A big issue for me is that Playmobil is consistently harder to find. I score the Vampires set when visiting my pal Victoria in Atlanta during a visit to Richard's General Store, which I can best describe to you as a mom & pop take on a Kmart or Walmart. I'd frequent the place if I were nearby - it had Hasbro, Playmobil, LEGO, Mattel, greeting cards, hardware, and all sorts of stuff. If you're ever around Atlanta, do give it a whirl. (Also Criminal Records.)
I never saw this set around Phoenix or Scottsdale or Glendale or my other jaunts, so I was pleased to get it. The male Vampire would go on to appear in Play Box 5638 Haunted House [FOTD #1,354] with slightly different deco - it might just be batch variation. The vest printing is sharper on the 2-pack version, and the cape is a smidgen lighter.
What's particularly interesting about the figure is what he and his mate represent. Like LEGO, Playmobil has to do a lot to reuse parts in interesting ways. A quasi-rockabilly hairdo becomes a substitute for Dracula's generally distinctive locks, while the body and cape are completely recycled parts. The head is the same basic head we've always had, with added deco giving him "evil" eyes and a bright red mouth complete with fangs. The built-in sideburns might make you think this is the Jean-Ralphio vampire, and for the sake of argument, let's say that it is. The figure has standard Playmobil and compatibility, making it one of very few non-licensed monsters in its main line.
The other vampire manages to pull off the same trick, but in an even more clever way. She uses a standard body form - a skirt/dress leg piece has been used in countless figures, but instead of a cape she has bat wings. How did they pull this off? They recycled the shoulder armor from the flying dragon knights figures, as well as the wings - cast in a new color, they're a perfect fit. She has a tiara to match plus a glowing red goblet that really sizzles under black light. This figure is why you buy this set - the male vampire is in the aforementioned 5638 Haunted House set, but this is exclusive to this pack.
When people overseas complaint about their local toy stores not having the stuff America gets in a timely fashion, I often am a jerk who points to Playmobil doing the same thing to Americans. We're not a priority market - and toys like this which do get distributed here go through a byzantine distribution system of mom & pops which can be tough when you live in a suburban wasteland with fewer and fewer stores who do the whole "educational" or "specialty" thing. If I didn't stumble on this one thanks to a friend looking out for me when we met up on a trip, I'd probably not have it. We've seen lady vampires in the blind bag line, but not this specific one - and you'll probably want this one to go with your werewolf, mummy, and various ghosts. All we need now is a really top-notch Dracula's Castle with some armadillos. If by any chance you find this set for $10 or less, grab it without hesitation. If it costs more than that, well, I don't know how rich you are. Get it if you're so inclined.
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