Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New 2-Packs at Target, Toys "R" Us

As reported previously, there were expected to be four new 2-packs sold at Toys "R" Us and Target stores. Well, now we can say that they're definitely showing up to both. Toys "R" Us typically charges $3.99 per set, while Target is asking $2.99. As these are shipping in assortments, if your store is drowning in old product, it might be a while before you see them. It appears the merfolk are shipping with the Romans and the Knights are shipping with the pirates.

These sets are:
5818 Knights (Sir Polka Dot & Sentry specials)
5819 Pirates (Pirate with Skull [sans skull] and purple pirate)
5823 Mermaids (Mermaid & Sea King specials)
5824 Roman Gladiators (from the Arena)

So if you live in the USA, it might be worth your while to watch for these at retail before paying on eBay. If you live outside the USA, it's probably a good time to call in a favor with your American trading buddies. Happy hunting!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More New Specials/Pals at Target

It's restock o'clock at Target in Burbank, CA! We found a couple of these out in Simi Valley over the weekend, and now we found all six in a single location. Since Playmobil typically releases new assortments in batches of 6 (new, old, or a mix) this is probably going to be all you see until Summer or Fall.

The 6 new releases you may see on your next trip to Target include:
4637 Surfer*
4645 Unicorn Princess
4646 Knight
4650 Ghost
4653 Gladiator
4654 Angry Pirate

It's worth noting that this is a reissue of the Surfer into the US mass market Pals assortment. It was previously released in different packaging around January of 2006. You can tell that it's the new one because the 2008 release does not have the name "Surfer" on the box and the 2006 release does.

The other five releases are new to this style of assortment in the US mass market. We snagged the 4654 Angry Pirate.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

5835 Sea Life Show Packaged Pics

While there have been no confirmed USA brick-and-mortar sightings (or any at all other than Toys "R" Us' web site we are happy to report that some guy named "segaslash" is selling the 5835 Sea Life Show on eBay. Apparently, it's a Super Set (at least in terms of packaging) and you can see it here. It also shows the back of the box, which shows the first (and probably only so far) baby white seal, a unique rockies formation, an exclusive sign, and some other new-to-this-set components.

Have you seen this set in the wild? Let us know!

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Target Gets New Specials (or Pals)

According to our research via eBay and various forums, it appears Target is currently getting in two new assortments of Specials/Pals with new (or newly repackaged) figures. One of them has the 4646 Knight and 4650 Ghost (shown below) as well as the 4645 Unicorn Princess (which we didn't get.) Each is $1.99.

Also shipping-- but we haven't seen them yet-- are the 4654 Angry Pirate and 4653 Gladiator. We'll have more as we find it, but feel free to leave a comment with what you're seeing!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday Morning Spot Check: February 2008

Because it's a good thing to do if you collect toys, we hit up the Tuesday Morning stores in our general area. Was it worth it? Yes. All items there are on some degree of closeout pricing, be it a few cents or several dollars cheaper than you may have seen them at your favorite toy stores.

While quite spotty, we actually managed to score some good stuff there today. We don't advise you hit up every last one (unless you've got time/gas to kill) but if there is one in your area, consider hunting some. Your mileage may vary, but here's some of what we found. (In hindsight, we should've written more down.)

3193 Baby Dino Egg $6.99 (rang up $4.99)
3260 Construction Office $11.99 (rang up $9.99)
4402 Bank $9.99 (rang up $7.99)
4421 Off Roader $29.99 (rang up $24.99)
4637 Surfer $1.49 (didn't buy)

There were additional construction sets as well, but most items were ones and twos-- there wasn't a notable amount of stock.

We're also not sure why we picked up 4421. The sign seems like a good reason given that it points to Rabat, Marrakesch, and Casablanca, which makes it seem much cooler than it probably is. We'll know for sure as we crack 'em open.

Labels: , ,

New US Mass Market Pirate Ship 5810

Well, it's new-ish. Set 5810, the latest Pirate Corsair, is hitting Toys "R" Us stores around the USA for about $29.99. It's similar to another ship in another set, but it has white flags, different figures, and a totally different crew-- made of figures you might recognize from elsewhere.

