Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Mass Market US Sets Hit eBay Target

So far, four sets have appeared which mix existing parts into pleasing ways. We have not yet spotted these in the wild, but odds are they're hitting Targets. Here are some links to auctions showing the images which, if you're too far in the future, will be long dead.

5897: Orca Whale Watching - Orca, boat, figure, similar to a set sold about 14 years ago
5898: Alaska Set - SUV, moose. Gotta get a moose.
5884: Deluxe Mermaids Blister Pack - Mermaid (adult), Mermaid (girl), big seahorse, little seahorse, clam, etc.
5888: Deluxe Knights Blister - Horse, weapon rack, knights, weapons, helmets, the works

Happy Hunting, and Happy New Year! UPDATE DECEMBER 31 2009: The large blisters showed up at a Los Angeles-area Target for $5.99. The large moose set was $19.99. No sign of the Orca at press time. UPDATE JANUARY 1 2010: The 5897 Orca set was spotted by us at a Target around Oxnard, CA. $9.99, cheep.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009 Free Shipping Offer (US)

Playmobil USA is offering free shipping on orders of $75 or more through October 31, 2009. Unfortunately there aren't many new sets to exploit this, but hey, Egypt. Specials. (But no Africa yet, dagnabbit.)

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Target Toys "R" Us Playmobil Sales This Week

At Target: The Knights 5864 Roleplay Shield is on sale for $20, normally $29.99, through Saturday. In addition to this, almost the entire Playmobil section is also about 10% off. The good news is you can save some scratch on new items, the bad news is that 10% off a $2.99 blister is probably not doing anybody any favors.

At Toys "R" Us: Save 20% on select items. Specifically, items from the Nautical Expedition line and the Vet office theme. Good stuff, if you haven't yet got it, we suggest the whale.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Vikings, Pirates Blisters Found

USA residents: your local Target stores may have two new sets for you to pick up at a mere $2.99 a hit.

5802 Pirates (seemingly inspired by but different from existing figures)
5848 Viking Warriors (seemingly recycled from existing sets)

Happy hunting!

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Toys "R" Us Sale This Week

It seems we have a consistent source of goings-on in American Playmobil collecting, don't we?

This week (through Saturday closing), Toys "R" Us stores are selling Playmobil Castle/Knights and Pirates/Ghost Pirates for buy-one-get-one-half-price. As many new sets were recently released, this may be a great opportunity to get some what skeletons and derelict ships. Happy hunting!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yet More New Sets at Toys "R" US (USA)

Apparently the reset a few weeks ago with the Egypt series and the Ghost Pirates was just the tip of the iceberg-- more new sets are hitting your local Toys "R" Us stores! Assuming you live in the USA, that is. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Vet Blister Packs 5821 and 5822 (previously seen on eBay)
  • Log Cabin 5918 (reissue of 3826, may have slight modifications), $39.99
  • Fairy Tale Castle 5873, $29.99. A Unicorn Playset ($19.99) and a Carriage ($9.99) were also available.

    Other new sets are expected, so happy hunting!

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  • Saturday, August 29, 2009

    New Playmobil Hits Toys "R" Us... in the USA

    USA fans, check your local Toys "R" Us for some new themes. The holiday reset is starting now with a very healthy selection of Ghost Pirate and Ancient Egypt themed sets. You'll find the Whale Skeleton for about $30, the Pyramid, the Sphinx, and other sets starting at about $10. We're still researching what's out there, so if you're out and about this weekend see what you can find!

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    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    New Playmobil Blister Packs Appearing - Vets Galore!

    While previously the domain of 2-figure sets, new blisters are appearing on eBay. 5821 Vet with Dog features... a male vet with a dog. 5822 Vet with Cats includes a lady vet with a bunch of cats on some sort of cat condo thing.

    These have not shown up yet but we're expecting them at US big box retailers-- specifically Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys "R" Us. We'll let you know when they show up!

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    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Playmobil Sellers: Small Wonders

    Name: Small Wonders
    Focus: Lots of plush, a little bit of LEGO, dolls, BRIO, etc.
    Selection: Lots of specials, numerous retired sets dating back to as far as 1995. Massive wall of product will require you to be tall or be driven by someone who is.
    Prices: On par with or slightly above Playmobil direct service
    Location: 550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 135
    Promenade on the Peninsula
    Rolling Hills Estates, California 90274

    I haven't seen a store that had Playmobil sets with the "RETIRED" sticker slapped on them in ages, so seeing tons of them in Small Wonders really made my day. Not only is there a pretty great selection of new and recent sets, but the wall o' product has so much blue it'll make you tickled pink. Sorry, that sucked. There's a small amount of pink boxes there too, for those who like the dollhouse line.

    I was particularly pleased to see tons of very large sets in addition to a vast quantity of specials and single-figure packs. 2002 sets were present, namely the zoo, and a ton of animal packs were also up for grabs. This is easily one of the best selections I've seen here in Southern California in a while, excepting Puzzle Zoo, particularly because the prices weren't terrible either.

    For the record, I picked up a 4667 Magician Special set. Which ain't bad if you decide you need something with a rabbit, top hat, and a magic wand.

    [ Small Wonders web site ]

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    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    Playmobil Sellers: Toy Crazy in Malibu

    Name: Toy Crazy
    Focus: Typical indie toy store-- Breyer horses, plastic dinosaurs, and an extremely limited quantity of normal mass-market toys from Hasbro and Mattel.
    Selection: Extremely current Playmobil, few or no retired sets.
    Prices: On par with or slightly above Playmobil direct service
    Location: 23410 Civic Center Way
    Malibu, CA 90265

    If you're looking for a nice place close to the beach, they don't come much better than Malibu's Toy Crazy, a boutique with a lot of space, a lot of glass cases, and not much in the Playmobil department. I called them after checking their web site to see if they had a big selection or just a few things, and was told it was a pretty massive selection. It wasn't. Sure, they had a Zoo, a lot of the Nautical Expedition and Dinosaurs sets, and a basked mixed of about 3 specials, but this and a few random sets didn't really impress me in the way some other stores might.

