In addition to Oktoberfest and Lederhosen, for years Germany has created another fabulous export – Playmobil toys. We’ve been Playmobil fans for years and although interest has waned a bit recently, last week we made a trip to Zirndorf, Germany. That is the headquarters for Playmobil, as well as home to the Playmobil Fun Park.
We stayed at the official Playmobil Aparthotel, just across the street from the park, which was a treat. Not only are the linens emblazoned with the adorable Playmobil face, but the boys each had a toy on their pillows. After a good night’s sleep breakfast was served in a huge building called the HOB center. Just as soon as a couple of brotchen were consumed the boys were off and running to check out all of the Playmobil stuff.
Nearly every product line was represented here, with a life sized replica of some structure (a castle, a house, a hospital, a Viking ship, a fort, a pretty pink palace.) Inside each structure were hundreds of Playmobil toys from that line.
The love for Playmobil was instantly rekindled. I thought we’d never get out of this building – they probably could have played here all day.
They did humor me by posing for a photo or two.
Next door was an indoor playground which was fun for about 5 minutes. Then we dragged them outside to see the rest of the park.
The first stop was the perennial favorite: the castle. When Thomas was 4 years old he had a bunch of knights from this set that he carried around everywhere in a Starbucks bag so it was a walk down memory lane to see the ol’ gang again.
This section was from the Noah’s Ark collection. These big water tables were filled with boats and animals to play with.
The farm helped city kids learn how to milk a cow.
Unlike Legoland, Playmobil Fun Park is not an amusement park but more like a big playground. There are no rides, but that keeps the admission price low. We visited on a weekday so it was blissfully uncrowded.
The boys both spent sometime in the paddle boats. These were operated by arm power rather than leg power. They didn’t look particularly sea-worthy, but everyone stayed afloat.
The Balancing Parcours was lots of fun. I thought I was back at Camp Pioneer’s challenge course.
I even set down the camera momentarily and joined in the fun (though obviously, someone picked it up.)
The wild west area had a place to pan for gold colored rocks. We took a ride on a stagecoach but went nowhere fast. (Sorry about the sun glare in this photo. Our photographer was an amateur.)
The camera was just about out of battery power when we visited the Dinosaurs, which were right next to the Pirates. The boys went for a little ride on this raft and once again, no one fell in! It’s the small victories…
Pirates are also a part of our Playmobil collection so the pirate ship was a favorite.
Since the boys have an affinity for tiny bits of plastic, they loved this area. Streams of water conveyed small toys through these giant shells and kids could collect them as souvenirs.
And the final stop of the day – of course – the Playmobil store. We did indulge the rekindled love for Playmobil and now have a couple of ninjas to add to our collection. But I’ll admit – they are not the only Playmobil fans in the family. I bought the Three Kings to add to our Playmobil Nativity set. Now I just need to find the Baby Jesus.