Playmobil has been a popular toy amongst children ever since its first proper release in 1975. It is also an extremely collectable toy with people all over the world accumulating Playmobil and its various accessories from all years of production.
Originally released as a set of mini human figurines, Playmobil was initially designed as simple yet entertaining toys for children. A vast array of Playmobil sets are manufactured and sold. Playmobil now sell not only human figurines but also vehicles and scenery which are extremely similar to their real life counterparts.
Due to the massive amount of Playmobil having been released, there is an extensive range of all kinds of Playmobil available on auction sites such as eBay.
Reasons for Playmobil’s Popularity
Ever since its first year of production Playmobil has been an extremely prevalent part of the toy market. Some of the reasons it is so popular and universally bought are as so:
- Durability: Being made from plastic means that Playmobil is extremely durable. A lot of toys in the modern toy market are cheaply manufactured and because of this are expendable. Playmobil figurines and sets tend to last for a very long time. This is an advantageous quality for both the children who play with Playmobil and those who collect it.
- Educational Value: Whilst being a fun and entertaining toy for children to play with, Playmobil does hold some educational value for children of a younger age. Emergency service sets are popular amongst children, as well as zoos, farms and city scenario sets.
- Accessories: There is an extensive range of interchangeable and accurate accessories available for all kinds of Playmobil. This means that the entertainment value of Playmobil rarely runs low.
- Attention to Detail: Playmobil appears to pay a greater deal of attention to detail than a lot of figurine toy manufacturers. The realistic nature of Playmobil is what makes it popular with children and collectors alike.
Types of Playmobil
As the toy figurine market expanded so did Playmobil’s own repertoire. The selection of plastic toys available from Playmobil is extensive. Here are just some of the more popular examples of Playmobil toys and kits available:
People and Figurines
Originally known as ‘Klickys’ for the nature that they were assembled and the way they could be modified. Nowadays there is a massive range of ‘klickys’ available on the market that can be purchased separately or in packs.
Playmobil vehicles are extremely popular amongst both children and collectors. The range is extensive with cars, boats, planes, trains and emergency service vehicles all featuring amongst Playmobil’s top sellers.
Scenes and Cities
Playmobil scenes and cities are extremely popular amongst those who wish to complete a set or play in a realistic environment. There is a vast array of scenes and cities available for reasonable prices on sites such as eBay.
Playmobil Eggs contain a certain number of Playmobil pieces. Whether it’s figurines, vehicles or accessories there is an Egg to suit most scenarios. Playmobil Eggs are just as collectable as any other form of Playmobil.
Playmobil for Collection
It appears that Playmobil is not just popular amongst children and parents buying for their children. There is also a large quantity of adult collectors who like to indulge themselves in the world of Playmobil.
Due to the fact that Playmobil has been available for almost 40 years, it is widely considered to be a collector’s item.
eBay is home to a lot of second hand Playmobil because of this. This is advantageous to buyers as prices may be lowered with sellers looking to make a quick sale.
If one is looking to start a Playmobil collection here are a few factors that should be taken into consideration before buying:
When buying a set or a figurine it is wise to check whether the Playmobil product is in a box. The fact of whether it is in an unused box or even used box can play an important role in determining its price. Use expert Playmobil forums and blogs to gain an understanding of the prices that should be paid for either boxed or unboxed Playmobil products.
The quantity of pieces is also a determining factor when purchasing a Playmobil set. If there are pieces missing then the price should be considerably lower than if all the pieces are included. If the product description states that the product is from an unused box then nowhere should it also state that pieces are missing. Again, it may be a good idea to visit Playmobil forums or blogs in an attempt to find an inventory for that particular Playmobil set for comparison purposes. One of the most important pieces in a Playmobil set that is regularly reported missing is the instruction booklet. Whilst these can be purchased individually, they tend to be expensive if not included in a Playmobil set. An instruction booklet included in a set can make a vast amount of difference in determining the price of a Playmobil set.
The generation of a Playmobil product, whether it is a set, accessory or even an instruction manual, can play an enormous part in the pricing of the product. There are generally considered to be three generations that split up Playmobil figurines. These are split up by the years that they were made due to the advancements in manufacturing processes. There is the first generation of figurines whose hands are fixed and only the arms and legs move. The second generation of Playmobil figurines has a more extensive range of movements than first generation. Finally, the third generation, which is the most recent generation of Playmobil figurines. These are manufactured to have a wider range of modifications and accessories, including the ability to remove hats. Despite the generations, the majority of figurine accessories are able for use across all generations. Most generations of Playmobil figurines are sold on eBay for affordable prices relative to their condition.
Buying Playmobil Online
Due to the vast range of Playmobil available, as well as its collectability, Playmobil fans have a large internet presence.
Forums and blogs are dedicated to the collecting and maintaining of Playmobil. Use these as a tool to help in the purchase of Playmobil online. On forums, utilise the Frequently Asked Questions section to find helpful answers to some of the questions that may be needed to be asked during the Playmobil buying process. A lot of forum members are happy to help both parents and collectors who are new to the Playmobil world. Do not be afraid to pose questions in order to improve knowledge on the best and most cost-effective figurines, scenarios and vehicles available.
It may also be good to visit the official Playmobil site as well as other various Playmobil retailer sites. Use these as a means of price comparison for when visiting an auction site such as eBay to purchase Playmobil products at reasonable and sensible prices.
Buying Playmobil on eBay
After a product and budget has been settled on, visiting auction sites such as eBay is a sensible way of finding specific Playmobil items at affordable prices.
With Germany and Malta being the main manufacturers and exporters of Playmobil, it may be worth looking out for sellers from these countries that post to the United Kingdom. Because these countries produce the vast majority of Playmobil that is available, there may be an excess of the products available, meaning that eBay sellers may be overstocked or looking to make a quick sale.
If this is a preferred option, check postage and shipping costs to ensure that the purchase is cost-effective.
Wherever the Playmobil products are being purchased from on eBay, use the following checklist to ensure that a secure and honest deal is being made:
- Does the seller have previous history in selling Playmobil products and sets?
- How much information the seller is providing about the Playmobil product?
- Has the seller provided photographs of the product?
- What are the shipping or postage conditions? There may be a variety of postage and packaging options available due to the fragile nature of some of the products. Find out if there is a postage insurance option available.
- Based on the information given in this guide about buying Playmobil, does the price truly reflect the value of the product?
The vast majority of eBay sellers will be fine with potential buyers posing questions and it is not frowned upon if one wishes to do so. Remember that sellers want your business as much as you want theirs.
Finally, always familiarise yourself with eBay’s buying Terms and Conditions before finalising a transaction.
Whether the Playmobil product being purchased is for a child to play with or for collecting purposes, there are a number of different considerations to factor into the buying process. Use the information in this guide to make sure that the prices paid for Playmobil products are fair and that the transaction is secure.