Between now and Christmas I plan to write a bunch of product reviews – all from a grandmother’s perspective. This year I attended three major Toy exhibition events – the huge New York Toy Fair and two A Time to Play showcases. I saw so many toys my head was spinning and now I have a backlog of things to write about. I’ll be featuring toys from large and small companies – classics and new favorites, so check back often to see the latest. Most reviews will be focused on younger children but not all. Here’s my first “holiday review.”
I can remember the Playmobil sets that my children had – high quality, colorful plastic pieces that featured themes with people figures and background set that encouraged “sustained” imaginative play. They are the same wonderful products today and even better. The sets are more elaborate but they have the same trademark appearance and “mobile” pieces and the pieces have been upgraded. The only problem I had in writing this article was choosing which ones to feature. Here are two of my favorites.
This set is about taking care of safari animals in a wildlife care station. There are two figures, leopard and cubs, baby rhinoceros, giraffe, and zebra, the wildlife station and lots of accessories. There are other individual small sets you can buy to supplement this set including lions, hyenas, monkey, ranger vehicle and more..
This set was named one of the top 20 toys of the year by Good Housekeeping magazine.
This is one of Playmobil’s most extensive sets and includes a whole school building with functioning bell, furnished classroom, science room, art and music room, nine people figures, and many other accessories. You can even write on the chalkboard. There are also small complementary sets with this theme that you can add on including a cafeteria, gym, workshop and crossing guard.
Even if a child has been in pre-school this is a great toy to play with and prepare for the large school experience.
These high quality toys can seem pricey but they are a good value when you consider the quality, durability, educational and play value. The parts of various sets are also interchangeable and children can use their imagination to combine the sets in creative play. There are actually over 650 Playmobil figures! This is the kind of toy that goes to the attic to be passed onto future generations rather than into the garbage. Hmmm…maybe you should look up there…you may have some vintage pieces. And if you are concerned about toys made in China or parts of the world with questionable quality control – here is an important fact for you. They are produced in Germany in a huge state of the art manufacturing facility.
Playmobil products are the recipients of many awards and Top 10 features including from Toy R Us and The Today Show. One of the awards that impresses me the most is The National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. The National Parenting Center is one of the industry’s most trusted sources of expert parenting advice and product evaluation. Both of these sets have received their prestigious Seal of Approval.
You can order both of these sets and the complementary ones from Amazon by clicking the links below:
Check back soon for reviews all week long.
I am a huge Playmobil fan, but those buying the sets need to be aware that they do not come put together. Putting together a large playset is very similar to assembling a giant Lego toy.
My 8-year-old grandson is my lifesaver when it comes to putting together toys. When I bought one of the Playmobil zoo sets for my granddaughter, he did almost all of the assembly. It took him around two hours.
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