Playmobil Funpark, Zirndorf
Playmobil´s first theme park is situated very close to Erlangen, so when we were staying there for the Comicsalon 2008, we sagged off for a few hours and went over to have a look.
The night before, in our hotel room, KB excitedly studied the current catalogue in anticipation.
The entrance with the castle. Now why, why, why do I have to think of this:
Ah, the excitement! Pirate Ship, Treehouse, Jungle Adventures, Castle, Wild West... and LAUNDRY DRYER?!? O_O
At the Dragon Castle.
KB´s dress fits the occasion. I made it from a Playmobil kids' sock that was issued some years ago. It came with a Princess in a yellow gown. As a dress, it has some kind of 70s look that suits Blythe quite well.
Guard: "Sire! Sire! I´ve caught an intruder!"
Guard: "...and that´s how we deal with intruders here! Intruders and bad court jesters." KB: "Too bad, though, if your intruder is too small to be held by your chains..."
Making a quick escape by ship...
KB: "Avast, me mateys! Arr!"
KB: "...but why is all the rum gone?!"
Thrown in the bilge for firing at random passers-by.
KB: "A treasure map! Now that's more like it!"
KB: "I'm a Travel Blythe, not bleedin´Rope Dancer Barbie!"
Making friends with the natives.
KB:"... now I know why there´s no paper left on the toilet.."
The Temple of Doom... no treasure, only infernal noise.
KB: "Howdy Pardnerrs!"
KB: "Dynamite!! Just what I´ve always wanted!! Now I can blow up that stupid no-treasure-containing temple and those idiots who threw me in the bilge..."
Unfortunately, Playmobil has a guardian dragon to make sure nobody blows anything up... KB: "EEEEEEKKKK!!!! HELPMEEEEEE!!!!"
Lunch from Playmobil dishes. Yummy! We took the kids' menu because that comes with a free Playmobil figure. We even got a rare one! Woo hoo!
KB: "I... I see... I see PIIIIINNNNKKKK!!!"
KB: "A doctor! Quick! I´ve caught the Pink Plague!"
(But imagine how awesome that Pavilion would look like repainted in grey and red with a couple lifesize vampires... drool... )
KB: "What a haul! What a haul! Heeheeheee..."
It seems like she got some treasure after all... :-)
Well... to be honest: The Fun Park does not really offer too much for adults, even when they are Playmobil collectors. Granted, there´s the shop with a wide selection of bits and pieces you can otherwise only get in specialist shops or by mail-order, and they have a few nice displays there, too; but they are more or less the usual store displays of the current stuff that you can see in most bigger stores with a toy section.
It is a nice experience to be able to walk around life-size Playmobil settings, especially if you remember some of them from your own childhood. But that´s really pretty much all you can do: The Fun Park is basically a big adventure playground designed for children. And for children, it´s really great - boy, would we have loved a place like that back then! Even the dryer sign did make sense after taking a walk around - there´s plenty of opportunity for a kid to get wet.
But there´s not really anything else besides that playground, which I feel is really a missed opportunity. Legoland, which is also designed with children foremost in mind, at least offers plenty of miniature scenes built from Lego that are fascinating and entertaining for all ages to look at.
Granted, the entrance fee to Legoland is higher (well, it also offers rides). But I still feel that Playmobil could offer more that appeals not only, but also to the adults coming here with their children. I would have loved an exhibition or two, for example on the history of Playmobil, on how it is produced, maybe displays of past sets and products (so the parents who come here with their children could show them the sets they remember from their own past). Why not show some prototypes and let visitors vote for their favorite, why not show some samples of upcoming releases - especially when they have already been announced in the catalog and have been on display at Nuremberg Toy Fair. Or how about displays made by collectors and customizers - I´m sure many would be proud to lend their creations to the Fun Park for some time and little to no fee. These things amaze and entertain, but most of all inspire and give the visitors an itch to customize, play and display themselves (which in turn translates into: buy Playmobil). I can see that every time we go to a Playmobil related event.
There´s so much that could be done with comparatively little effort and cost. It worked for the traveling exhibition on Playmobil (where has that stuff ended up, anyway?) - I´m sure it would work for the Fun Park. As it is now, we had a nice day (well, half a day) and don´t regret coming to see it, but we don´t really feel the need to come again soon.
KB found a tiny Playmobil comic at the Comicsalon. Yaaay!!!
KB presenting her Playmobil collector´s room at the Playmobil Fair, Herne
She customizes, too!
Playmobil Fair, Herne - June 14, 2008
1900 Diorama by Wichtelfrau
Crusaders by Westlaird