Labels: , , ,

Mass Market Skate Set (plus box error)

Last night we went over to Toys "R" Us and spotted some new mass market sets right here in Los Angeles. One of the ones we hadn't seen previously was the Skate Park, seen in the thumbnail here. What's interesting, though, is the top of the box-- it showcases a female skater that doesn't appear in the set. Interesting, no? Perhaps she'll appear in another configuration shortly, but hey, there's an oddity. The set is $9.99, or so says the shelf.

Still no sign of the diver sets that are supposedly showing up in my neck of the woods but some are showing up on eBay. Happy hunting!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Skating Theme Dropped

One nugget I forgot to mention from Toy Fair-- the Skating sets have been dropped. They don't appear in the 2008 US catalog and they're being phased out. If you haven't yet got yours, you best start looking.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New York Toy Fair 2008 in a Nutshell

Right now, I'm reporting to you from the hotel lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Times Square. The wi-fi here is free, but in the room, it's ten bucks. It doesn't make any sense, and technologically speaking, I can't fathom how they block it in there like this. But they did, so I'm here seated facing an elevator.

WARNING/GUARANTEE: I did not take pictures of the showroom area as there was nothing to see that was not already online in their catalog. If you want pictures of their Toy Fair setup, they aren't in this post.

Well, today I got to go see a close-up look at the Playmobil booth at the Toy Fair in New York City. The good news is that the USA lineup for the year is looking fairly strong. The bad news is that there seem to be zero surprises. All the Specials were revealed a few weeks ago, there's no holiday surprises shown (at least, none I could see-- no eggs or pumpkins), so it wasn't what you might call a revealing experience. If you picked up the 2008 Playmobil Catalog, it's pretty much the same as being at the Toy Fair booth. As an informed fan, it isn't as exciting, but it was really cool to see the stuff up close.

The most impressive unreleased items were the giant 4290 Large Pirate Ship and 4230 Circus Tent sets. The tent was enormous-- huge. The pictures you may have seen really do a poor job of illustrating the fact that you could probably hide a cat or two inside this thing. I wasn't a huge fan of the theme initially, but I must say this is a toy that really does aim to please. It features LEDs in the interior which add a lot to the wowie-zowie factor, plus there's ample seating for many a collector's or spoiled child's collection.

The Large Pirate Ship was indeed large. It was packed with features and so sizable you can't help but look at it and wish you had the room for it. The 4291 Giant Octopus set was also very impressive, although it doesn't look it in print. The creature is easily twice as big as the previous release, and it's a hard plastic and not rubbery like the green or color changing versions. In short, if you think you might want one, allow me to assure you that you do. It's quite nice and we'll be getting it for the site.

While the fairies aren't our thang, we did dig the whole Water Zoo and the new pirates Advent Calendar too. The new specials are good, the limited edition recycling truck looked very nice, and the city additions were great. It's a good year to be a fan, and next year should be great too.

If time permits I'll see if I can snap a picture or two of the booth so you can get an idea of what it was. If you really wish you were there just for this line, there isn't a lot new to see, but it is turning out to be a pretty great show with the showings from Diamond Select, Mega Brands, LEGO, Hasbro, Mattel, Quantum Mechanix, and other companies I've met with. I'm a happy camper.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Greetings From New York!

Hi Playmofans! I'm writing to you from the lobby of my hotel in New York City. I'm here for Toy Fair 2008, which means I should be able to snag a few good toy scoops to share with you here, on, and on Galactic Hunter.

My meetings haven't started yet, but I have visited the giant FAO Schwarz and the Times Square Toys "R" Us. Why do you care?

The new Playmobil figure 2-packs (the knights, mermaids, pirates, and Romans) were all there and in very limited supply at Toys "R" Us. I snagged the last pack of Mermaids, and it was about $4.50 before tax. I didn't see any of the new divers which seem to be hitting as of yet, so I'll be keeping my eye out for those elsewhere. Most of the selection at Toys "R" Us was stuff you've seen before, so I won't spend too much time there.

FAO had a huge Playmobil section with lots of neat stuff. I took a bunch of photos and saw that they had the entire Water Zoo theme available, as well as the dinosaurs and some other newish sets. The guy in the department was sure to let me know he expected the circus to be in stock very, very soon, which was surprising. Either way, it was neat, and I'll post my exploits there later.

