The Pianist was a scarce set originally sold nearly 27 years ago, but thanks to the newly-defuncted Playmobil Collectors Club it got resurrected. Fan demand and voting let Playmobil bring it back - and that's awesome. Even more awesome, a few minor changes were made to the set so people with the original can still keep their sense of superiority that they had it first, and theirs is slightly better. This one is cheaper, so I think we're all winners here.
As with other blind-bagged figures, assembly is required and it's simple. You know the drill.
The changes are (at least) as follows: the make of the Piano was left off. The sheet music is changed. The rug is missing. There may be more changes, but as I sadly never owned the original I am not completely sure.
The set feels like they took two members of Spinal Tap and made them as figures - David St. Hubbins is the bust, and Derek Smalls the piano player. With their hair and mustaches, I can't help but see them as members of that completely real group. The pianist's mustache helps a bit, although I suppose he'd need mutton chops but nothing can be perfect. The old-school body has clip-on shirt cuffs, lapels, and snap-on spats - we don't see these on modern figures. Articulation is normal and the figure is largely unpainted, save for the mustache. Everything else is molded. The bust is completely molded in color, with a jointed head.
The main event is the piano - it's an upright, not a grand, and it was part of the Victorian dollhouse theme that ran for years in charming little pink boxes. That sub-line focused on the tremendous and mundane, with fishmongers, kiosks, and hobos among the dozens of sets. There were even old cars - and numerous sets to outfit the giant mansion set which became the centerpiece of the line. The piano is one of the best pieces of furniture in the line. The keys move a little bit as one big piece. The cover folds up. There are non-moving pedals, candle holders, and a stool - there's a separate music stand and sheet music, too. There's also a little table for some reason, and a bust for the piano or said table. It's a pretty complete little environment and a welcome reissue of a cool older piece.
Because it's Playmobil, all the pieces fit perfectly. Every accessory fits in place, every functional part works as advertised. Duds are exceedingly scarce in this line, so if you're putting together a house or a collection of cool pieces, this is pretty essential. I don't know how long they will keep these in circulation, but at $12 you may as well get one next time you place an order somewhere. I got mine from work at Entertainment Earth, so I can assure you it's a good item.
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