The origins of the German toymaker we know today as Playmobil can be traced to 1876, when a locksmith named Andreas Brandstätter opened a metal shop. By 1908, his son, Georg, took over the company from his father and renamed it after himself. Throughout the 1930s, the younger Brandstätter’s firm, renamed again as Geobra, made mostly telephones and cash registers, but it also produced some sheet-metal items for toy stores.

Plastic toys were added to the company’s line in the late 1950s, and in 1958 a molded race car was created as the first Playmobil prototype. But it would take more than a dozen years for the Playmobil look to coalesce, and the man credited with creating what would become a serious competitor to LEGO was Hans Beck, Geobra’s director of development.

One of the motivators behind Beck’s designs for Playmobil was the rising price of oil in the 1970s, which was pushing up the cost of plastic. In Playmobil, Beck created a world of toys for children that would be fun to play with despite their small size. In fact, their handheld size would be a key to their success.

Unlike LEGO, for whom figures were an afterthought to the building bricks themselves, Playmobil figures were an integral part of the toy from the start. Beck spent a lot of time on the figures, designing them after the look of children’s drawings, which are marked by exaggerated features and a liberal attitude when it comes to physical proportions. Thus the heads of Playmobil figures, which some fans called Klickies for the sound they would make when played with, lacked noses and were proportionally larger than the bodies they were attached to.

The first Playmobil system debuted at the Nurnberg Toy Fair in 1974. By all accounts, the reception was not overly enthusiastic, but an order from a Dutch wholesaler kept production going for a year. The initial systems featured medieval knights and horses in green boxes, construction workers with a pickup truck on a job site in blue boxes, and “Indians,” complete with feather caps for the braves, a canoe, and a teepee, in red boxes.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Playmobil Huge Park Swings Slides Carousel 7 Adults 16 Children Babies Toys ++Playmobil Igloo / Eskimo Set 3465 Very Rare Figures Dogs & More - Ice AdventureLot Playmobil House Furniture & Accessories 5329 Grand Kitchen Bedroom & JeepRare Playmobile 4052 G-gauge Locomotive And Coal Tender.Playmobil Huge Knights Empire Castle 3268 Extra FiguresVictorian Working Fireplace With Children & Father Christmas Santa PlaymobilCyclist Family & Children On Bicycles Bikes - House City Life Figure PlaymobilPlaymobil Eskimo Set Kayak Sled 3466 Figures Dogs - Ice Adventure Very RarePlaymobil 3770 Colorado Springs Western Train StationPlaymobil Castle, With Extra Parts. Mixed Set. Playmobil : Passenger Train Car Carriage Panorama Express ( 6342 )Hospital Bed With Mummy & Baby / Maternity Ward / Family Figures PlaymobilPlaymobil : Train Wagon Cargo ( 4010 ) Playmobil : Level Crossing Train ( 4306 )Playmobil : Train Cargo Wagon / Freight Car ( 4126 ) Huge Playmobil Zoo Lot. 24 Animals+ Fence, Scenery, Family, Cafe++. Safari Lot Of 5 Princess Queen Lady Fantasy Royal Castle Victorian Lady PlaymobilPlaymobil : Train Tipping Wagon ( 4125 )Brio The Polar Express Set Wooden Train Thomas ChristmasUnion Cavalry Soldier With Flag Western Wildwest North Cowboy Figures Playmobil14 Pc Lot Playmobil Trees Large & Small 9 Animals Moose Deer Dogs All EucMedieval Family - Victorian Peasant Farm - Christmas Nativity Figures PlaymobilHuge Lot Playmobil Zoo Playset Parts Animals Fence RockPlaymobil Hospital #4404 *rare/retired* And Ambulance- 95% CompletePlaymobil Dollhouse Modern House 3965 Retired Playmobil 1999 Animal Farm Barn 3072 Plus ExtrasPlaymobil Safari, Lion Family, Farm Animal, Zoo And People Lot..exc. ConditionVictorian Hussar Palace Guard / English Royal Soldier Figures PlaymobilPlaymobil Set X10 Soldiers Figures .... L@@k !!!Playmobil 3767 Western Series Colorado Springs School House 1987 Rare MibVintage 1970's Playmobile Large Castle With Horses And Knights-nice!X12 Playmobil New Pirate Egyptian Castle Skeleton Mummy Halloween Rare Lot CoinsPlaymobil Goodyear Racing Service Mechanics Van 3614 *rare *discontinued*Construction Workers With Pipes & Cone Accessories - City Life Figures PlaymobilPlaymobile 16 Vehicle Lot Boats, Helicopters, Pirate Ship, Police UsedPlaymobil Geobra Castle PartsPrincess Mermaids / Magic Royal Underwater Fantasy Castle Figures PlaymobilPlaymobil Knights Castle Lion Theme, Set 3268 With Box Slightly UsedPlaymobil Magic Enchantress Spider Queen Special 4530 Retired Vintage New SealedSleigh With Santa & Children Figures / Pony Sledge & Father Christmas PlaymobilPlaymobil 4404 Hospital Clinic Retired Sets 1225, 7920, 3925, 4226, 4405, 4408Playmobil 5755 ChristmasPlay Mobil Construction LotPlaymobil G Gauge Black/green 99 280 Express 0-4-0 Steam Locomotive - IncompleteRoyal King & Queen Medieval Lion Knight Castle Figures Victorian House PlaymobilFiremen With Fire Accessories / City Life Firefighter Figures Playmobil1986 Playmobile No.3050 Pirate Ship In Original Box Nrfb Sealed Rare PlaysetPlaymobil Big Lot Of Christmas Items. Figures, Furniture & More.Vintage Playmobil Castle(#3666) Royal KeepPlaymobil Princess Fairy Tale Magic Castle Royal Kitchen 4251Playmobil Princess Fairy Tale Magic Castle Royal Treasury 4255X8 Playmobil Redcoat Soldiers Complete With Weapons Swords Rare Lot New 2014Special Drunken Pirate Figure With Barrel 3913 Rare PlaymobilRoyal King & Queen / Medieval Knight Castle Or Victorian House Figures PlaymobilPlaymobil Knights: Empire Castle 3268X3 Playmobil Royal Guard Figures + Captain Prince Castle Sword Lot Rare ToysPlaymobil Fairy Princess Angel Castle Christmas Custom Cute Fantasy Figures! 3 Playmobil Geobra Klicks Medieval Castle Figure Gold Knights Lot Rare Set NewRoyal King & Queen / Victorian Captain & Lady Dame Dutch Figures Rare PlaymobilX2 Playmobil Geobra Rare White Tigers With Removable Bone ,zoo,animals Lot