More as I have it! We just started so odds are there arne't too many (or any) of you reading just yet, but I will update as best I can as news becomes available over the coming week.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Idee & Spiel 2008 Train

And over on Klickywelt, user Playmo-family posted pictures and information on a new train that's listed as an Idee & Spiel Exclusive. Apparently, it's really big, really expensive, and pretty nifty. Most German store exclusives rarely if ever make it to the USA, so if you want this one you should probably start calling in some favors. Click through to check it out! (Forum registration may be required.)

Labels: ,

Third New Blister 2-Pack Spotted

Over on the Playmofriends forums, user playmogirl has posted a shot of a previously unseen set she found at Toys "R" Us. Set 5818 contains two previously released specials: Sir Polka Dot and Sentry, both of which are slightly older and slightly harder to find sets these days. This may mean even more await you in the wilds of retail, and we'll keep you posted as we see more if we see more.

It's also worth noting that "Sir Polka Dot" was issued in Pals packaging in the USA a few years ago, but under the name "Battle Knight." Both sets were numbered 4567, although the Pals set has the distinction of actually having had the name "Battle Knight" written on its box.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, February 11, 2008

German Toy Fair Promotional Egypt Figure

German fans may be interested to know that, apparently, they're giving away an Egyptian figure early in Germany! Granted, there's about zero chance you're going to the show, but if you did you might see this new figure as seen on the Klickywelt forums. (Yes, they're in German.) It appears that the figure has nifty arms, a place to attach an accessory to his belt, and a lot of gold paint.

Labels: ,

Divers Set 5834 (4500) Confirmed Sighted

Over at the Laughing Giraffe Forums, user Tiermann (who runs Animobil) has found the shark diver set! Called Shark with Diver and labeled as set 5834 for the US mass market, this item was originally scheduled to show up in Germany later this year. But he found it a Fred Meyer, a grocery store chain with a decent toy department, just last week. Click through for lots of pictures and comments on his forum posting!

This set sports a nifty floating cage, a slick diver, a repainted shark, and yet another release of the orange eel. Which I think will make three of them for me when I find this cage set.

Labels: , , , ,

New USA Playmobil 2-Packs for 2008?

Good news! Apparently the (mostly) exclusive to Target and Toys "R" Us Playmobil figure two-packs did well enough to warrant additional items to be released in the assortments. So far, Playmobil has released a Policeman & Criminal set, a Roman Gladiator set, a Pirates set, and a Knights set. Each one costs about $2.99 for two figures with accessories and you can find these first four at Targets everywhere with little problem.

The news is that two more have started to pop up on eBay. I personally have yet to find these (not for any lack of searching), but here's the scoop: at least two sets are on the way. Currently, these ship in two assortments (the Gladiators & Police are in one case, the Knights & Pirates are in the other) so this looks like it could be a third assortment. Set 5824 contains two more gladiators, from the look of things these are repackaged figures from the 4270 Roman Arena. Set 5823 repackages two older, hard-to-find specials: 4545 Sea King (or Neptune), and 4557 Mermaid. It seems that for this release, the Mermaid's animal sidekicks were dropped.

Please click either image to see the completed auctions from Roger75093.

Of course, we'll post more about these as we find them in the wilds of retail. Neither is confirmed to be an exclusive, although it seems there's a very good chance they won't show up too many places other than Toys "R" Us and/or Target in the USA. As far as I know, neither of these have been announced in any official capacity and few if any sightings have been confirmed outside these appearing on eBay.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Playmoblog Tip #1: It Never Hurts to Ask!

As a fairly hard-boiled toy collector, I'm used to making vast treks from store to store in hopes of finding hard-to-find or new releases. You never know when or if you'll find what you're looking for, and in the case of Playmobil, your options are fairly limited in a lot of countries. So what's a toy hunter to do?

Call Playmobil. Over the past two weeks, I've found out that the items on or in their catalogs do not reflect their inventory. You can order a number of sets through their 1-800 number, and if you ask them, they actually have sets that you might not expect. In late January, I called to ask if they had 3191, a set that has largely been out of circulation for a year or two in most markets. It turned out that they had it, and it arrived just a couple of days ago.

