I rolled my eyes at this one a bunch - for no reason, really. I didn't give it a fair shake - I didn't even realize that the Giant Troll with Dwarf Fighters were two dwarves at first. When it hit clearance in 2016, I realized hey - cool beards. Cool hats. Nice decoration. And I bet that dumb goofy troll would be fun. I'm happy to report that it's a solid set - especially for the $13-or-less clearance prices making the rounds now. If you didn't know you needed a Playmobil dwarf with a giant hammer, now you do.
This is one of two large trolls - or ogres, whatever - you can pick up as I write this. A purple one is sold direct to consumer in a baggie, this green one comes in the boxed set. The design is interesting, but the detail is somewhat soft. It feels like a pastiche of the fantasy creatures of 2002, with elements of Shrek and Tolkien-esque bits cobbled together to give us a larger creature that's wholly new. The universal jointed shoulders are nice, plus his head and wrists all turn too. There's no leg articulation to speak of, but the feet are hollow - this allows him to "stomp" small animals, food, money, and other things without falling over. The items are carefully hidden underfoot, which was a feature I've seen on a few other recent releases. I assume this is intentional but it could just be a cost-cutting measure.
The big guy is made of this interesting green plastic that's light and, in the face, a little soft on details. The color is a little mossy, with light and dark greens intermingling to look a bit more alive than the normal flat greens we see in other toys. Its teeth and eyes are painted, but little else is decorated. The vest is a separately molded piece, and the optional manacles are a nice touch complete with plastic chain links. Each one has a grip so the dwarves can hold on for dear life.
Playmobil's attention to detail in engineering reveals itself with the troll's fists. Each one is big enough to hold the giant spiked club weapon, but the hands also have a tiny indentation that's just the right size to hold a standard Playmobil accessory like a sword of an axe. They really did think of everything. While I thought I had no real use for a big ol' troll, I will say that I was impressed by what it can do.
The dwarves are simpler, but good. Each one has nifty "short legs" you'll only see on other trolls as far as I know, but most of the other elements are pretty familiar. Clip-in wrist armor, a loop to store a dagger, and super swell beards make them a lot of fun. The one on the left is one of my favorite Playmobil figures I've seen in the last year, which is no small order. I love the green shirt, the orange sleeves, the brown boots, and the pointed grey beard. Even better - the giant bronze hammer. It's a little flexible, and it looks superb. I don't have another giant hammer, so this distinctive accessory arguably made the set worth purchasing in and of itself. This is a tip-top dwarf.
Joining him is a good - but not as good - companion. The clip-on chest armor fits under the Jack Sparrow-esque beard, but the shoulder armor is built-in to the design. Clip-on gold wrist armor looks nice, as does the two-hued designer axe. I love the unique boots, and the coloring works really well. The figure even has a scarred face, although the helmet and beard obscure this detail pretty handily. It's a perfectly nice figure, but it doesn't exactly impress in the same way as his companions.
Fantasy and swords aren't my go-to toys, with few exceptions. Normally I don't like castle toys, but this one was nifty enough to warrant a (discounted) purchase. I may never play with the troll again, but that dwarf is going to be a favorite for the rest of my life. It's simple, it's colorful, and I wish I had a hobbit or three to go with it. If you see this set on the cheap, do yourself a favor and make the purchase.
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