thie.me | Jens Thieme views and discussions

thie.me | Jens Thieme views and discussions

thie.me | Jens Thieme views and discussions

Playmobil 3845

Air Rescue 3

Years ago and as one of my first serious online activities I became a top author at the public opinions and review website epinions.com. As I own the rights of my own reviews that I wrote via alias 401402 I republish them here in my archives.

It’s not only Christmas time again, every year end (when our children celebrate their birthdays around the holidays on top of all excitement at this time of the year) we have the blast to find “the perfect gift” again for them. Being a German family we have kept most of our cultural and historical roots and habits alive and so our love for Playmobil toys carried on while residing in the United States, fortunately the German company has expanded to the States and the huge success proves the perfect concept for their toys. See company facts and interesting background information at the end of the review.

Content
1. Introduction
2. What it is
3. What you get
4. Backgrounder
5. Additional Resources
6. Conclusion

1. Introduction (being repeated in all my Playmobil reviews)
If you have children between 3 and 10 and want them to explore the world and develop fantasy and craft skills with the help of their favorite toys, consider Playmobil as a serious option. Although it’s a bit of a pricey undertaking, especially if you want to add on to existing sets (which is, by-the-way, one of the beautiful and impressive options with Playmobil), the quality and fantasy of these sets in all sizes is unmatched. Not only will you find countless options within the sets to re-assemble them one way or the other, thus constantly change landscapes, but you will find your children stick to their series like treasures. Playmobil has managed to offer little toy worlds out of reality and fantasy to meet extended educational and fun attributes while providing the perfect environment to pick up craftsmanship, motor and concentration skills at the same time as loads of fun and excitement to share among friends and siblings.

The quality is outstanding, every single piece fits perfectly, all parts are exchangeable to open up countless possibilities. The material is un-destroyable by ordinary play habits. All plans and manuals that come with the toys are extremely well drawn and understandable by all kids of the assigned age groups. We have never found a box or set with missing or not fitting parts! The great love to the detail is what makes this series so attractive and beloved by so many children around the world.

3. What it is
Helicopter for rescue missions with medical staff and equipment plus accident victim. Children can learn about medical emergencies, the meaning of some equipment like oxygen masks, drip and stretcher and that timing might be very crucial if something bad happens in life. You can combine the learning/fun experience with explanations of possible emergency situations in your environment and let your children have an insight of possible reactions and situations. Don’t overdo it though, it’s still a game and there is no need to scare them. The idea behind the toy is action, fun, a tiny little insight in medical emergency treatment and again the combination with Playmobil action scenes you might already have. Our son already rescued some princesses and pirates with this new toy. Sky is the limit!

3. What you get
Featured at URL:
http://shop.playmobilusa.com

Another impressive Playmobil package is the Air Rescue 3 kit. The package combines a fairly roomy helicopter with impressive rotor span, three pilot/medical staff figures and one “accident victim” plus a ton of small parts, equipment and devices.

All parts are nicely divided in the box and separately packed-up in smaller plastic bags for easy and step-by-step installation. Again, the explosion map is excellent and all parts fit nicely together. This time I realized what kind of a terrific job the developers have done here: there are two very tiny parts in the cabin of the helicopter that need to be placed inside where adult fingers can not reach. Still, when you just reach inside to place the little parts (arm rests for pilot and co-pilot seats) they snap right into the hole that’s made for them and can not fall out again. This is just another great experience with the engineering of these toys, these folks really think through everything!

First you would have to put the stickers onto the helicopter body. They stick firmly but you can still remove and stick back on if you misplaced them the first time. The stickers show a large No. 3 and the word “Air Rescue” plus some more fancy details. Next there is a rope hoist for the outside that snaps easily in position right above the sliding door. The rope is made of strong yet thin fabric that holds a small metal hook. You get the idea? The rope and hook can hold just about everything your little ones want to “rescue”.

The pilots and medical staff (again, you can exchange all items between them) get helmets with microphone, waistcoats, first-aid-case and even a handle that can be snapped onto the hook. The hit though, is the emergency stretcher where you can place a figure in and tighten it with little, stable but surprisingly flexible and soft (extremely thin) plastic ropes. The “accident victim” figure has a red eye; you can put gypsum legs and arms on it and even a head bandage. Most funny: there are emergency devices like oxygen bottles with hose and mask, drip equipment like in the real emergency world and everything can be mounted inside the helicopter to supply the victim while flying.

These tiny details make the difference to their competition because you not only have a toy here that can conduct missions and operations but you get to explain your children countless details about it! This is what impressed us most with all the Playmobil toys, there is just more about it and that makes it a lot more educational and fun at the same time. Out children have learned a ton of stuff while playing with these toys that school or any other educational exposure would not have covered at the time. Sometimes we are surprised ourselves how many details they know about hospitals, castles and the life there, police actions, trains, construction zones and many other things.

And it’s always a blast when you little ones “teach” you something they have just learned out found out themselves. Always better than any war or violence game and toy!

4. Backgrounder
Founded as a small German company that focused on compatible vehicles some 27-30 years ago, the concept of offering smaller toys to be matched together to whole environments (LEGO has been doing this as well) has been expanded and made perfect in quality, marketing and strategy over the decades. Meanwhile the company has sold some 13 billion (!!!) pieces of little plastic dolls, vehicles and parts and develops new little worlds every month. You can find hospitals, farms, pirate ships, castles and many other environments with thousands of add-on sets that all match together in size and type of assembly.

Playmobil’s homepage (http://www.playmobil.com) gives you a pretty impressive start by switching heads of all available dolls when viewing their collection. On top of the wonderful toys they offer Fun Parks in Germany, Greece, the United States and France (check their web site for details). You will find Playmobil a company with great dedication and strong focus, a very aggressive (smart) marketing concept that does not allow to copy or abuse their branding concept and tight guidelines for dealerships and online sales. The quality they offer is dedicated to meet the most important goal a toy manufacturer should have: to provide a long lasting fun and educational experience for children of all sorts and ages.

5. Additional Resources
Playmobil interactive, fun web site, featuring Playmobil interactive games and software:
http://www.ubisoft.com/usa/hype/

Retired Playmobil items:
http://www.kidsbiztoys.com/store/playmobil_retired.html

Playmobil motorcycle fanclub, features new, current and retired items and discussion groups:
http://www.firstmoto.ch/Toys/PlayMobile/

Here is a web site from a Japanese Playmobil collector, pretty funny and impressive:
http://www.geocities.com/ant2000_jp/index.html

6. Conclusion
As already with the police helicopter (see my other review), we discovered that the air has been untapped potential for really creative toys for a long time. Besides war toys and aircraft replica we have not found too many “air toys” that are fun and educational at the same time. Playmobil proved again that they can deal with any environment by keeping their major vision for edutainment toys and quality. We would always recommend any of their scenes, action toys and figures as they provide violent-free and creative basics regardless if reality driven or totally fantastic. This year at Christmas and both birthdays (that all fall within a three-week range with us) our kids got 70% Playmobil stuff and they are still asking for more.

Please, dear parents, do your kids the favor of their and your life and think hard about the signal and effect any toy might have on their development. Buy your children toys that support their positive development and enable them to view and influence their environment with optimism and joy, fantasy and creativity, respect and love.