So if you're agonizing over finding a set for retail price, you do have an alternative to wasting gas and driving around or overpaying on eBay. Even though it might seem obvious, calling Playmobil isn't something a lot of people do, so give it a shot next time you're in the market for a hard-to-find set!

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 7, 2008

US 2009/Germany 2008 Diver Sets Out in USA?

A number of the still-not-released-in-Germany diver sets are on the US Toys "R" Us Web site and are being listed for sale, and in stock too. What's more, one of the sets listed has yet to appear in any German, American, or other catalog. Of note in this new set are some newly colored rockies, a small white seal (previously released in grey), and a nifty hat on the trainer. A new yellow submarine, presumably one we could all live in, is also shown as well as the 4500 Shark Cage Diver.

As of yet we haven't seen any of these in the wilds of retail.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

2008 German Catalog Now Online

The official Playmobil site has published a digital version of the 2008 Germany Playmobil Catalog. It's in some proprietary format which does not lend itself to downloading, but you can zoom in and flip through the pages, just like the US one we mentioned earlier.

The bulk of the new sets shown in this catalog will not hit the USA until 2009, with a few exceptions. You can expect to see the "Specials" range around the same time they hit Germany, give or take, but everything else should be coming next year. New themes include Divers, Egypt, a new Police Station, and a new Modern House.

Labels: ,

Review: Set 3170 Dino Discovery Team

Our parent site updates today with a look at the slightly older, but still excellent, Playmobil Set 3170. The Dino Discovery Team (or Dinosaur Discovery) includes two figures, a play environment, one of Playmobil's first-ever dinosaur toys, and a couple of guys dressed for an Arctic chill. Click through to see what they thought of it!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 3, 2008

2008 US Sets Hitting Now

During a toy run through Encino, CA today we found out that local store Gregory's Toys received a number of the new 2008 sets. The new releases included all seven new Dinosaurs sets and two of the new Fairy sets, which according to the new catalog are not due to be available for sale until March.

We picked up 4174 Spinosaurus and we'll be posting impressions and possibly a review in the coming days/weeks.

Also notable was the new 2008 Catalog because it featured the new add-on catalog. A number of old sets made a return, many of which were also marked down a few dollars. While we wouldn't say anything knocked our socks off, fans of Playmobil should, as always, pick up a copy and peruse it just in case.

Labels: , ,

4076 Dinosaur Series Multipack

As Star Wars and other action figure collectors know, nifty multi-packs or "playpacks" are often sold in Europe which consist of a number of toys in a big, lavish box. Playmobil Set 4076 is a fine example of this, as (so far as we can tell) it hasn't been offered in any English-speaking nations. The packaging is the collectible here, and you'll find sets 3170, 3191, and 3193 all in one big box.

We're not quite sure what the deal with it is. Is this an exclusive? Was this a reissue? When did it come out? Was this widely available in Europe and being the Ugly Americans we are, we just don't know any better? No idea. But there you have it-- it's a unique set which collects nearly half of the entire frozen Dinosaur collection, and has all three sets which include non-skeletal creatures.

Click on the image to check out the item on German eBay. It will bring up all Playmobil 4076 products that are presently active, so there may or may not be anything to see when you click the link.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, February 2, 2008

2008 US Catalog Now Online

The official Playmobil site has published a digital version of the 2008 Playmobil Catalog. It's in some proprietary format which does not lend itself to downloading, but you can zoom in and flip through the pages.

If you're new to this toy line, it's worth noting that the bulk of products offered in the USA were previously available in Germany a year earlier. That means if you troll German eBay-- and we suggest that you do-- you'll find that a lot of these "upcoming" items are already available. This may beg the question "so where's the 2008 Germany catalog?" Well, we'll let you know as soon as we find a link to it.

Labels: ,

Welcome to Playmoblog

A few months ago, the staff of came to a startling discovery-- namely, the #2 news outlet for when you searched for Playmobil was This was unfortunate as the amount of Playmobil-specific content on the site was lacking many months out of the year due to there being no significant product news. We aim to change this. By incorporating what we learned from and what we're trying to figure out through Blogger, we aim to bring you regular news updates on the subject of Playmobil toys as best we can. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your patience as we move half-steam ahead on this new project.