Item No.: No. 4683 Manufacturer:Playmobil Includes:Hat, dagger, sword, spear, feathers, etc. Action Feature:n/a Retail:$2.99-$3.99 Availability: 2010 Other: Another Mongol was released with a horse in an Easter Egg
One of the really exciting things in the Playmobil Specials range were their decision to test new themes before a full line is developed. The other interesting thing? Oddball one-offs like the Mongol Warrior, of which only two figures exist-- this one, and an Easter Egg with a horse. (Because when you think "Easter" you think "Mongol.") This Specials version of the figure uses the same Playmobil construction you've come to love since 1974, adds some new gear, and gives you a nifty historical figure that you generally only see out of Germany.
A distinctive element on the Playmobil figures has been the decision to use a dual-injection molding technique to construct the faces. On most figures, the brown mouth and eyes are actually brown plastic, surrounded by fleshy plastic, rather than separately painted elements. When Playmobil does "Asian" figures, they used to change the mold to better fit that distinctive eye shape (which is odd to do, but whatever.) A few years ago, Playmobil ceased molding the distinctive eye shape into the heads for Asian figures and instead opted to just paint them-- that's how they made this figure. (Odds are most of you would never notice, unless you look really closely to the eyes. It's even hard to photograph, although you can see it in the close-up of the figure's torso below.)
Most Playmobil figures are essentially repaints with new gear, or clever repaints with old gear. The Mongol mixes tons of new and old parts, giving you a unique figure that manages to do a good job recycling the same tooling for the umpteenth time. The hats were used on old Castle-themed sets, the body has been used numerous times, and the swords and daggers are another reuse. The unique blue uniform is new, but the moustache is very similar if not identical to the Ninja. For fans looking for something special, take special note of the red and yellow section at the center of his torso. The level of detail here is much higher than on the rest of the figure, and most of the rest of the line. The red and yellow pattern looks pretty fantastic, and is another in a series of high marks in the line's deco.
If you're in need of a Mongol army to pillage and destroy and all that jazz, congratulations! You can start here. It's unlikely an entire theme will be built around this one figure, not just because of the content but Playmobil has largely avoided doing Asia-specific themes over the years. Germany is just getting its first Samurai special figure this year, an Asian prince came out over a decade ago, and the ninja is... well, not as ninja-ey as you might like. If you enjoy picking up Asian-influenced Playmobil figures, you should go ahead and get this one as he'll bring the collection to a total of about five or six figures. (And to think, if the Chinese Railroad Workers ended up seeing production, we might have doubled that.) It's a clever-- and bizarre-- choice of figure for a children's line, which is why I had to pick it up.
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