There aren't a ton of middle-eastern figures in the Playmobil line, but the German toymaker cranks out a few here and there. A few years ago we got a full Egypt theme, and figures like the Palace Guard (German name "Sultanswache") expand in that region a little, but not in any particularly meaningful way. It's basically a dude in a turban with a sword which is, all things considered, actually pretty cool.
Like many figures in this line, Playmobil gets to do a lot with mostly existing parts. A little decoration on the vest and torso makes the figure look a little more exotic, and the turban is recycled from the 1980s (or perhaps earlier) with a slightly different ornament sitting in the center of the headgear.
The shield has a nifty design and to this day I can't say I'm certain which end is up. If anything, it seems reversible. The black line art makes both a sort of a happy face as well as a monstrous one, and the packaging art has it the reverse of what I showed in the photographs. So take your pick, I guess. The golden sword is pretty cool too, plus the printing on his lower legs is rather nice. Like other dark-skinned figures in this line, he has extremely white teeth and eyes. Most other figures have brown eyes and a brown smile.
I picked this one up because the sword and costume reminded me a little of the Prince of Persia game I played on the Macintosh back in the early 1990s, although admittedly it's only a few elements that match the graphical style of that game. With this portion of the world rarely getting represented as toys, it's neat to see a whimsical take on how that region was generally presented in children's stories and, to a lesser extent, show biz. It's worth about three bucks on eBay, so you can afford this one.
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