    It's well worth a stop if you're in the area, and it's not too far from Puzzle Zoo, which I also visited during this particular toy run.

    For the record, I picked up a 4478 One-Man Submarine here for $16, roughly the going rate.

    [ Toy Crazy web site ]

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    Monday, June 8, 2009

    Before we were interrupted...

    For some reason we've been having an extreme problem updating for many months. Files simply would not go up. And now? Well, it's working. As such, if you're finding us, please take our sincerest apologies for the gap in coverage and expect more news stuffs very shortly.

    Since the last time we updated, Toys "R" Us has put the bulk of its Dinosaurs line on clearance, Target has essentially phased out Playmobil almost entirely, Wal-Mart seems to be making up its mind, and Kmart has picked it up and seems to be giving it decent support.

    We'll have more fun shortly.

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    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    More New Playmobil Castle (or Knights) at Target

    Tonight's journeys yielded not one, but two new Playmobil sets with knights in them. As part of the new (and seemingly US exclusive) winged knights and dragons theme, this new assortment was spotted at Target for $9.99 a pop.

    5836 Green Knight and Cannon
    5832 Dragon Wing Knight and Fire Catapult

    The Green Knight and Cannon looks more or less like a standard entry in any of the swords-and-sorcery sets. The Dragon Wing Knight is uniquely new, and it has a really slick catapult that, as you may have guessed, launches little plastic balls of fire. I think these are new to this set. Each has a couple of figures and a smattering of accessories, making it a fairly decent deal for the price. They certainly aren't stunning values or what we'd consider a must-buy set, but you're likely to get your fun out of them.

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    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    New Playmobil Specials/Mass Market Twin Packs at USA Wal-Mart

    Over on Playmoboard is a thread showcasing four new twin packs of Playmobil figures which, it seems, are showing up at Wal-Mart. As the first products to hit the mega retailer in years (or possibly ever), it's pretty big news.

    The sets are:
    5825 Crusaders
    5826 Pirates
    5827 Romans
    5828 Knights

    All seem to be previously released figures with minimal changes. Happy hunting!

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    Saturday, August 9, 2008

    New Mass Market Playmobil Sets Arriving

    We're spotting numerous new sets around town these days, and here are two new releases you can watch out for.

    4774 Take-Along Barbarians Fort
    Includes two figures, some accessories, and a small take-along fort that folds up to store parts and pieces. This is part of a new line, and other themes will have similar sets released in the near future. It's $9.99.

    5837 Roman Arena
    A much smaller version of the set sold a couple of years back with fewer parts. If anything, it may work as an expansion to the large set. It's $39.99.

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    Sunday, August 3, 2008

    Playmobil 5840 Flying Knights, Dragon Released

    As revealed many moons ago, the "flying knight" or "flying dragon knight" is finally making an appearance in what appears to be another mass-market exclusive set. The 5840 Dragon Rock does indeed include a dragon and a rock, but also has a catapult, a flying knight, and other tidbits. The new dragon is certainly different from previous releases, and we'd also like to point out the helmet on one of the knights on the packaging. It's turned around like 90 degrees so he's looking out the side. Not so hot.

    UPDATE: We have since found the set in a Los Angeles-area Target for $19.99. Happy hunting, Playmobil fans!

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    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Reader Q&A: 5775 Pirate's Attack

    Reader Scott asked: Have you ever heard of set 5775? This set has a pirate ship and a fort (awesome)! I saw this set in a coupon when I received a recent order, but the only other place I have seen it is on the Toys'r'us website. Do you know if this set is upcoming or discontinued?

    First, when in doubt, be sure to consult the tools you have at your disposal. Checking TOys "R" Us is most useful, but you can also check Google and my personal favorite, eBay. Seeing closed auctions can show you who's selling what, and where.

    As far as I can tell it has not yet been discontinued. This particular Pirate's Attack Ship has indeed been out for a while, and in the 5775 configuration appears to be a US mass market exclusive-- which means you probably will only see it at Toys "R" Us or on closeout down the road. I've seen this set come and go at a few Toys "R" Us stores around Los Angeles, but it comes and goes. I'd suggest you hit the road for a good old fashioned toy run-- check your local stores (or call them) to see if the set is available. Due to the fact employees generally have a number of duties to perform, I tend to prefer to just make the drive and stick my head in the store(s) in question.

    Happy hunting, Scott! If you have a question, feel free to leave a comment or email me, if I can't find the answer I'll at least leave you with a believable lie. Or the truth. One of those.

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    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Playmobil Toys "R" Us Sale

    There's a sale going on now at most/all USA Toys "R" Us stores. A number of sets are marked down $2-$5 off, including those new pull-back racers and the newly reshipped Skate Park. Selection varies by store, so if you've been putting a few purchases off, now may be a good time to see if there's something of value for you at the toy store with the freakish cartoon giraffe.

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    Thursday, March 6, 2008

    Target Playmobil Sale

    Target stores in the USA are currently running a temporary price cut on a number of items, including the take-along castle, the pull-back dragsters, the Roman Charriot, and others. In short, any item that's normally $9.99 or more is marked down $2 or more. Check your local stores for pricing and availability.

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    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.

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    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!

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    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.

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    Monday, February 11, 2008

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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