Albrecht Durer Figure |
Based On Actual Historical Person
www.tourismus.nuernberg.de Playmobil Figure
Item No.: No. 6107
Includes: Easel, artwork, brush, hat, cloak, paint
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: Û2.99 (or roughly $3.99)
Availability: First sighted on eBay in October 2011
Other: Nuremberg exclusive, apparently
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If you live in Germany, you can order Albrecht Durer from the Nuremberg Tourism people for about four bucks and change. If you live in the USA? Tough. eBay. Playmobil figures of specific real-world people are pretty uncommon, save for a few ancient figures like Cleopatra and persons relating to various aspects of Christmas. There's no Abraham Lincoln or anything. There are some saints, sure, but generally you're dealing with fairly generic representations of real-world peoples or licensed characters that are similar (but not specific) to the genuine article, as seen in the blind-bagged "Fi?ures" line.
Standing a hair under 3-inches, Durer is a pretty nifty representation of the German artist. Wikipedia tells me he's a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg, which makes sense. The figure includes a self-portrait from the artist at about 26, and the figure (appropriately) matches the painting. Finding out he was 26 when he made this is sobering, as (and I swear I'm not kidding) a door to door solicitor came to my house and asked me if my mommy or daddy were home. I look forward to the day I can be mistaken for an adult, perhaps I need a swell beard like this guy.
The figure's construction is made from mostly off-the-shelf parts, although I must say I don't recognize the cloak of the top of my head-- it opens up on the side, hiding how it opens and creating a pretty nice little piece which attaches without popping off his head. (Let's see LEGO do that!) His striped hat has some great painted detail, as does his torso-- take a look at the various painted folds and other indications that this is indeed some fancy garment. The sculpt is pretty basic Playmobil stuff, but one thing I find odd is that his hair is actually a repurposed chunk of chain mail used on various knight figures. I guess it's hair-like, but it ain't hair. It's close though.
I wonder if anyone alive today is going to be discussed as a new collectible toy figure in 500 years.
Setting the figure up, I couldn't be happier. I've bought a lot of figures over the years and Playmobil's assembly is routinely painless and sensible. One of my big pet peeves with American toy companies (specifically Hasbro) is that the stickers are often too big or the wrong shape for the area indicated by the instructions. Playmobil has never given me this problem-- the sticker for the artwork is easy to place, and fits perfectly in its golden frame. It's so perfect that it pretty much makes me mad. Why can't American toy companies get the size right? Can someone tell me? Why do the Germans have to be the only ones who can get this right?
As a one-off, this is a delightful figure. Art supplies, a painting, and a swell outfit all come together nicely for a fairly-priced figure... if you live in Germany. My sample cost me about $15 delivered to the USA, which I consider to be decent. I've paid more for less. As this figure is most likely intended for older fans who visit art museums in Germany and/or their souvenir shops, I don't expect a lot of kids will be getting these nor will they be turning up in large, mixed lots down the road. As such, you may as well get it now while the getting is good, the once-steady supply of these on eBay seems to be drying up.
I won't suggest that everybody run out and buy this figure-- with 48 blind-bagged figures in the USA, quasi-Olympics sets, cavemen, and other awesome themes you really don't need to chase down weird artists from Germany. But I do. And I'm quite happy to have it, because it's just so different and it's not every day you can get a toy figure who can hold all his gear and look like he's painting. It's positively delightful, and I think this is the kind of thing I could put on my desk at work to represent my hobby and look dignified. For the record, the last time I worked in a proper office, I stuck up about 80 different Star Wars Titanium Series ships on the cube walls with push pins, so "dignity" is not something I typically strive for. Maybe I'm not the person who should be suggesting what might be classy on your desk... so carry on.
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Day 363: Playmobil www.tourismus.nuernberg.de 6107 Albrecht Durer Figure