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Playmobil - Toys of the Eighties

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Playmobil - Toys of the Eighties


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If we mentioned LEGO it is fair to add Playmobil in this list too. It is for sure that there is almost no child of the 80s who does not know what a Playmobil is or who never played with one at least once.

The idea for the Playmobil system came to mind after the 1971, and it was developed by Hans Beck (1929 – 2009) who worked in the company Geobra Brandstätter developing model airplanes. But then the owner of the company, Horst Brandstätter, asked him to develop toy figures for children instead. It took him three years to develop the famous 7.5 cm tall figures and different scenarios for them. Earlier figures had arms of one piece without hands rotation, but later they added that too.

The initial idea was to build vehicles that would be accompanied by very basic action figures, secondary to the vehicles in importance and were only meant to be static add-ons to the vehicles. But later Hans Beck's focused more on the figures instead. The figures were designed to be ideal for a children's hand, and in such a way that the scenarios constructed around them would still fit into a children's room.

Finally the Playmobils were introduced at the International Nürnberg Toy Fair in 1974 and in 1975 it began to be sold worldwide. The first sets were themed on Native Americans, construction workers and knights. At the beginning the figures were called colloquially Klickies due to the typical clicking sound a figure makes when it is handled during play, but later in the eighties the term was discontinued. During the 80s and the 90s this toyline became famous to the point that no child did not have at least one small set.

Its success was big, despite being expensive and for some reason became the biggest competitor to LEGO. Their marketing system was similar and they were always put next to each other in toystores. The Playmobil toys are usually realistic, and present accurate representations of arms, armor, costumes, and tools from a recognizable time period.

Though it is less popular in the American continent, it still sells well. But nothing compared to the popularity it reached during the eighties when children of that generation, could still have a nice time without the need of a screen and a console or computer to have fun,despite lots of them already had their Colecos, Ataris or Commodore 64s.

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