We suspect the necromancers castle (dss’s set) has a hand in it. As he is always trying to turn the good loving citizens of the tavern to the dark-side.

As you can tell, we like really like playmobil. It is a family-wide obsession that began as a carefully planned out decision. A decision based on how much stuff we can tolerate in our small space. When dd was born she came with a lot of stuff. I mean the crib, changing table, mountains of clothes, diapers, swing, etc. were already making us feel like we lived aboard a space shuttle with all needs just an arm length away. But the toys were what almost broke us. They were everywhere.

As she got older we realized we had some control over the toys of her future (it takes awhile, but we catch on). Somehow we stumbled upon playmobil and it just felt right. We chose a theme that would work for boys and girls, castle/knights, and started to buy sets while the kids were very young. Hubby has a connection with an awesome little toyshop in a nearby town. (Hey, I don’t ask if he brings home the goods, you know?) So he’s privy to sales, discounts and discontinued stuff. Besides, most little sets aren’t too priced too steeply if you are buying them a bit at a time. We also kept family members in the loop when they wanted ideas for gifts, etc.

Our plan was to start using these things as gifts over a course of a few years as the kids got old enough. It was a good plan and we mostly stuck to it. Where we failed was we couldn’t stop giving and gave them all out over only one year. (The first round at least, we still buy some here and there but are more in control.) We didn’t wait until boy was actually old enough and he broke a couple at first. And we didn’t stick to our vow to stay with one theme. Who knew they would come out with a cool magic girl castle too? And pirates...there must be pirates. Oh, and a few vikings and barbarians, since there has to be someone to battle. But, they all still sort of worked together. Anyway, the end result is we have a lot of playmobil and not as much superfluous kid stuff. A lot of playmobil. But it works because we love it and it fits our space and lifestyle.

Yes, I do play playmobil at least once a week with my kids. Yes, they all actually know all the details I just shared about my characters. No, they don’t actually live little dramas in my head, but I sort of wish they did as that could possibly help me finish a Nanowrimo novel at least once. It is true that I don’t always join in playing as much as the others, as sometimes I like to be elbow deep in mod-podge. Or cleaning the kitchen. This all may seem strange to others, but I know you can’t please everyone. Especially since even after all the above mentioned dedication to the craft, my family accuses me of not playing playmobil enough!


Maria said...

Okay, this could seriously have me going to buy some playmobil stuff. I loved these as a kid, why haven't I re explored these?? Very cool that you are all into these!

Mommylion said...

The best thing is watching my 16yo stepson and his friends playing right along with our little ones. We never expected he would be interested since he wasn't a kid that played with toys much. But he set us straight and now has his own cool collection growing.

Be careful if you start buying some though. It is really hard to stop!