As a parent you know that toys come and go – some have a teeny tiny window of appeal – maybe a week or so. Others seem to just go on. And on.
And you grow to love those ones. As a parent you come to understand and cherish the value in toys that last – that have play value beyond this particular 6mth stage in your child’s life. And as a wise old parent of 17 years I’ve come to understand that those toys are the ones which have the widest flexibility. The way a 4 yr old plays is very different to the way a 9yr old plays -= and it takes a pretty special toy to remain at the front of the toy cupboard for all that time.
There are of course a few that spring immediately to mind – and in this house it’s Playmobil that has won the day.
We actually own rather too much Playmobil. If such a thing can happen. But thankfully, Bear as a 9yr old girl plays with it entirely differently to how her two older brothers played with it (No.1 was far more of a bricks fan, if you know what I mean), which has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for New Playmobil :)
We already have more cowboys, knights, forts, castles, pirates, galleons and mediaeval village items than we could shake a stick at.
But until Bear we were woefully short on fairy woodland, girls-with-cool-hair-and-tattoos and cute deer creatures. That’s all been fixed now, obviously, but there’s always room for more. And when I saw the new animal families released in the City range, I knew I’d cracked it.
I mean, I know Playmobil is always rigid and not cuddly. But these animal families are distinctly CUTE. And as with all Playmobil, it’s all about the imaginative play – there’s no prescriptive use-it-like-this, they’ll just be how you want them to be.
Because these are all wild animals – so you’d expect them to be zoo animals in a play sense, wouldn’t you.
Obviously they’ve moved into the dolls house (except for the flamingos and swans, who apparently prefer life up on the jewellery box/hair bands shelf), and are having a fine old time. Every evening, once Skype and computer time is done for the day, there’s an enormous amount of muffled chatter and singing that goes on in there – which goes mysteriously quiet if I swing the door open and one small 9yr old face peeps up at me in mild annoyance (I’m clearly interrupting).
The thing about Playmobil sets is the detail – and they way they all work together. You can see here the Llamas are having a chat on the rug with a kitten, the meerkat and baby penguin are in conference with the baby panda, while the guinea pigs try and hustle in over on the right there.
The Pandas appear to have scared up a cupcake (which they probably stole from the Sylvanian families caravan, to be honest) whilst the Koalas are doing what Koalas do best, and are just hanging out in the tree together – with baby firmly latched on to mum whilst watching enviously while the sheep keep the penguin corralled inside the meerkat mound.
(no one seems to object to the crushed meerkat at the back, who was clearly a victim of the falling log…)
I know, it’s ALL going on. And it all changes, every day.
I love it. I love that she’s have loved this set at 4, and still loves it at 9 – and her 8yr old best friend came to play and they ignored everything else to play with the Playmobil animals in the dolls house for a solid hour.
The new Animal Family sets from Playmobil can all be found in the CITY range, and sets start at £4.99 for a family.